From Ugly to Pretty – Orange, Chocolate & Coconut Cookies

Orange, Chocolate & Coconut CookiesI found this recipe at one of the blogs I visit regularly, Anja’s Food 4 Thought. I made a few minor changes and increased the quantities since we needed enough to last a week. When the cookies came out of the oven (see below) they were super ugly and I had to think long and hard about how to make them photogenic. I had all that berry cream cheese frosting left over from the beetroot cake I made so I stiffened it up with more icing sugar and piped it on top. With this intervention they were starting to look prettier. I then melted a little dark chocolate and drizzled a little over each one. Now we had something worth photographing. I pulled out over-the-top props like the wreath of red roses and the bunch of berries I bought in Italy for a euro and photographed the result.

By the way, the cookies taste great and Anja’s cookies looked a whole lot better than mine in the raw state.

Orange, Coconut, Chocolate Cookies


Recipe: Orange, Chocolate & Coconut Cookies

Ingredients  Orange, Chocolate & Coconut Cookies

  • 3 cups dried coconut flakes
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup golden syrup/maple syrup or extra honey
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 orange, zest of


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.
  2. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  3. In a bowl, combine coconut flakes and cocoa powder. Mix well.
  4. In another bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Stir in golden syrup, honey and orange zest.
  5. Combine wet and dry ingredients.
  6. Place a lump of the mixture on the baking paper and spread it out to the size of cookie you want. They don’t spread out much further.
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 12


Orange, Coconut, Chocolate Cookies

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  1. Suzanne loved them they look pretty and I really loved your prop the stand :)

  2. Beautiful cookies!

  3. Here in the US, I’m not sure what “golden syrup” is…corn syrup? (which I’d prefer not to use) Maple Syrup?

  4. Terrific food styling, composition, everything on the top and bottom photos. Great idea and perfectly executed. And the recipe is pretty good, too. ;-) I really like coconut, and it goes well with chocolate. And chocolate goes so well with orange! Good stuff – thanks.

  5. Aren’t these cute. I have everything in my pantry right now so maybe I should head to the kitchen!

  6. Suzanne, these look amazing:) and your presentation is breathtaking!! Planning on preparing them for Christmas:)

  7. You certainly did make them look amazing, Suzanne. I love your cake stand. I would like to try these. Amazing how they’re gluten-free xx

  8. I think the cookies are lovely even without the berry cream cheese frosting! But who can resist a frosted cookie? They look deliciously fabulous. :D

  9. Wow, I have to say, you did do a fine job beautifying these delights… your intervention paid off indeed ;-). I know what you mean, sometimes something can taste exquisitely delicious but if it doesn’t look ‘good’ it’s really tough to pull of that magical picture. Food photography is a discriminating art. These look beyond gorgeous and photo worthy!

  10. Oh my gosh these are freaking amazing. Way to take an ugly cookie and make it beautiful.

  11. Your photography is excellent. You really took an ugly frog and turned it into a princess. Well, you know what I mean. Can’t wait to see what else you create.

  12. Beautiful photography! What a lovely cookie it would make for Christmas!

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