You will need
1 x 600 g Ina Paarman’s Vanilla Cake Mix
½ cup (40 g) desiccated coconut
125 g butter, fridge temperature
¾ cup (180 ml) fresh full cream milk
± ½ cup (100 g) sugar
a handful glacé cherries or pecan halves
Ignore package instructions. Use the ingredients and method below.
Adjust the oven rack one slot above the middle shelf. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line two baking trays with baking paper.
Toss Cake Mix with coconut in a mixing bowl. Rub butter into dry mixture with your fingertips or cut it in with a pastry cutter until you have a coarse breadcrumb texture. Add milk in two lots and mix it through with a knife. The mixture will form big lumps. To help it stick together you will have to knead it lightly by hand. Sometimes it may be necessary to add an extra tablespoonful of milk. Roll dough into a sausage shape in baking paper. Refrigerate to firm. Cut into 1 cm-thick slices. Dip in sugar. Top with cherries (cut into eighths) or use pecan nut pieces.
Bake, one tray at a time, for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool on the paper (they’ll be quite soft when they come out of the oven). When cold, store between layers of greaseproof paper in an airtight container. They keep really well for up to two weeks.
Add 2 t (10 ml) cinnamon to make cinnamon cookies or replace the coconut with finely ground almonds.