I like coconut. And I have had an unsatisfied sweet tooth for it. I have taken care of it with this cookie recipe. I didn’t know of any coconut cookie that I wanted to model so I started from scratch and used the basic structure of my Snickerdoodle recipe. Then I added and subtracted and tweaked until I landed here. I really like this cookie. My husband and daughter love this cookie. My dog adores this cookie, and consumed about 5 out of the 9 cookies in my most recent batch. But that isn’t very high praise because she eats some very, very questionable things, too. But many discerning humans have given this iteration a thumbs up. So if you like buttery, chewy cookies, and you love coconut, you really should give this a try.
This dough performs best chilled. Once you have made the dough, pop it in your fridge for 30 minutes. Chilling also makes the dough far easier to form into balls. And, while you are still going to have a good cookie even if you don’t roll the dough in additional coconut before baking, it is a huge boost to the flavor and texture of the cookie.
This is a big batch of cookies. My last batch yielded 42 cookies. So I baked 9 of them, and froze the dough balls for the remaining. I packaged them in parchment in two pods of 12 and one more of 9. This is a clever way to keep yourself from eating 20 in one day “by accident.” Plus, you have a batch of hot cookies, 30 minutes and zero effort away, for however long your will power lasts.
I used coconut milk for a little extra flavor. You will find it in the Asian foods section of the grocery store. Do not buy the light variety, and make sure to stir the milk well before you use it as there may be semi solid (buttery) clumps in the milk. The clumps are great to use, no worries. Also, you will need a whole 14 ounce bag of coconut. What you don’t use in the body of the cookie you will need for rolling the cookies. If you are an aggressive roller, you may even need a little bit more.
1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, softened
1-½ cups sugar
5 Tablespoons coconut milk (not light)
2-½ cups flour
1-½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs, lightly stirred
2 cups (approximately 8 oz. if you use a scale) flaked sweetened coconut
Coconut to roll the cookies in
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Allow the butter to soften. If you are in a hurry, cut the butter into small pieces. The increase in exposed surface area will allow it to soften more quickly.
Combine the butter, sugar, and the coconut milk in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix them together on low for a minute and then increase the speed of the mixer to medium for another three minutes until the butter and sugar mixture is light and fluffy. In a small bowl, lightly stir the eggs. This allows the eggs to go in more of a stream than in big blobs. Add the eggs slowly, allowing them to incorporate as you go. Stop the mixer and thoroughly scrape the bowl of the mixer. Add the vanilla and beat, again on medium, to combine.
Meanwhile, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Stir it with a whisk to ensure that the salt and baking soda are well incorporated. Add the flour to the batter in three additions, allowing the flour to incorporate after each addition, but remembering to not over-mix. Add the coconut and mix to just combine. I chopped up the coconut to finer bits before adding it because I like it that way. It is not critical, but consider it. Stop the mixer and use a spatula to fold in the coconut one or two times to make sure it is well distributed. Place the mixing bowl with the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Pour the remaining coconut onto a large plate. Using a spoon or a scooper, make balls of about 1-½” diameter. Roll each ball in the coconut and pat the coconut into the ball a little to ensure that it adheres to the dough. Place the dough on a silicone baking sheet set on a cookie sheet. Repeat the process.
Bake each sheet of cookies for approximately 17 minutes or until they are just golden. The coconut is not good burnt, so check often for the last few moments. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to sit for two minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool. I must admit that 17 minutes seems like a long baking time. Only you know your oven. Keep an eye on these beauties.
Now I have left you with almost a whole can of coconut milk. May I recommend that you peruse the list of recipes that call for coconut milk on Heidi Swanson’s exceptional blog, 101 Cookbooks. Try something exotic that you never would have thought of, and let me know how it works. She always does wonderful and interesting dishes.