These cookies are amazing! I’ve been racking my brain for months about how to make a cookie without refined fats. I’ve had plenty of good peanut butter cookies, so I don’t know why it took me so long to think of coconut BUTTER chocolate chip cookies. When the idea to use coconut butter popped into my head I immediately scoured the internet, and while I did find two cookie recipes that utilized coconut butter, both of them were pretty aggressively not-vegan, and didn’t use coconut butter as the only fat source. So, I was on my own.
Luckily, after some experimentation I was able to crack the code. Just how good are these? Um, I told my coworkers I was making cookies for them, but the cookies never made it to work. It’s funny because the last time I promised them cookies, they turned out so awful that I couldn’t possibly feed them to people. This time, I nailed the cookies but my coworkers still didn’t get any! They just can’t win. Fingers crossed that I make some decidedly medium-good cookies soon…
I kind of flipped out when I bit into these for the first time because they’re that perfect combination of crunchy-chewy, and they’re made with ZERO oil or refined sugar. Yes, you heard me, chewy vegan cookies. Chewy cookies are what I’m all about =] The dough is a kind of crazy texture but it all sorts out in the oven. I need to stress that parchment paper or Silpat-type baking liners are NOT optional for these cookies. If you try them on a greased baking sheet… well, you will be enjoying some nice cookie crumbles on your ice cream. Hey, that might not be such a bad idea…
To answer the most likely question – coconut butter cookies DO taste like coconut. With all of that coconut butter, that can’t be avoided. It is surprisingly subtle, though. I think it is a level of coconut that will satisfy coconut lovers, but also coconut skeptics. Pretty much anyone except full-on coconut haters. But otherwise, these are a great coconut butter dessert recipe, in a time when this ingredient mostly seems to be used in breakfast and “snack balls”.
Seriously, these might be the cookies that convince someone they can live without eggs or dairy. Alas, despite the coconutty title these cookies are not paleo or keto or anything like that, but they’re still rockin’. And I have a strong suspicion that they would work with whole wheat pastry flour or even gluten-free. (Don’t even try coconut flour, though). Next time I make them (and you better believe there will be a next time) I’m going to try that out and I will, of course, report back here with my findings =]
Coconut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Dairy-free coconut butter chocolate chip cookies. No butter, margarine or oil here - these are cookies made with coconut butter! Naturally-sweetened too, these cookies are crispy on the edges and ultra chewy in the middle. A crowd-pleasing recipe.
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
- 1 tsp molasses (optional)
- 1/4 cup brown rice syrup (see notes for substitutions)
- 2/3 cup unsweetened coconut butter (see notes for how to make your own)
- 1/4 cup plain, unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 4 tsp tapioca starch (or cornstarch)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or additional AP flour; do not use regular whole wheat)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips (or a few more, to your taste)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat or other sillicone liner.
- In a nonreactive bowl, combine the coconut sugar, (optional) molasses, brown rice syrup, coconut butter, milk, tapioca flour, cornstarch, and vanilla. Use a fork and mix aggressively until the mixture is thoroughly combined. Continue stirring for another 90-120 seconds (and be ready for sore arms).
- In a separate, smaller bowl, sift together the flours, baking soda, and salt. Add them to the wet mixture and stir until completely combined. This dough is rather stiff and sticky, so this will be somewhat difficult, but it will work - don't be tempted to add more liquid.
- Fold the chocolate chips into the dough. Form the dough into balls about two tablespoons in size and place them at least an inch apart on the baking sheet. Flatten them slightly.
- Bake for about 12 minutes, or until the edges feel firm and a little crisp or you see any browning. The centers will still be very soft at this point.
- (Optional step for chewier cookies) at the 10-minute mark, remove the baking sheet from the oven and, working quickly, press down gently on the cookies with a spatula or your fingers to give them a flat shape. Return to the oven.
- Let cool on the baking sheet for at least 10 minutes (they will continue to get chewier until they reach room temperature). Gently remove with a spatula and enjoy.
You can use store-bought coconut butter, but it's a bit of a rip-off! Make your own by putting unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut in your food processor and running until a smooth, almost liquidy butter forms, about 10 minutes (a quick Google will get you step-by-step instructions/pictures if needed).
I recommend coconut sugar and brown rice syrup as sweeteners because they are less refined and not terribly expensive. But I of course don't want you to buy a whole container just for one recipe. You can try substituting brown sugar for the coconut sugar (omit the optional molasses) and maple syrup, agave nectar, or honey (not suitable for vegans) for the brown rice syrup. Brown rice syrup is not as sweet as these other sweeteners, but these cookies aren't incredibly sweet to begin with, so the substitution should work. If you try these subs, let me know how it goes!
I used the PPK’s recipe as a baseline for this one.
P.S. I made another version of these with candied ginger and macadamia nuts, and talked a bit more about why the coconut butter works. And I also have a classic recipe for vegan chocolate chip cookies on my site too, if you’re interested in something more traditional!