It’s interesting that this recipe calls for powdered sugar rather than granulated sugar. My daughter once used powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar in a recipe and the results were not as sweet as expected, due to the fact that they aren’t equivalent and so don’t sweeten with the same amounts. I looked more into the use of powdered sugar (10X, confectioners or icing sugar) in cookies and most sources don’t recommend it. Powdered sugar in the USA has corn starch added, and that can absorb some of the liquids you need in a cookie recipe. There is of course the issue of 1/2 c of one not being equal in sweetness to 1/2 c of the other. Also, the texture of the cookie will be quite different – powdered sugar makes a cookie more dry and firm, but they melt in your mouth apparently.
The act of creaming your sugar and butter together also aerates the butter and allows for the chemical reaction of any baking powder used in your recipe. The smaller the granules of sugar, the smaller the air pockets will be in your batter, and the more dense the baked product will be. So, consider that when you are out of granulated sugar and the powdered sugar tempts you.
Another tidbit – the word cocoanut used here definitely refers to “coconut” as we know it. However, in the Victorian era, coconut was spelled cocoanut. It’s an archaic form of spelling and has led to some interesting and disastrous results in baking old recipes. Imagine if you thought it meant cocoa + nut, and turned out a chocolatey treat rather than the distinctively creamy & sweet coconut that should have been used!?
Cocoanut Drop Cookies
1 lb powdered sugar
1/4 lb cocoanut
3 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp butter
1 1/2 cup flour
Beat eggs until light, add sugar & beat again; add flour & baking powder, & stir in the grated cocoanut. Drop small portion with teaspoon on well buttered bans, rather far apart as they spread.