Did you know that you can bake with coconut oil instead of butter? I did not know. I was almost positive that these cookies were going to be weird, flat, crunchy discs that tasted too coconutty–like sunscreen. Somehow, despite all my misgivings, these cookies are absurdly tasty (and easy to make). The coconut flavor is present, but it allows room for the sharp bite of molasses and the sweet/salty combination of the turbinado sugar and sea salt on top. The cookie itself is dense and chewy without any of the raw softness that sometimes plagues chocolate chip cookies. I can’t imagine a better result.
There is something about coconut oil (I’m sure it could be explained scientifically) that makes it solid at room temperature. It’s almost the consistency of butter that has been out of the refrigerator for 10 minutes or so–not long enough to soften, but the chill of the refrigerator is gone. Still more unlike butter, coconut oil is quickly softened with nothing more than body heat. When kept in a cool, dark place like a pantry, coconut oil will become pretty solid. However, if you simply roll the jar between your hands, slowly warming the oil, you’ll be able to get a spoon in there within minutes. Then, the act of spooning it out of the jar and pressing it down into a measuring cup will be enough to soften it to the temperature at which you need it for these cookies. If you decide to use the microwave to help with this process, only let it go for 5 seconds at a time. It’ll be liquid before you know it.
Here’s the recipe: (from TakeAMegabite.com)
1/2 cup coconut oil, softened slightly
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
2 T vanilla extract
1 T molasses
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 t corn starch
1 t baking soda
1/4 t kosher salt
turbinado sugar and sea salt, for sprinkling
Cream together the coconut oil, sugar, and egg until combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix in the vanilla and then the molasses.
Add the flour, corn starch, baking soda, and salt. Beat until mixed completely.
Cover with plastic wrap and leave it alone in the refrigerator for 2 whole hours! (Don’t skimp on this part or you will have flat frisbee cookies.)
When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350F and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a teaspoon, scoop the dough and roll it into a ball. Place on a prepared baking sheet and flatten slightly with the bottom of a glass. Sprinkle lightly with sugar and salt. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
Bake for 8 minutes or until cookies are just set and barely darkened at the edges.
Share with friends, enjoy, repeat.