We all have moments in our life where we find it necessary to summon great courage. Usually these moments occur when we face some seemingly insurmountable task or when faced with something that terrifies us. I often am surprised with myself when one of these moments arises. I’m tougher than I give myself credit for.
For example, when I was eleven I had to get four teeth pulled for braces. I have since learned that I have very high tolerance for Novocain but my cries that I could feel pain—to a decidedly sadistic dentist—were ignored. That didn’t stop me however, from begging him to do all four teeth in one day, promising I could handle it, that I’d rather get it over with. My tearful request was denied and I returned—full of hatred—two weeks later to finish the assault. It’s a wonder I didn’t go in there kicking and screaming.
Actually, I screamed a couple times after he began…but not without reason.
Another shining, courageous moment was when I got SCUBA certified a few years ago. A magical birthday gift from Simon that I was thrilled and nervous to undertake. Imagine my surprise when, after a short four-hour day in the pool, the reckless company in charge decided to take us out on an ocean dive. With rescue and expert divers in training. DURING STORMY WEATHER! It was the most terrifying and physically exhausting thing I’ve ever done. I was seething after we surfaced.
How could they take us out in this weather? We were supposed to have another full day of training in the pool. Why the hell is there a guy spearfishing with two-feet of visibility!? Doesn’t he know baby Great Whites frequent our coastline?!!
All this in angry whispers to Simon who said we could absolutely quit if I wanted. With fire in my eyes I surveyed the men taking liberties with my life and exhaled a teeth-clenched no. We did one more ocean dive in murky, rolling seas. How I managed to accomplish any of the underwater tasks without panicking, or using up my entire air supply, can only be attributed to the resolve and courage that surfaces for me at the most surprising moments.
Where am I going with this you ask? What does summoning courage have to do with cookies? Well, I find it comical how terrified I am of baking. Fear prevents me from doing it and I usually stick to my cooking comfort zones. So bravery and baking; the two go hand in hand for me. I’m pleased to announce that my baking skills have slowly been improving and you’ve probably noticed I’ve been trying it more here and there. Nothing wildly complicated and I often refer to someone else’s recipe for guidance. I’m not really at the creating stage yet.
These coconut, ginger, and basil cookies I bring you today are my simple twist on a recipe from from Mikey’s in my Kitchen. I stumbled across this blog on Pinterest and fell in love! I just added a few ingredients to change the flavor profile. I think for now it’s advisable for me to hone my skills by following the footsteps of those before me. And yet still I am hesitant. I give myself pep talks and check the ingredients and directions repeatedly. I turn on the oven light and watched fearfully and when it comes to the taste-test I tentatively bring bites to my lips expecting the worst.
When I bake I have to summon the aforementioned courage! It’s like my culinary Achilles heel! Why this is I don’t know. Probably because I’m a ruthless perfectionist and I give myself a hard time. Or maybe I lived an ill fated past life as a failed baker or something. I don’t know. But I’m trying to get over it.
These cookies are light and chewy and flavorful. I decided to add ginger and Thai basil because it sounded like the perfect blend of savory and sweet ingredients AND because I’m branching out, testing the waters—even though it’s like pulling teeth. (See what I did there?) And it paid off. The flavors are bright and bold! These uniquely flavored cookies pair wonderfully with coffee or tea. Or even just themselves, consumed rapidly and repeatedly.
Also, can we all take a moment to appreciate my adorable new tote from Àplat? They call it Their pie tote because—thanks to its flat bottom—it’s the perfect vehicle for pies, tarts, or plates of cookies for your boyfriend and his sister hard at work at their shop! Àplat has other unique designs I can’t wait to get my hands on!
Maybe I sound crazy likening teeth pulling and diving to baking—maybe I’m a little unhinged from being tossed around by a ruthless sea. But I am sure some of you have recipes or meals you are frightened of. Right? I can’t be alone in this. Share below.
- 1/2 Cup butter, softened
- 1/2 Cup brown sugar
- 1/2 Cup granulated sugar
- 1 Egg
- 1 tsp. grated ginger
- 1 Tbsp. minced Thai basil
- 1 tsp. Coconut extract
- 1 1/2 Cups coconut flakes, unsweetened
- 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1/2 tsp. Baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. Baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350 °F and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking liner or parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- In a separate, large bowl, use a mixer to combine the butter, sugars, egg, ginger, basil, and coconut extract.
- Slowly add in flour mixture.
- Then stir in coconut flakes.
- Drop by the tablespoonful onto prepared baking sheets and bake for about 10 minutes or until golden.
- I baked about 8 cookies at a time to avoid over-crowding.
- Cool on baking racks before serving.