Saturday, May 10, 2014

Toasted Coconut Butter Cookies

I shared how to make toasted coconut butter a few days ago. If you are anything like me then you've been enjoying it straight from the jar. After many spoonfuls of this treat it dawned on me that I could probably make cookies with it. I looked up my tahini cookies recipe and tweaked it a bit. The result was pretty fantastic and a new instant favorite. These cookies are soft and slightly nutty while being free of many common allergens. Enjoy!

Toasted Coconut Butter Cookies

Gluten Free, Vegan
Makes 5

1/2 cup toasted coconut butter, semi-soft
2 medjool dates, pitted 
1 chia egg (1 tbl ground chia seeds mixed with 2 tbl water)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup chocolate chips

  1. Add the dates to a small food processor and pulse until finely broken up. 
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, except the chocolate chips, to the food processor and pulse until a dough forms.
  3. Dump dough into a bowl and mix in chocolate chips. It may seem a little oily, especially if it got warm, and the chocolate chips may not stick into the dough, don't worry, just mix them in after it chills (step 4)
  4. Place the bowl into the freezer for about 10 minutes to let the dough firm up. 
  5. Scoop rounded tablespoons and roll FIRMLY into a ball, then press down onto a parchment lined baking sheet. It is important to press this dough together or the cookies will fall apart easily. These cookies spread and rise just a little so shape them into the size and height you want.
  6. Bake on 350oF for 10 minutes or until the top is not shiny. These will be pretty dark (and you will be hovering around the oven thinking your burning them) but don't undercook or they won't hold together well.
  7. Let them cool COMPLETELY before lifting. They will break if you try and move them before they are cool. I like to slide the piece of parchment onto a cooling rack or the counter to speed up the process.
  8. Store in the fridge or freeze for later. To be honest we always eat all of this within the 24 hours so I don't know how long or well they keep. : )

Notes and Substitutions

  • You can use a flax egg (I tested and preferred the chia) or a real egg (I did not test but I don't see why it wouldn't work)
  • If you prefer a different sweetener try 3 tablespoons of coconut sugar or 2 tablespoons of maple syrup or honey.
  • I know you can buy/make un-toasted coconut butter. I haven't tried this recipe with it but I think it might work. If you do then please let me know in the comments section.
  • These cookies are naturally more crumbly than traditional cookies so handle with care.

Blend the dates
Blend the rest of the ingredients to form a dough
Mix in chocolate chips

After freezing for 10 minutes, scoop out balls
Firmly roll and flatten dough into cookie shape
Bake on 350oF for 10 minutes, cool completly

What is your favorite type of cookie?

Monday, May 5, 2014

Toasted Coconut Butter

Today's post is more of a "how to" than a recipe. I have been making my own coconut butter (sometimes called coconut manna) for sometime now. It is great in baking or slathered on some waffles, and is a simple way to make your own coconut milk. You can simply mix a few tablespoons with a cup of water and it is instant coconut milk. The process is simple enough; you blend unsweetened dehydrated coconut shreds or flakes in a food processor for about 10 minutes until it turns into liquid deliciousness. I came across the idea of making toasted coconut butter while reading one of my favorite blogs. I have made this several times now and always find myself eating scoops of it straight out of the jar. Toasting the coconut gives it a nutty flavor which is a nice change from our usual almond butter. I have also been serving it in place of peanut butter for "ants on a log", and I made some AMAZING cookies out of it (check back for the recipe later this week). I recommend making a lot of this at once as it will store for a long time. Enjoy!

Toasted Coconut Butter

Gluten Free, Vegan
Makes about 1.5 cups

5 cups unsweetened coconut shreds

  1. Spread the coconut shreds onto a parchment lined baking sheet. The kinds with sides is easier.
  1. Baked on 350oF for about 10 minutes. Stir with a wooden spoon and bake an additional 3-5 minutes. You want almost all of the coconut to be browned and smell fragrant but watch it closely so it doesn't burn. Oven's are all different so I recommend checking it every couple of minutes the first time you make it.
  1. Let the shreds cool.
  1. Add the toasted shreds to a food processor and begin blending. After 1-2 minutes scrape down the sides and continue blending. 
  1. Repeat until a smooth liquid butter forms. Mine only took 4 minutes and then I blended a minute longer to get it extra smooth.
  1. Pour into a mason jar for storage.
  1. You can store this on the counter for a few weeks or much longer in the fridge. It will get very firm in the fridge so I recommend keeping a small jar on the counter and extra in the fridge. 

Notes and Substitutions

  • You can make more less by adjusting the amount of coconut shreds, however I don't recommend doing less than 3 cups as it blends better when the food processor is fuller. Also it reduces quite a bit. 
  • This will be very liquid when you first make it but usually firms up at room temperature after a day. If you need it to firm up faster then just pop it in the fridge or freezer for 30 minutes.
  • You can add flavors such as vanilla or bacon

Spread onto a baking sheet, the kind with sides is easier

Bake on 350oF for about 10 minutes

Bake an additional 3-5 minutes until fragrant

Add to a small food proccesor

Begin blending

Scrape down the sides

Blend until smooth

What is your favorite "butter"?