Big news – I’ve moved! As an apartment dweller for the better half of the last decade, I’m excited to take the next step into the world of townhouses. Just as many stairs, but essentially an apartment broken up into teeny pieces and separated by levels. It’s cozy and the change – as it often is – is utterly refreshing. Now that I’ve waded through all the boxes, I can really start to enjoy it, too.
Which brings me to these dreamy cookies. Post-move, now settled and comfortable, it’s time celebrate. What better way to celebrate than with seriously-contending-for-favorite-cookie-ever Coconut Brown Butter Cookies? With the first bite, this recipe easily transcended my highest cookie expectations. Perfectly sweet, floral, and richly flavored with nutty brown butter – these cookies are worthy to sit alongside exquisite bakery offerings. Absolutely divine.
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coconut brown butter cookies
Fabulously rich with coconut oil and browned butter, these cookies, absolutely packed with coconut flakes, are a tropical indulgence. They are two fabulous cookies made into one; the chewy, moist center of a drop cookie (think chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, etc.) combined with the buttery, lacy edges of a florentine. Have I sold you yet? With added notes of pure vanilla and sea salt, we’re talking cookie heaven.
Makes about 2.5 dozen 3-inch cookies (about 2 tablespoons dough each)
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, originally adapted from The City Bakery, via The Martha Stewart Show
1/2 cup (1 stick or 225 grams) unsalted butter
1-2 tablespoons water, as needed to bring the browned butter volume to 1/2 cup
1 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons (175 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
Slightly heaped 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt [ideal] or 1/4 teaspoon table salt [if you absolutely must]
1/2 cup cold-pressed virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
3/4 cup (145 grams) packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 cups (240 grams) dried, unsweetened coconut flakes or chips [I used these]
Over medium heat, melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Stir frequently as the butter slowly melts, then becomes foamy, then clear golden, then starts to brown and smell slightly nutty. Once the butter gets to this stage, watch it carefully and stir frequently, scraping bits from the bottom of the pan; continue to monitor the butter until it is nut-brown and fragrantly nutty, remove the butter from heat. Stir the butter again, scraping the bottom of the pan well, and pour into a 1/2 cup measuring cup. Add 1-3 tablespoons water, as needed to bring the browned butter volume up to a full 1/2 cup [this will depend on the water content of your butter.] Transfer to a larger vessel and chill completely in the fridge until the butter fully solidifies. [You can speed this process up by doing this in the freezer, but be sure to check back every 5 minutes or so to stir the butter to ensure it solidifies evenly.]
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a half-sheet pan with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
Thoroughly scrape the chilled browned butter and all the browned bits into a large mixing bowl, or bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add both sugars and cream the ingredients together until fluffy. Add the coconut oil and cream until well integrated. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat until combined, scraping down bowl as needed. Add the flour mixture into butter mixture and mix on a very slow speed until combined. Add coconut flakes/chips, and mix slowly, until just integrated. Do not over-mix.
Scoop 2 tablespoons of dough and pack tightly in the palm of your hand, if needed, and roll into a ball. Place onto the prepared tray. Repeat with remaining dough, leaving a few inches between each ball on the cookie sheet. [The dough will be slightly loose, but don't fret.] Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until the cookies are deeply golden. Note, if cookies have not spread as much as you see above, stir 2 teaspoons more water into cookie dough, mixing thoroughly, before baking off another tray. [See note at bottom for full explanation.] Once you’ve confirmed that you have the water level correct, roll and bake remaining cookies.
Let the cookies cool, still on the baking sheet, for another 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
Note: Leftover dough balls can be frozen and then later, baked directly from the freezer. Without thawing first, add 1-3 minutes for baking time to each batch.
About the water: [a note from Smitten Kitchen] When you brown the butter, water volume is lost, but not all types of butter contain the same amount of water. Most American butters need about one tablespoon of water to bring the volume to the needed 1/2 cup. However, should you find that your first batch of cookies is too thick, a little extra water is all you’ll need to get the texture right. If you find this daunting, take a deep breath, and be assured that some of the best cookies of your life are waiting for you after the jump.
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