LORRAINE GRIFFITHS’S GROWN-UP KIDS STILL EXPECT TO FIND THIS CHILDHOOD FAVOURITE IN HER BISCUIT TIN.
Lorraine Griffiffiths’s recipe for coconut biscuits will always be a favourite for her two children.
WHEN ASKED TO DESCRIBE her mother’s coconut biscuits, 34-year-old Kacy Mateljan replies, “Can I just say they taste like childhood?” Growing up in WA’S Swan Valley, Kacy says she spent most of her time barefoot, playing with her brother and cousins among the grapevines on her family’s property or sneaking into the orange-packing shed to push each other around in wooden crates on the roller conveyors. But her fondest memories are of time spent baking with her mum, Lorraine Griffiths. “Sitting on the kitchen bench as we made the coconut biscuits is such a good memory of mine that it’s something I can’t imagine not doing with my own children one day,” Kacy says. Lorraine (pictured here with son Ben) came up with this recipe in the early 1980s. “I was looking for a biscuit I could make for the kids that was a bit healthier, so I adapted a recipe by swapping half the white flour with wholemeal spelt flour and using brown sugar instead of white,” she says. “It’s a young heirloom recipe, but they have to start somewhere.” Kacy and Ben were only allowed store-bought treats on birthdays, but could count on finding coconut biscuits in their school lunch boxes. “I don’t think I appreciated having homemade biscuits because it was all I’d ever known,” says Kacy. “It was only when I got older that I realised how special it was and now I associate those biscuits with that safe, warm feeling you have as a kid.” Part of the appeal of the recipe is that it’s quick and easy to make. “They’re done in less than half an hour,” says Lorraine, who now lives in Perth and works as a nurse. But she still finds time to bake coconut biscuits and says “they are always in the biscuit tin”. And Kacy can confirm that her mum never fails to deliver when it comes to this childhood treat. “On numerous occasions I have gone straight to the biscuit tin to see whether she has any and I am yet to be disappointed. They’re very more-ish and I never eat just one!”
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Makes 22 90g butter, chopped ½ cup self-raising flour ½ cup wholemeal spelt flour 1 cup shredded coconut ¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar 1 extra-large egg, lightly whisked 22 (about 40g) pecan or walnut halves
Preheat oven to 175°C. Line 3 large baking trays with baking paper. Melt butter in a small saucepan over a low heat. Remove from heat and set aside for 10 minutes to cool. Combine flours, coconut and brown sugar in a large bowl. Add melted butter and egg, then mix until well combined. Roll tablespoonfuls of coconut mixture into balls and place, about 5cm apart to allow room for spreading, on prepared trays. Using the back of a teaspoon, gently flatten biscuits. Press a pecan into top of each biscuit. Bake for 10–12 minutes or until golden. Cool on trays. Store in an airtight container.
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