Auntie Crae’s Plantation Chews – soft, chewy, crispy, nutty, caramel-y delicious! These flourless cookies are also easy to make gluten free!
These Plantation Chews look quite innocent, don’t they? They look very plain and uninteresting just sitting there on the plate. Trust me, they are anything but plain and uninteresting; they are, in a word, amazing.
This is probably my favorite cookie of all time. I have loved them ever since that first crispy, chewy, caramel-y bite decades ago at Auntie Crae’s Bakery in Churchill Square. The owner, Janet Kelly, later moved the store to Water Street here in St. John’s but sadly for so many folks, closed the business upon her retirement in 2010.
Fast forward to last week when a reader emailed me asking if I had a copy of the recipe for Plantation Chews which she had heard was being given out freely in the final days of the bakery’s operation. Excited at the prospect of being able to make batches of my favorite cookie at home, I posed the question on our Facebook page and within minutes, it seemed, the recipe was in my inbox! Spouse whipped up this batch a couple of days later and they were perfect; exactly as I remember them as created by the very capable bakers at Auntie Crae’s. I think I ate 6 in the first hour! I don’t ever remember being so happy to receive any recipe. You just have to try these.
The recipe below is exactly as I received it but I have successfully used butter instead of margarine, which I never use in baking. I often use pecans instead of walnuts too. I’ve also made a gluten free version simply by substituting gluten- free corn flakes. Since there’s no flour in the recipe anyway this is a very easy way to make cookies that simply EVERYONE will love!
- ½ cup margarine
- 2 ¼ cups brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 4 cups cornflakes, NOT crushed
- 1 ¼ cups sweetened flaked coconut
- 1 ½ cups walnut crumbs
- Cream margarine and sugar until very fluffy.
- Add eggs and vanilla and mix until incorporated.
- Add dry ingredients and beat on high speed in mixer for 12 - 14 minutes. Scrape bowl often.
- Scoop out cookies (a little smaller than a ping pong ball) and place on cookie sheet that is either Teflon coated or lined with parchment paper. Parchment (silicone) paper is your best choice. Do not grease pan.
- Flatten cookies with finger tips that are slightly moistened. The moisture will prevent your fingers from sticking to dough as you flatten the cookie dough.
- Bake at about 350 F for 6 minutes. Rotate pan (front to back) to distribute heat and then bake a further 6 minutes. Remove from oven and leave on pan until stiff enough to handle. They will be very soft when they first come out of the oven.
- You may need to alter the baking time and temperature of your oven if you do not get a satisfactory result. No two ovens bake the same, even if you have clones.
A gluten free version is possible if you use gluten free corn flakes.
Finely ground pecans instead of walnuts are also excellent in this recipe.