Coconut Brown Butter Cookies

[image: coconut brown butter cookies]
[image: coconut brown butter cookies]

I snagged this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. I don’t know if I thought it was quite the world-changer she did, but yeah, they’re pretty good. My brother puts them on par with my macaroons, and one of my friends said they were better than the potato chip cookies (huh, apparently I haven’t written about those yet). I think they’re both crazy. They are very good, though. I’m still enjoying eating them a lot. I put more actual salt in them than SK’s recipe, as well as using salted butter. They’re almost savory this way (which is how I like my cookies). I live in fear of burning butter, so I only took mine to “tanned” instead of “browned,” but the nutty butter taste is still present and very tasty.

2 sticks butter (1 cup)
up to 2 Tbsp water
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp (aka 5/8 cup) white sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup + 3 Tbsp AP flour (aka 1 7/16 cup, but that’s a really unhelpful calculation)
1 tsp baking soda
Highly rounded 1/2 tsp flaky sea salt (I used the nice stuff instead of just going for the kosher salt as I usually do)
240 grams flaked coconut (it’s around 4 cups, but definitely weigh it, especially if you’re using shredded instead of flaked)
kosher salt

Melt butter in a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Butter will melt and foam before it starts browning. Keep stirring and keep an eye on that foam to see when the color change starts to happen. It will take 5+ minutes. Butter will continue to cook after you take it off the heat, so pull it a little sooner than “dark brown” or you might end up with “black.” Pour butter and scrape all browned bits into a 2-cup measuring cup. Add up to 2 Tbsp water to get the level back up to 1 cup. (The extra room in the cup is to accommodate the fizzing that will occur when you add the water.) Chill the butter in the fridge until solid, 1–2 hours.

With a stand or hand mixer, cream browned butter with the white and brown sugars until fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix together, scraping down sides when necessary. Add salt, baking soda, and flour in two or three batches, mixing together (and scraping). Add the coconut flakes a cup at a time, mixing in evenly (you may have to do the last cup by hand—make sure if you have a smaller mixer that the flakes don’t overwhelm the capacity and climb up into the mechanism).

Prep baking sheets with parchment paper (people reported spreading problems with silpats) and heat oven to 350. I was able to fit 10 1-Tbsp size cookies to a sheet without them running into each other. Dish the cookies onto the sheet, then flatten slightly with your fingers. Sprinkle a tiny bit of kosher salt on top of each cookie.

Bake for 10-11 minutes, rotating trays at the halfway point. Cool for a couple minutes on the sheets, then remove to cooling racks. I got about 5 1/2 dozen cookies using a 1-Tbsp scoop.

[image: 65 coconut brown butter cookies on cooling racks]
[image: 65 coconut brown butter cookies on cooling racks]

Coconut Macaroons

(adapted from David Leibovitz)

coconut macaroons
[Image: 43 golden-toasty coconut macaroons on a wire cooling rack on a green tablecloth.]

4 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp honey
2 1/2 cups unsweetened finely shredded coconut
1/4 cup flour (see note)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

If you’re making these for Passover, grind up matzoh in a spice/coffee grinder instead.

Mix all ingredients except vanilla in a large nonstick skillet over low to medium heat. Stir, and do not stop stirring. Things will look a little dire at first, but they’ll coalesce soon enough. Keep stirring.

When the mixture starts to scorch (I take this to mean darken a bit in color and make schlorpy noises when you move it around the pan), remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Transfer to a bowl and let cool to room temperature. I recommend a narrow container with as little exposed surface area as possible. Press some plastic wrap down on it to minimize air contact. (At this point, the mixture can be refrigerated for up to one week, or frozen for up to two months. Bring it back to room temperature before baking if you do this.)

Heat oven to 350 and line baking sheet with parchment paper. Form dough into 1-inch mounds with your hands and space evenly on the baking sheet. Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating halfway through. Do not be tempted to pull them early, the darker they get, the better they taste! I sometimes use the convection setting for the second half of baking in order to get the edges dark and crispy. Cool completely before serving.

(These get better in the days following baking, so if you have the time, make them early. I store them in an unsealed zip-top bag in order to preserve their texture. Sealing it will soften them.)