Thursday, September 24, 2020

Coconut Butter Shortbread

These unassuming, shortbread-like cookies pack a hit of coconut flavour thanks to coconut butter (AKA creamed coconut). A drizzle of dark chocolate on top gussies them up just enough! 

Baking is such a zen practice for me. So many times I have caught a glimpse of our kitchen clock and thought "where did that time go?". I'm really glad that I get to not only cook and bake for a living, but that I get to teach kids how to do it too, creating things from cornbread to granola bars to pizza wontons with them and watching them hone their skills. Being school in 2020, some things have changed - nuts of all kinds are verboten, a lot of the hands-on stuff has disappeared, and my allergy lists are as long as my (orangutan, allegedly) arms. Lessons have become more refined than the "set the kids free" method I used to employ, but I still try to get them involved in any way I can.

One of the things I love doing with kids is cookies, and these ones are no exception. The process to "dough" takes about 10 minutes, and once it's made (by either the "responsible" adult or a watched student) the younger ones have a blast rolling and "squishing" the dough balls on the sheet. Ironically, for this recipe I was the one who needed to mind my allergies, as coconut and I don't mix at all! That said, this small batch is rich enough to satisfy a dessert craving without leaving you with a million cookies (not that that's a bad thing...) and with the dark chocolate drizzled on top you can feel a little fancy too. I served these to my coworkers and they were a hit!

Coconut Butter Shortbread
Adapted from Salt & Serenity
Makes 8 cookies
70 g coconut butter (creamed coconut)
40 g water
104 g sugar
10 g agave nectar (or honey)
pinch salt
86 g flour
pinch baking powder
pinch baking soda
dark chocolate, to drizzle
  1. In a small pot, combine the coconut butter, water, sugar, agave and salt. Cook over low heat until the butter is melted and the sugar dissolves, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl and pour the warm coconut butter mixture into it. 
  3. Stir with a sturdy spatula until combined and a somewhat stiff dough (like a shortbread).
  4. Wrap in plastic and chill 2 hours.
  5. Heat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment.
  6. Scoop 2-tbsp balls of the dough onto the sheet about 2" apart. Flatten with a glass dipped in sugar.
  7. Bake cookies 10 minutes. Cool completely on the tray before drizzling with chocolate and storing.

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