Trash Cookies {coconut pecan cookies}

What an unfortunate moniker for such a delicious little treat.  I got this recipe from the high school boyfriend’s mom and whether or not my husband was referring to the provenance of the recipe or the unique amalgamation of ingredients in the cookie when he named them trash cookies remains unknown.

This recipe for the cookie is presented in four steps and is relatively easy with the exception of the part where I usually burn the coconut and pecans.  The finished product is like a cross between the mythical Neiman Marcus cookie and a pecan sandy (by the way, I googled that to see what a pecan sandy recipe looks like, and I warn you – DO NOT open the urban dictionary link).

With the way my brain works, I think most recipes are confusing as to why they don’t put things like “take your butter out of the fridge an hour before you want to cook these so it softens” or “toast your nuts and coconut before you get started” at the top.  So consider yourself warned/well-informed.

Here’s how this goes down:

As I said, take your butter out of the fridge or freezer in time for it to soften.  Two sticks ought to do it. Preheat your oven to 350°. Go ahead and chop up some pecans to make 1 cup post-knifing and measure out 1 cup of sweetened coconut.  I toast my coconut and nuts on the stove in two separate dry saucepans.  You can do this in the oven too if you want but either way, be sure to keep an eye out so they don’t burn. Now for the four steps – I like to think of these as four little teams, working together to create a tasty present for you.

TEAM ONE – the staples

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup white sugar

1 cup light brown sugar

DO: Cream team one together until light and fluffy in a stand mixer or some other piece of kitchen equipment suitable for creaming.

TEAM TWO – nearly mayo

1 cup vegetable oil

1 egg

DO: Mix together with Team One.

TEAM THREE – the trash

3 cups whole cornflakes, and crushed to make one cup when you’re done smooshing

1 cup toasted coconut

1 cup toasted pecans

1 cup instant oatmeal

DO: Fold into Teams One and Two

TEAM FOUR – the workhorses

3 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

DO: Fold into preceding Teams.  DON’T: Overmix

At this point, you have a sticky, sandy, crunchy little dough riddled with various cereals, nuts – coco and otherwise.  If it’s too soft, pop it in the fridge before you start making cookies.  If not, form into small balls and press down gently with the back of a fork.  Bake in your 350° oven for about 10 minutes – depending on how big or small you made them.

One last thing – and this goes for anything I put on here – feel free to make these recipes your own.  I tend to use a recipe as a general guideline either for the right ingredients or the right techniques but seldom do I use them for both of those things at once.  I encourage you to do the same.  If you don’t like something in a recipe, don’t use it!  (I don’t mean things like baking soda – ideally you don’t know what that tastes like outside of in toothpaste form).  Prefer walnuts to pecans (gasp, I can’t imagine, but still) – use them!  Don’t like coconut?  Leave it out!  Look how I empower you!

Now, on to some afternoon snacking. And here’s hoping for some jokes too.