Coconut Brown Butter Cookies

I love all things coconut, so when a friend passed along this recipe for coconut brown butter cookies (via the wildly talented Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen), I was pretty sure I’d just discovered something scrumptious.

My instincts were correct. This is an amazing cookie recipe, with crispy edges, a chewy center, and chock full of coconut flavor that really kicks in midway through. Kind of like a macaroon-meets-cookie thing happening in a really good way.

I mean, come on. Just look at how yummy these look.

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(Hint: This is a two-step recipe, since you have to brown the butter and then refrigerate it for a while, so be sure to plan your prep and baking time accordingly.)

Ready for the recipe now, fellow coconut lover? Thought you might be:

Coconut Brown Butter Cookies


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup plus 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups shredded coconut (I used 2 cups sweetened and 2 cups unsweetened and liked the way that combo turned out)


  • In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, stirring frequently and watching it carefully. It will eventually turn brown and start to smell nutty. At that point, remove the butter from heat and pour it into a measuring cup, adding in the Tablespoon of water. Chill butter in the fridge until it solidifies (1-2 hours). You can also speed up the process by putting it in the freezer for about 20-30 minutes (I went this route and it seemed to work fine. Just be sure it doesn’t freeze!)
  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper.
  • Scrape chilled brown butter into a large mixing bowl, and add both the white and brown sugar. Beat until fluffy, then add egg and vanilla extract.
  • Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together in a separate bowl.
  • Pour half of the flour mixture into the butter/sugar mixture and mix until combined, then add the remaining flour.
  • Add shredded coconut and mix well.
  • Before baking the cookies, I’d recommend putting the dough into the freezer for about 30 minutes to help it solidify a bit. Then drop into small 2-inch balls onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 9-11 minutes (in my oven, 9 1/2 minutes seemed to be just about perfect) until edges are browned slightly and the middle looks a little underdone. Cool on baking rack and then enjoy!


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