coconut flour cookies

Turns out, the way I feel about coconut flour is pretty much the same way I feel about self-employment.

I mean, they both are kind of hard to get, in terms of effort and costs: about $6 per 16-ounce bag of coconut flour online; a variety of part-time freelancing gigs, two years of grad school and three years in a management-level desk job for the chance to work from home.

Compared with the costs, they both have a lot to offer in return: where self-employment promises to let you set your own schedule and own your life again, coconut flour is packed with protein, totally gluten-free and lightly kissed with the scent of the tropics.

coconut flour cookies

But they’re both also easily misunderstood. When I tell people I own my own writing business, for example, they imagine me sleeping in ’til 10, watching TV while I work, having all the time in the world to do whatever I want, in contrast to the not-so-glamorous reality that I sometimes finish projects at 11 PM, spend unfruitful hours traveling to meet potential clients, have a hard time knowing when I will get paid for work I’ve done.

Don’t get me wrong: this is not to say self-employment isn’t worth it, but rather that it’s not magical, not a cure-all, not the thing that will solve all other problems. I spend a lot of time these days learning and researching what exactly self-employment should be like, whether through ideas for staying more focused (thanks for the tip, Kim!) or meaningful talks on productivity. It’s good, but it’s not easy, and it takes time to get a handle on.

coconut flour cookies

So it is with coconut flour. Like the way I quoted too-low rates to some initial clients for work, I made too many substitutions to a new recipe with this ingredient. Its inaugural use in my kitchen was a bread-cake with the texture of cornmeal and the faint flavors of coconut. Part sandwich bread and part sweet cake, it was like a dessert with an identity crisis—kind of like a girl who’s part writer and part negotiator, but I digress.

Thankfully, experience is the best teacher (let’s hope in all cases!), and the next recipe I tried with this ingredient went much better. Based off a post from Jamie Oliver, these cookies are both dense and fluffy, which are terms I don’t believe I’ve ever used for a cookie before. Made with four eggs and equal parts coconut flour and sweetener, they’re rich yet not overpowering. Just before baking, the slightly sweet dough gets rolled in cinnamon and sugar, creating a great, spiced edge when you bite inside. And most interestingly of all, they’re quite good for you, with no gluten, loads of fiber and plenty of protein. I won’t say they’re magical, but I will say they’re a step in the right direction, and that? That’s all I really need right now anyway.


Coconut Flour Cookies

Adapted from Jamie Oliver

Ingredients:
3/4 cup sucanat
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup butter (room temp)
1/4 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup coconut flour
for rolling:
2 tablespoons raw sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a medium-sized bowl, beat the sucanat, eggs, vanilla, salt, coconut oil and butter together. Then add the flour and mix well. Let mixture sit for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix together the cinnamon & sugar in a bowl.

Using a spoon or a small melon baller or, what I did, your hands, scoop up some of the dough, form it into a ball and roll it in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Put on a parchment paper and flatten lightly with a fork if you like. I made mine pretty small, and that gave me around 20 cookies.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 38 Comments

  1. Ashley M. [at] (never home)maker

    These cookies are right up my ally. I love coconut flour and oil. I also really appreciate this post because of how you’ve likened it to self-employment. See, I’m hating my desk job right now — I see working from home, self-employment as salvation that I can reach if I can JUST figure out how to do it. But knowing it isn’t just a magical solution helps.

    And if these are both dense/fluffy, I’m intrigued. Will have to try!

  2. heather

    interesting ingredient — looks and sounds excellent. will have to keep an eye out for coconut flour. i had a short stint working from home during grad school, and yes, it was a bear. not the best but then again i wasn’t excited about the position. trying to get back into it now that we’re constantly moving around. here’s hoping! and best to you.

    cheers,

    *heather*

  3. Shannalee

    Ashley, I remember hating my desk job with perfect clarity, so trust me: I know what you mean. It’s true that there are pluses and minuses with everything, but I do believe in going after your dreams, so I hope you will be working from home in the near future yourself. And then maybe you can give me some tips!

