Thursday, December 17, 2015

Elusive Yeti: Samoan Coconut Shortbread

When I started researching recipes from Samoa, I found recipe after recipe, savory and sweet, with coconut. Coconut milk, shredded coconut, coconut meat, etc., etc.  It is no surprise that one of the recipes I came across on multiple blogs and recipe websites is this Samoan Coconut Shortbread. When you think Samoan, don't think of the Girl Scout Cookie, which is a shortbread (and coconut, no surprise) cookie that is dipped and drizzled in chocolate. They got the coconut part right but chocolate isn't as prominent. (However, you can buy King Koko Samoa, something I have yet to try, but it appears as if you brew roasted cocoa beans the way you drink coffee - ground and steeped in water. Can't wait to try it!)

I'm not a huge fan of shortbread. I'm still not convinced I do it right although people always assure me it is what they think of as shortbread. So I'm not sure I love this recipe. I do love that it's authentic and from Samoa ("Masi Popo") and I love the adorable cookie cutter my husband bought me of a sasquatch/yeti. That's what inspired me to finally make the recipe! I made a double batch of dough, which was a mistake since half of it is still in the fridge, but I made a bunch of yeti, glazed them, and sprinkled desiccated coconut on for a snowy look.

I like the double coconut, and you really taste it when you bite into the cookie. 

While this recipe is photographed many places and mentioned others, very few sites had the actual recipe. Since recipes can't be covered by copyright, I went a little deeper to find it. The Internet Archive let me down but a fun blog called The International Dinner Project still had it in their post. Check out their site; they will continue to be a resource to me as I cook and bake around the world.

Masi Popo (Coconut Shortbread from Samoa)


120gm butter (4½ oz)
2/3 cup white sugar
2 eggs
200ml full coconut milk – not lite! (7 fl oz)
1 tsp vanilla essence or extract
4 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt

  1. Heat the over up to about 180˚C (350˚F)
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together well.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time mixing well.
  4. Here comes the magic, add the coconut milk and vanilla, again mixing well.
  5. Now mix in the dry ingredients (flour and baking powder).
  6. The dough may still be a little sticky, so a little more flour may be needed.
  7. Cover your kneading surface with a generous amount of flour so the dough doesn’t stick to in and knead until it’s a nice and even consistency. (At this point I chilled the dough several hours so it would be easier to roll out.)
  8. I pinch of about a third of the dough and roll out onto lightly floured baking paper (so I don’t have to try to pick up each biscuit/cookie slice from the kneading surface individually)
  9. Roll out the dough until it’s about ¼” (6mm) thick, and cut into 3″ (75mm) squares. I find dipping the knife in flour every so often helps to keep it from sticking to the dough.
  10. Then just pick up your baking paper at the edges and place it onto your over tray and cook for about 25 minutes, or till just golden brown (a little browner than they appear in the photo above) The squares when cooled should be quite hard, not soft like biscuits, and have a nice “snap” when broken. (For what I used the cookies for, I baked them 10 minutes less, in order to have more of a soft cookie.)

1 comment:

tanita✿davis said...

CLEARLY I need more cookie cutters. These look really tasty!