Thursday, April 26, 2012

Recipe: Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Coconut Cookies Made with Unsweetened Coconut

Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Coconut Cookies made with unsweetened coconut
Old-fashioned, buttery, and full of coconut flavor, these are my new favorite oatmeal cookies.

A few months ago I came across an oatmeal coconut cookie recipe that sounded so good I immediately pushed it to the top of my Want To Make list. The cookies didn't live up to my expectations, so I decided to come up with a recipe that did.

These thin, chewy cookies are easy to make and hard to stop eating. As we munched on the first test batch, my hunky farmguy Joe and I talked about adding all sorts of things to the batter—chocolate chips, raisins, dried cranberries, dried apricots, almonds—but decided we loved them plain. They taste even better the next day, and they freeze beautifully.

If you've never tasted natural, unsweetened shredded coconut, you're in for a real treat. The coconut flavor really comes through, and unlike the highly processed sweetened stuff, it doesn't contain preservatives like propylene glycol and sodium metabisulfite. If you can't find unsweetened coconut at your supermarket or natural foods store (check the bulk section), you can thankfully order it online.

I've been buying Bob's Red Mill brand, which is about $12 for four 12-ounce bags at amazon. It tastes great in baked goods (like this scrumptious Lemon Coconut Quick Bread), and you can also soak it in warm water and use it in place of fresh coconut. I even toss it in our morning smoothies. Unsweetened coconut keeps best in the refrigerator or freezer.

Recipe below. . .

A couple of heavy duty commercial rimmed baking sheets like these are a great investment, and at less than $12 each, they're one of the best kitchen deals around. Treat them well—I usually line mine with sheets of unbleached parchment paper, which is wonderful stuff—and they'll last for ages. I've been using the heck out of some of mine for 20 years for everything from baking scones to roasting Brussels sprouts, not to mention baking thousands of cookies.

It's easy to make nice round cookies if you portion out the dough with a scoop. I own five or six different sizes and have had some of them for 20 years too. For these cookies I used a 1½ Tablespoon scoop. I also made some using this smaller scoop (putting 20 cookies per baking sheet), but preferred the larger size.


Farmgirl Susan's Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Coconut Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen 3¼-inch thin cookies

**Click here to print this recipe**

Ingredients vary, and how much your cookies spread will depend on the oats, flour, coconut, and even the brand of butter you're using. The weather can affect baking, too. I've made several batches of these, and no two have come out exactly the same (although they all taste great).

For slightly thicker cookies, omit the 2 Tablespoons of milk. If you want the cookies to spread a little more, add another Tablespoon or two of milk to the batter.

As always, I urge you to seek out local and organic ingredients; they really do make a difference. Organic flours, organic rolled oats, organic sugars—even organic light brown sugar—are readily available these days. Look for farm fresh eggs like these beauties laid by our hens at your local farmers' market (find one by searching on LocalHarvest.org). You won't believe how good they taste.

Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks/8 ounces) salted organic butter, melted
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons organic milk
(or more, see note above)
2 large farm fresh eggs
1½ cups organic all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups organic rolled oats
(sometimes called old-fashioned oats; NOT instant or quick cooking oats)
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Instructions:
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a heavy duty baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper (when I bake cookies, I just use the same piece of parchment for the entire batch).

Melt the butter and place it in a large mixing bowl. (I melt my butter in a large stainless steel mixing bowl set right over the lowest heat on a gas oven burner, then add the rest of the ingredients to it).

Using a large rubber spatula, stir in the brown sugar and granulated sugar. Add the vanilla, milk, and eggs and stir until well combined.

Add the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and stir until blended. Stir in the oats and coconut.

Using a 1½ Tablespoon round scoop, drop the cookies onto the prepared baking sheet (I put 12 cookies per sheet).

Bake until golden brown, about 13 to 15 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire cooling rack. Store in an airtight container for two to three days or freeze.

You might also enjoy these other Farmgirl Fare cookie recipes:

Can't survive on cookies alone? You'll find links to all my sweet and savory Less Fuss, More Flavor recipes in the Farmgirl Fare Recipe Index.

