I have been doing a lot of paleo baking lately for a variety of reasons. However, I still like to do some more traditional baking when a craving strikes or I am baking for other people. Not everyone appreciates paleo treats and I like to exercise all kinds of baking muscles to keep them fresh and continue expanding my horizons.
If you don’t know much about paleo baking, you might not know that it involves a lot of coconut. Coconut sugar. Coconut oil. Coconut flour. Alllllll the coconut.
Because of this, Mom has grown weary of coconut as a flavor and texture. It has gotten to the point where she will comically groan coconut every time I am baking. I’ve found more and more ways to avoid or mask the coconut, but it’s honestly still a flavor I totally love.
When I made these decidedly not paleo cookies, I teased Mom that maybe she wouldn’t want one since they are coconut to the nth degree. There is so much coconut in these cookies it’s almost hard to believe. She said this was different coconut and happily devoured one and declared it one of her favorite treats in awhile.
I think the main reason for this is that some kind of inexplicable magic happens when coconut, butter, and vanilla combine. They are best friends not really meant to be separated. The flavor. The smell. The texture. It’s all irresistible. Just ask Mom 🙂
Instead of using all shredded coconut, I used some coconut chips to really amp up the crunchy and coconutiness of the cookies. I would also highly recommend going with vanilla bean paste or a scraped vanilla bean instead of extract because the coconut only meets its match with those little seeds as a part of the action.
Really though, just make these cookies for an awesome, totally coconutty dessert.
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4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
4 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
4 heaping cups unsweetened coconut chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. I did this by hand but a hand or stand mixer will work as well. Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla bean paste. Stir in the flour and baking soda until well combined.
Gently stir in the coconut until just distributed. Form the cookies into golf ball sized portions and place, spaced a couple inches apart on the baking sheets. This makes a lot of cookies, you may need to bake multiple batches.
Bake for about 15 minutes, until spread, golden brown, and set around the edges but not in the center. Cool completely on the pans. Cookies may be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag, for up to 3 months. Thaw in the microwave about 1 minute or at room temperature about an hour.
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart