I never would have made a salted coconut cookie if it wasn’t for the web. I recently saw a pic of gorgeous coconut cookies on Instagram, and tracked it down to this recipe from smitten kitchen. The original recipe was for brown butter coconut cookies. It sounded divine, but I was feeling a bit lazy, and didn’t want to stand over a pot of melting butter, or wait for it to cool in the refrigerator. I was going to buy a jar of ghee at the market (there’s no shame in that), but forgot after focusing more on taco Tuesday ingredients, and my fiber cereal for the upcoming work week.
As I read through the recipe, I wondered if substituting softened butter for ghee would be one to one. You tend to lose a bit of water from the ghee. I did a bit of digging around on the web, but the results seemed inconclusive, so I went for the full substitution amount. Also, I ran out of flaked coconut! There seemed to be so much in the bag that I didn’t bother to measure. I emptied the bag with only 3 ½ cups! Luckily, I had a bit of finely shredded coconut in the cupboard, and used that for the remaining ½ cup. In the end, I didn’t need it, but I thought it would add more texture. I baked the cookies without incident, and impatiently waited for them to cool so I could sample.
This may have been the first cookie I’ve ever tried that didn’t taste great right out of the oven. They were a little oily, and I thought they needed a bit more salt. For the next batch, I sprinkled a little flaked salt on top as soon as they came out, and let them cool for about ten minutes before sampling. Boy did that make a difference! I could really taste the coconut, and the burst of salt was great. Still, I thought the cookies left my mouth feeling slightly oily. None of these complaints deterred me or my friend from eating them. It seemed that the longer the cookies sat, the better they tasted. I kept a few for myself and sent the rest home with my friend. I had one more before I went to bed, and it was even better than the last! Crunchy on the outside, and soft and chewy in the middle. Not only that, the oily mouth feel went away. I’m still debating on whether to cut back on the butter. I wondered if they would’ve turned out differently if I chilled the dough first. My gut says no, but I would have to try it again to be sure. I may just have to find out.
Salted coconut cookie
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter (room temperature)
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¾ cup packed light-brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla
- 1 ¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 ½ cups unsweetened flaked coconut
- ½ cup unsweetened fine shred coconut
- maldon salt or any flaky salt for garnish
Heat oven to 350° F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat if you have one. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the butter with both sugars and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat until combined, scraping down bowl as needed. Add vanilla. Whisk flour, baking soda and salt together in a separate bowl. Pour half of flour mixture into butter mixture and mix until combined, then add remaining flour and mix again, scraping down bowl if needed. Add both flaked coconut and finely shredded coconut in two parts as well.
Using a ¼ measuring cup or a medium scoop, place the dough at least two inches apart on the baking sheet. (I put 6 cookies on each sheet). Using your hand or a spoon, flatten each cookie slightly, basically flattening the dome. Bake for approximately 12 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden and the center is still soft, rotating half way through.
Immediately sprinkle with salt. Cool cookies on baking sheet for 1 to 2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
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