This recipe was adapted from Kookys I originally baked at Christmas.
My other name for them was Jimmy Buffett Kookys, but (a) they have no booze in them, which would increase the Buffett factor, and (b) his licensing people probably wouldn’t approve.
The original recipe was in a holiday book by Betty Crocker (BC); it was called “Frosted Tropical Coconut Bursts”.
Here’s a rundown of their ingredients:
1 pouch Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
1/2 c butter or margarine
1 c dried tropical 3 fruit mix
1/2 c coconut flakes
1 c powdered sugar
1/2 tsp coconut extract
1-2 tbps milk
If you don’t buy dry cookie mix, here’s BC’s free online recipe.
When you consider the sugar, a dried fruit mix that may have sugar or salt all over its pieces, white chocolate chip sugared glaze—this recipe is what I call a “diabetes bomb”. It’s just too much sugar in too many ingredients.
I thought I could make a similar delicious kooky but with less sugar content. I used the BC online recipe for sugar cookies as a guide, but made several substitutions:
- I used 3/4 of one 16oz. can coconut milk not butter; for even richer authentic coconut flavor, use coconut cream.
- I used flaked coconut with no sugar on it—usually this type is not in the baking aisle of most major grocery chains (see green bag in photo), its in the gluten-free and organic dry goods section.
- No extracts
- 1 package dried pineapple, sold in a resealable pouch (see Sunmaid package in photo)
- package dried mango, sold in a resealable pouch (see Sunmaid package in photo)
- No chips, period. No glaze.
- I used regular wheat bread flour, but just 2 c.
Between the coconut milk, coconut flakes, mango and pineapple, I think you get the idea why they were called “Like Paradise” Kookys.
Coconut milk made the cookies very soft, not to mention a very subtle coconut taste instead of a too-sweet, over the top imitation flavoring. The dough was very sticky though, so using cookie cutters and rolling out the dough was not an option.
So I oiled my hands with cooking oil. I made small oval balls and arranged them like petals. Once I had a sheet of doughball flowers, I took my minced fruit and pressed it into each petal.
I like the color of mango and pineapple, but minced up into cookies they are very close in hue. For alternating color cookies, you might use dried cherries, blueberries or raspberries for more contrast with yellow and orange fruit decorated cookies.
DIETARY NOTE: If you are vegan or don’t eat eggs, half an overripe banana or avocado can be used as a substitute. There is also a product called “egg replacer” which has been around for some time—-Ener-G and Bob’s Red Mill are two companies that make egg replacer.