    Heather, Good for you! I think just knowing what to expect ahead of time is half the battle, so in that way, you’re ahead of the pack. : )

    Jenn, Right? Coconut flour is so interesting in that way. PS – coconut is one of my (new) favorite flavors, too!

  4. Jenny

    ooh, I would love to try these with the huge bag of coconut flour in my fridge. One problem: no sucanat. Do you think raw sugar would work, or should I try honey? maple syrup?

    So happy to see another gluten free recipe! :-)

  5. Shannalee

    Jenny, I’d love to see a version that used honey or maple syrup–it might take a little experimentation to get the proportions right (add more flour to compensate for the liquids maybe?). Otherwise though, raw sugar would be an easy sub, no problem. PS – I haven’t heard of keeping coconut flour in the fridge! Is that just to make it last longer?

  6. Maddie

    It always puts a smile on my face to see a new post here. Thanks for your honesty about self-employment, and for sharing your kitchen experiments. All your efforts are clearly leading you to interesting places, cinnamon-sugar-coated and otherwise. :)

  7. lo

    Have heard such good things lately about coconut flour, but I haven’t really done much experimenting. I know plenty of people who would appreciate gluten-free baking, though — so I should really get moving on that.

  8. Jacqui

    These sound almost like a tropical snickerdoodle!
    I’ve used coconut oil for awhile now, but still need to get some coconut flour. I keep almost all my flours in the fridge, unless I know I’m going to use them up quickly. That way they stay fresh.

  9. Shannalee

    Jenny, Well that does make sense, especially if you buy a big bag of it. Good to know! Thanks!

    Maddie, It always puts a smile on my face to read one of your comments. Thank you!

    Lo, I know! Gluten-free is really everywhere these days!

    Vicki, Excellent! I checked it out and like what I see. I can seriously use all the help I can get – THANK YOU!

    Hana, The other day, I almost bought a whole coconut, with the idea of cracking it and opening it on my own. Someday!

    Jacqui, Really? So another vote for fridge flours. This is very interesting!

    G, Thank you, sweet girl!

    Jessica, You can find it at Whole Foods for sure and maybe some health stores. Thanks for your encouragement – I hope you are right!

  10. antonietta

    Love that these are gluten free! I’m passing them onto my friend who is always on the lookout for amazing gluten free desserts. These look and sound perfect!
    Congratulations on your big job change. Its scary to be your own boss – what a courageous leap of faith!
    I’m sure you’ll do great!

  11. Shannalee

    Amanda! You are making kombucha!? I am so excited and hope you’ll be blogging about it soon. Can’t wait to hear how it goes!

    Antonietta, Excellent! And thank you so much for the encouragement. I hope you’re right. : )

  12. Jenn Sutherland

    I may be the last celiac around who hasn’t tried coconut flour. Everyone raves about it, but the cost holds me back a little…that, and my ridiculous box of gluten-free flours that is bursting at the seams with half-filled bags…I’m a lazy baker, that’s for sure. But I may just toss a bag of flour in my cart next week and give these a whirl!

  13. Shannalee

    Jenn, I understand about costs, and even though I go through flours pretty quickly (I do love baking), I know it all can add up. Definitely next time you’re looking for a new bag though, give this one a try! : ) It’s a keeper.

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  17. Natasha @ Saved by the Egg Timer

    Ooops- my fingers were faster than my brain, hahah…I will be trying these very soon….AND update! Just a side note, have you tried Heavenly Organics Sugar? I don’t sell it at all but recently found and it would be great in these, it bakes up so well. Makes cookies and muffins bump to another level!

  18. Shannalee

    Oh and no, I haven’t tried that, but I’ll keep my eye out for it. From the website, I see they preserve most of the nutrients of the whole cane juice, so I’m interested to learn more. Thanks!

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    1. Shannalee

      Good question, Mary. I haven’t tested coconut (palm) sugar in this recipe, but personally I always swap coconut sugar and Sucanat one-to-one and half good results. It will be slightly different but I’m sure it would work.

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  21. Monika

    Finally got around to making these– I see what you mean by dense and fluffy at the same time. I like them, and like that they aren’t super super sweet… next time I’m going to try rolling them in sugar + cocoa powder, I would love a little chocolate flavor in there!

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