There’s a certain film out that is breaking all the records and like some, my grandchildren are obsessed. I took them to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Christmas was filled with R2-D2 measuring cups and a Death Star cookie jar from ThinkGeek, board games and blu-rays of all episodes. The obsession they have with the franchise hasn’t died down. Just the other day, my granddaughter Jasmine asked me if there was a recipe for Chewbacca cookies somewhere and I didn’t bother to Google, but instead said to her, “Why don’t we try to develop our own recipe?” She immediately jumped on board, saying, “Well they HAVE to be chewy, but how are we going to make them look furry?”
Coconut was my immediate thought but it would have to be dyed. We put our heads together and came up with a dye made of brewed coffee, two teaspoons of cocoa powder, two teaspoons of cinnamon, three drops of red food color and two drops of yellow. Into that mess, we stirred in two cups of flaked coconut. It worked. We ended up with a color that was close but not exactly right. We’re going to have to play with it. It bakes darker so I’ll have to factor that in next time.
For the chew, I thought of caramel. I had some persimmon and black pepper caramels I had made a week before and thought they’d serve, but I imagine singly wrapped Kraft caramels will work well.
For the cookie, Jasmine wanted something like a Tollhouse cookie but with less chocolate. I agreed. Too many chocolate chips would make it difficult to mold around the caramel I thought. We ended up adapting the Nestle Tollhouse recipe reducing the amount of regular flour by 1/4 and to include 1 cup of hazelnut flour, a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, only 1/2 cup chocolate chips, but 1 cup each of very finely chopped walnuts and pecans. We really wanted them to be chewy.
Jasmine made the dough, Aiden chopped the nuts and I took a hot knife to the caramel and cut it into bite sized pieces. Together, we formed a hollow into dough balls, filled them with caramel and sealed it shut. When the dough balls were done (they were huge), we rolled them into our kinda wet, dyed coconut flakes and placed them on a parchment lined baking sheet. We baked them at 350 degrees and they baked about 15 minutes. The result? A somewhat spicy, nutty, and yes chewy cookie with a gooey surprise inside. They’re a hit, though next time I’ll make them smaller, and maybe fiddle with the coloring of the coconut a little.