Besitos de Coco ~ Venezuelan Coconut Cookies
The above picture is for Varada’s photography event. She asked us to pick one picture and share it with her. She also wants us to tell why this is one of the best pictures of all the pictures I posted from Nov 17th to this 17th.
If you are into food blogging and are interested in food photography, you must be well aware of Neel’s Learning Food Photography blog. He conducts online 30 days to better food photography projects, interviews food stylists and food photographers. He also did project 365 days in 2012. I learnt a lot about photography from project 365 days in 2012. Though we did not finish the project that year, I learned a lot about the camera and photography in general. Last year and this year I enrolled for 30 days to better photography and both times something or the other came up and could not give my 100% to the project. This year after completing the 30 days project, upon everyone’s request Neel gave us bonus challenges every month. Photographing cookies was one of them and these cookies were for that challenge.
Usually when I take pictures I do not plan ahead for the shoot. I place my subject in the frame and fill up the frame with props or ingredients used in the recipe. What I learned from 30 days to better food pictures is that planning ahead by creating a shortlist; listing down the main subject, props to use, how to place them and even doing a sketch shot gives a better idea to style the photo shoot. It also conveying a better story through food pictures. The story I was trying convey through this picture is, planning a photo shoot eating these yummy cookies. I hope I succeed in telling that story. Though I do not plan my photo shoots ahead of time, that is crating a shortlist and ketch shots, I do see the difference in pictures when I shoot on the fly and when have done some planning ahead. Spanakopita pictures where also planned as I took those pictures back in August when I did 30 days to better food photos project. In fact that assignment was taking pictures based on the shortlist and sketch shots.
Today’s picture was taken in my living room, next to a window in natural light coming from the left. I do not remember if it was a sunny or a cloudy day. I adjust my white balance depending on that. I used a bouncer to the right and a backdrop which also acted as a reflector/bouncer.
These cookies are from Venezuela and Sreevalli had made them for the A-Z international cooking. These cookies are so easy to prepare and taste delicious. Coconut flakes, brown sugar, flour, egg yolks and rest of the ingredients are mixed together and shaped into cookies. After baking, a chocolate chip is placed on the top. I was out of unsweetened coconut flakes that day and also the stores in my neighborhood did not carry it either. I used sweet coconut flakes but unsweetened can also be used.
Total Time: 30 – 35 minutes
Preparation: 10 – 15 minutes
Bake Time: 20 minutes
- 1 ¼ cups Coconut Flakes + ¼ cup for Dusting (I used sweetened coconut flakes)
- ¼ cup All Purpose Flour
- ½ cup Brown Sugar
- ½ tbsp. Unsalted Butter
- 2 Egg Yolks
- ½ tbsp. Vanilla Extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and keep aside.
- In a bowl mix together all the ingredients except the ¼ cup coconut flakes for dusting. I used a wooden spoon to mix all the ingredients.
- Scoop the dough and form small balls. I used my hands to shape the balls. Take about 1 tbsp. of dough and shape them into a ball and lightly flatten it.
- Roll them in the coconut flakes and place them on the cookie sheet.
- Bake them in a preheated oven for 20 minutes and the cookies turn brown in color.
- When the cookies are still hot, place a semisweet chocolate chip on each cookie.
- Remove from the oven cool on a cooling rack.
- Temperatures vary from oven to oven.
This day in 2009:Vegetable Dum Biryani