I think that I'm getting pretty close. From last time, I determined that the raw sugar was too gritty, so I figured that I would try a batch which didn't use any at all. In addition, I decided I wanted to try smaller raisin chunks and a bit more coconut.
I didn't think it wise to replace too much flour with coconut. I replaced 1/8c, and simply added another 1/8c extra. Again, this is shredded, sweetened coconut chopped more fine in a electric chopper.
I also used the chopper to take 1/2c of the raisins and chop them. They went from mostly whole to almost puree suddenly. I was able to stop before they went too far. Raisins are sticky and wet inside and turn into clumps. I mixed them into the wet ingredients, and they distributed well.
Asymptotic Fruit Cookies
- 3/4c shortening
- 1c sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/4c Brer Rabbit Molasses (dark)
- 1 7/8c flour, sifted
- 1/4c coconut cut very fine
- 2t baking soda
- 1/2t salt
- 1/2c chopped raisins
- 1/2c raisins
Cream sugar and shortening. Add egg and molasses, blend well. Mix in chopped raisins. Add sifted flour, coconut, soda, and salt. Mix well. Integrate raisins and chill. Form into two inch balls, place on a cookie sheet, and flatten balls so they are about three inches wide. Make the center thinner than the edge by pushing your thumb into it.
Bake 8 minutes at 325F. Pull out when tops have cracked but before outside is crispy. Cool briefly on sheets, then move to rack to finish cooling.
I've been experimenting with how to cook these as well, which is why all the pictures have big, small, and medium sizes. For this dough (and my oven), it seems like 325 degrees is the best (original recipe was 375). Much higher and the centers of larger cookies don't cook. In addition, I have to flatten the cookies quite a bit. Even so, I poke the center so it's thinner than the edges so it cooks better. Once they ooze in the oven, you can't tell that I did it.
They taste pretty good, but I can tell that I'm missing a bit of the flavor from the raw sugar. The chopped raisins don't seem worth it, and may actually make the cookies a bit too sweet since it's distributed through the cookie rather than in little raisin-bursts of sweetness.
I'm not certain that the coconut is doing anything. I can very, very rarely taste it. Otherwise I'm not sure what it's doing. I haven't made a coconut-less version yet that I can compare to.
They are chewy and flat like they are supposed to be. I don't think their cracks are quite the same as the original, but I'm not sure that's required.
So, I think the main missing item is getting a bit more of the spicy molasses flavor. I can do this by finding a finer raw sugar (or processing the gritty stuff down) or perhaps using more molasses. I'll have to research what else I'll have to change if I use more molasses.