Crispy Coconut Cookies.

Oh, look. A recipe not involving chocolate or peanut butter.

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Coconut is one of those foods most people either love or hate – I’ve never met someone who is on the fence about it. Some of my friends vehemently detest its existence, while others would top any dessert with coconut and be happy.

I’m a fan of the coconut. It’s tropical, unique, and delicious. Coconut oil is incredible, not to mention mind-boggling (solid at room temperature…but it melts so easily? Tastes absolutely dreadful when eaten straight out of the jar, but adds a beautiful sweetness to baked goods? What is this magic?); shredded coconut, straight out of the bag, has become one of my go-to snacks if I just need a little something sweet; toasted coconut is absolutely divine.

Speaking of toasted coconut, toasting is the secret to these wonderful cookies. Simply toast the coconut before you make the cookies. Heat often brings out the best in food (hmm, can we say the same about humans, perhaps? Ok, no more philosophy).

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What is it about coconut, though? It’s so different. Its taste is matchless, so unlike any other flavor. It’s distinct and capable of taking a dish from good to great. Just like people. (Ok, now I’m done with the philosophy.)

My father wanted macaroons, but he got these instead. And, by some weird twist of fate, he hasn’t stopped raving about these since I made them. Then again, neither have I. Coconut is so simple and incredibly complementary to other ingredients brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and almond (any recipe involving almond extract gets me excited). They’re crispy, they’re sweet, they won’t let you down.

One minor mishap: I had problems with the dough. Like, big, sticky problems. Even after I added extra flour, they wouldn’t roll out, they wouldn’t cut out, they wouldn’t stay together, even after I refrigerated them for quite some time. Being the incredibly impatient human I am, I just went with the tablespoon-drop standby and smashed them flat into thin circles. If you have the patience, go ahead and roll them out or figure out what I did wrong. Mine still turned out delicious.

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Besides, these aren’t just any flawlessly shaped, boring circles. Imperfect cookies have a lot of character. Just like you.

Crispy Coconut Cookies
from Joy the Baker

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Spread the coconut evenly on a baking sheet. Bake for about 8-10 minutes, stirring two or three times, until coconut is evenly golden. Make sure to keep an eye on it because coconut will burn easily. Set aside to cool.
  2. Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl; set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until smooth and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and almond extracts; mix well until blended.
  5. Add flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated together. Stir in the toasted coconut.
  6. Divide the dough into two portions. Roll out the portions of dough between two pieces of wax paper. Cut cookies into preferred shapes after removing the top sheet of wax paper.
  7. Transfer the cookies to the baking sheets (if you have trouble with this, you can try putting the dough in the fridge for a few minutes to harden). Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes or until edges and bottoms are lightly browned. Transfer for a wire rack to cool. Devour.
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