Coconut Oil No-Bake Cookies

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Littered across my desk are camp registrations and vacation bible school fliers, a daily reading log and half finished math homework the second grader forgot about. But what keeps catching my eye as I sit here is the framed photo of my three kiddos from when Scarlet was a newborn. Luke was two and had white blonde shaggy hair and the sweetest little smile. Jackson, barely four, is laughing in the picture, making his dimples that much more noticeable and if you really look at him, you can see where he probably had cut his hair at some point. Scarlet is all baby cheeks and deliciously round, staring seriously at the camera. It’s one of my favorite pictures and such a good little nudge as I sit here among the chaos that these kiddos might not be the sweet babes from a few years ago but to slow down and enjoy them because time is a slippery thing.

I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t really feeling it this morning when one of my darling children accidentally upended the five-pound bag of coffee grounds in the freezer looking for an ice pack for his lunch. I swallowed the desire to remind him that I never had an ice pack in my lunch when I was a kid, I was forced to eat many a slimy turkey sandwiches without complaint. But I didn’t. I took a deep breath and cleaned it up. And then when I got home later I cleaned it up again because coffee grounds have a way of spreading and floating to every nook and cranny of your entire kitchen. It’s a mystery how that works but I can attest to it being a real phenomenon.

Needless to say I was REALLY pleased to treat myself to another cup of coffee and one of these cookies when the clean-up was finally done. These cookies were sort of an accidental surprise based on ingredients I had on hand and adapted from a recipe I found online. The batch made about 16 medium-ish cookies which is perfect as a treat this week for our family but if you’re feeding a crowd, you might consider doubling the batch.

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Coconut Oil No-Bake Cookies

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp. almond milk (could use regular milk too)
  • 3 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 1/4 cups rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • pinch of salt

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet. Bring sugar, almond milk, coconut oil and cocoa powder to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir constantly until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in shredded coconut, oats and peanut butter and salt. If the mixture seems a little dry, add a splash of almond milk. Using a spoon, scoop batter onto the baking sheet. Sprinkle with shredded coconut or crushed peanuts if you’re fancy. Allow the cookies to set, either at room temperature or put them in the fridge. Store extras in the fridge.

 

Brown Butter Oatmeal Cookies

img_7171Scarlet discovered the baskets of wooden train tracks in the boy’s closet over the weekend and it has brought a flood of memories back of the boy’s toddler years. We spent countless hours building train tracks. Jack only ever wanted to build the track, with little interest in actually playing trains. Luke was the opposite, he would wait for Jack to get the track exactly how he liked it and then would take over, pushing trains along the tracks for hours. Even now, sitting at my computer, I can see their little heads leaned together, babbling and squabbling, taking turns laying on their tummies stretching tracks from the tv room onto the tile floor of the kitchen. It feels like yesterday and in the same breath a million years ago.

Scarlet seems to like both parts with the added twist of imagination weaved in. The trains have personalities and names. I found myself sitting on the floor playing with her yesterday, chatting a little bit, handing her pieces, listening to her turn the engines into a family with a sister and two brothers, a mom and a dad.

I’m trying to catch these little moments a little more. And mixed right in with the good and sweet is school delays and cancellations, ice storms, basketball practices, gymnastics, freelance work, out-of-town guests and all the regular life stuff that you can’t get away from.

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So let’s get to what’s important: brown butter oatmeal cookies. I saw a link to an oatmeal cookie recipe on Cupcakes and Cashmere which sent me down the rabbit hole of Cooks Illustrated online which ultimately led me to this cookie recipe. I’ve made them twice, the first time subbing all-purpose flour for whole wheat pastry flour and the vegetable oil for coconut oil. The cookies tasted good but didn’t hold together well at all. The second time I followed the recipe to a T and they were amazing. This is one I’ll make again and again. The cookies have a wonderfully soft and chewy texture and the cinnamon mixed into the brown butter reminds me of a cinnamon roll. I can’t recommend them enough.

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Brown Butter Oatmeal Cookies

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup (3 ½ ounces) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup Vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat until the butter is fragrant and begins to slightly change color. Remove from heat and stir in cinnamon. Set aside to cool slightly. In a bowl, mix together the flour, salt and baking soda. In the bowl of a mixer, mix the butter, sugar and oil together until well blended. Mix in the eggs one at a time followed by the vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Stir in oats, raisins and chocolate chips. Scoop dough into balls and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes until light brown. Try not to overcook! The cookies should be slightly crispy on the edges and soft in the middle.