© FarmgirlFare.com, the coco loco foodie farm blog where Farmgirl Susan shares recipes, stories, and photos from her crazy country life on 240 remote Missouri acres—and there are always cookies on the counter and/or in the freezer.

18 comments:

  1. I never thought of adding coconut to oatmeal cookies before, YUM!!

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  2. These sound perfect! Love the idea of unsweetened coconut and I have some here from Azure Standard. I'm going to replace the brown sugar with coconut sugar & will let you know how they turn out. Thanks!

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  3. Ooooooo, that sounds wonderful!

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  4. I love oatmeal cookies and these sound even better. Never seen this type of coconut before here in the UK, usually use the dessicated kind which is also unsweetened.

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  5. Oh wow these just look and sound like exactly what I need today and I think I have everything in the house! Wooo thank you. :)

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  6. Thought you might enjoy this SF Chronicle article on Great Pyrenees helping protect sheep against coyotes in Marin:
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/04/27/MN7D1O7RA4.DTL

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    1. Hi Hilary,
      What a great article. Thanks so much for the link. I love hearing how other sheep farmers are cutting their coyote losses by using livestock guard dogs. I know ours have made a huge difference.

      I learned something new from the article, too - the reason they gave for the recent huge explosion in the nationwide coyote population. It makes complete sense. It's too bad people messed up the population control system the coyotes themselves had in place! :)

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  7. Maybe you should find the coconut oatmeal muffin recipe I found on-line somewhere! I have to freeze half as I AM THE ONLY ONE who will eat them here. Not that I mind! Oh...if you wanted to add any dried fruit to those coconut oatmeal cookies, I'm especially fond of papaya! I sigh to think..... I might have to make some now! LOVE the real coconut flavor of the unsweetened kind I buy (hoard) from my favorite local health food establishment! Indeed, it goes well in so many recipes! Cookies, lemon bread, granola bars, muffins, streusel topping for pie, smoothies..... Spread the love! Chris in Indiana

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  8. I like Bob's Red Mill products. I buy their whole wheat pastry flour and use it in place of all-purpose flour for just about everything. In fact, last night I baked oatmeal chocolate chip cookies!

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  9. Just baked them yesterday and they are delicious! I added mini chocolate chips to half the dough and they were a hit.
    I love your cookie recipes....please keep them coming.

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    1. Hi Katie,
      I was thinking mini chocolate chips would be good in these! Thanks for the feedback. I'm so glad you enjoyed the recipe. My new (lofty) blogging goal is to post a new recipe each week. I have a backlog of so many good recipes I've been wanting to share, including some cookies. It may end up being every two weeks, but there will definitely be more new Farmgirl Fare recipes coming soon! :)

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  10. I love the container that you used to photograph the gorgeous cookies. It looks retro... love nautical and anchor things!!

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    1. Isn't that just the cutest little dish? I saw it last fall in an antiques/junk mall and simply couldn't resist. It's probably from the 1940s, though I haven't researched it yet. With that motif, it might be from the 1930s.

      I have a bunch of other vintage Fire King, Pyrex, etc., but this is my new favorite piece. Of course I rationalized my little splurge by telling myself it was a business purchase - food photo prop! :)

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  11. Check out Anzac biscuits, they're a tradition in New Zealand and Australia. There are quite a few recipes online. They're often crunchy because they were made to send to soldiers at war so needed to last long journeys, but I prefer mine chewy.

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  12. These were delish! I added some butterscotch chips and spread out the dough on a half sheet jelly roll pan in a pseudo rectangle (the dough didin't touch all sides). I was too lazy to make batches of cookies and I needed to eat some fast! I love texture and flavor the coconut gives!

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  13. This oatmeal coconut cookies recipes is amazing. I'm wondering if it is still delicious with sweetened coconut.

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  14. Oh gosh - now I am just dying for a warm oatmeal cookie and a glass of milk! Great recipe. :)

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  15. I was hunting for an oatmeal sandwich cookie recipe, and the melted butter in this makes for a perfect flat-ish cookie! I cut the sugar by 1/4c and put salted caramel between two of these delicious cookies and it's safe to say it was a bite of heaven :) Thanks for yet another fantastic recipe!

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