Ambrosia — food of the gods, and food of the Southern United States. My grandmother used to serve it at every meal except breakfast. Typically, it consists of coconut, mandarin oranges, marshmallows, pineapple, nuts, and whipping cream, but she made it with whipped topping, fruit cocktail, coconut, and pineapple. She never used oranges and only added nuts during pecan season. In honor of Ambrosia Day and my grandma, here’s a cookie modeled after her famous salad.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place a rack in the center. Have ready 2 ungreased baking sheets.
Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium-sized bowl; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Add both sugars and beat for about 1 minute, then add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture. Stir in the oats, lemon zest, pineapple, coconut, and pecans.
Drop rounded teaspoonfuls of batter 2 ½ inches apart onto the baking sheets. Bake 1 sheet at a time for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges are nicely browned. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.