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Please help my coconut cookie recipe

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My goal is a crisp cookie not more than 1/4" thick, with a lot of coconut flavor. NOT pillowy or chewy. I would also like to nudge it toward healthy, lower-calorie ingredients without sacrificing deliciousness. Using Ruhlman's sugar cookie recipe as a jumping-off point, here's what I used for the first attempt:
7oz virgin coconut oil, melted
1 oz unsalted butter, melted
1/2 c white sugar
10 Splenda packets
3/4 t vanilla extract
3/4 t imitation coconut flavoring (McCormick's)
1/4 t salt
1 egg, whisked
1-3/4 cup Trader Joe's Multigrain Baking Mix
1/2 c Trader Joe's almond meal
1 c sweetened shredded coconut, not packed

I used a tablespoon-size scoop and flattened the balls slightly with my fingertip. Baked on parchment at 350 for 15 min and let cool on the baking sheet. They came out golden-brown, as I wanted. Made 4 dozen.

Rather than opening a bag of whole wheat pastry flour, I used the TJ mix which was already open.
It does contain some fat, salt, and leavening. I used the bit of butter because I didn't know if I'd get enough browning without it. The cookies are nice and crisp, but leave a slight sheen of oil on my fingers. I'd rather they not do that. They taste a bit too salty for me. With whole wheat pastry flour, I'd need the added salt and maybe more, but if I us the TJ baking mix again for this recipe, I'd omit the extra salt (I use very little salt so other palates might not find them salty).

My main complaint with my results is that though it's a tasty cookie, the coconut flavor is not as pronounced as I would like. Not sure whether I should omit vanilla, increase coconut flavoring and/or shredded coconut. I wonder if Coco Lopez (cream of coconut) would work without making the cookie overly sweet or soft. There's a large Asian market nearby (H-Mart). Do Asian markets sell a concentrated form of coconut? Powder, dried, etc.?

Thanks for any pointers.

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  1. The Asian and Hispanic markets here in the DC area have frozen coconut,shredded,grated and a large flake.It is very close to grating your own fresh coconut,no sugar etc.Switching to it will take a bit experimenting.It's not as dry,you may have to drain,dry,pat etc.I have also bought very fine grate,almost dry meal or flour coconut.
    I use a scale rather than measuring devices so where I would make the change and use ? how much is a ?.
    less vanilla more coconut extract
    swap sweetened shredded for one of the frozen
    swap almond meal for coconut meal
    and maybe adjust the fat ? somewhere ,swap the egg for just egg white
    butter?

    1. Bumping this because Lcool's response is somewhat confusing and lacks amounts, though I do appreciate knowing that there's such a thing as coconut flour.

      Anyone else have other suggestions?

      1 Reply
      1. re: greygarious

        the amounts would be an even swap by tare weight,as a starting point.......,maybe volume ?
        I don't use measuring cups etc.A scale is my tool of choice 99.9% of the time,dry and liquid.
        your ..sweetened shredded coconut for a fresh grate or frozen fresh grate coconut
        ..."......almond flour for coconut ,one of the grated coconut products I buy is fine,liken it to coarse corn meal
        You will have to make some adjustments by feel,texture.All of the coconut products I mention here,from coarse meal to a LARGE flake (shaved almond for size) have a higher moisture and or fat content.It's doubtful that you would have an even exchange of ingredients or same cooking temperature and time.
        EGG, the white frothed with a pinch of salt and 1/2 tsp of water makes sense........the yolk does not,it's just more fat,a masking fat if you will that I don't think your recipe needs

        vanilla,replace with more coconut extract

        Before I went the CocoLopez type of product route I would head to the booze store.This time of year I make many variations of chocolate truffles,one is coconut,I enhance,boost the flavor with a ? off the booze store shelf.It's a coconut ?rum,can't remember,in a squat,ugly,white bottle with an even uglier palm tree.

        I am married to a BIG FAN of coconut and we have always had a mynah bird or two that would gladly mug you for coconut and eat it to sickness,but not the loose,dry,sweet stuff in the baking aisle.I started buying coconut,zero ingredient,in the freezer case about 30 years ago and never looked back.I HATE the work and unreliability of fresh in the shell coconut.
        I hope this is some help...or profile page for my email

      2. I can't help with most of your questions since I don't use many of the products you have but for the sheen, you might let the batter sit overnight first to let the flour absorb the oil some. It makes for a better cookie, regardless. For the darkening of the cookie, try adding some baking soda, maybe 1/2-1 tsp. Have you tried coconut extract? I know there are people who don't like it but I think it adds a more flavor. You could also toast the coconut.

        1. I think I omit the vanilla extract from my coconut breads and add at least 1 T coconut extract. Also, toasting the coconut will get you better flavor. Hope you nail your cookie recipe.