Sunday, March 21, 2010

Easy Coconut Shortbread Cookies

As with the mayo, I had a little free time on my hands the other day and decided to spend it looking online for an egg-free, dairy-free, gluten-free coconut macaroon recipe.  BWAHAHAHA!!!  I came across one or two but the reviews were dim to say to the least.  After reading the recipes, I understood why.  I've been cooking a long time and can usually tell just by reading a recipe if its going to work.  As much as I love and use coconut flour, I know it will turn into sand if isn't combined with something that will bind it.

I think part of the problem is that many people don't understand the products they're using, their properties and how well they play with others!  I will say this right now...gluten-free products are not very forgiving.  A mistake will usually not turn out edible...LOL  You'll either get something that falls apart and can be used to fill a sandbox OR you'll get something heavy enough to bludgeon someone to death with.  My mind goes in strange places.  I'm envisioning an episode of NCIS in which Ducky informs Jethro that the victim died of blunt force trauma to the head inflicted by a laof of gluten-free bread! Abby finds trace evidence of fava bean flour and coconut fibers under the suspects fingernails.  Clearly, I need therapy!

Cookies can either be hockey pucks or sweet, gritty crumbs depending on how you play your cards.  Many of the recipes I came across relied on eggs for binding and of course...this homey don't play dat!  Still others used sweetened condensed milk and while not as allergenic (for me) as CEGB's, that stuff is like eating creamy corn syrup...yuck.  I hate the smell of it too.  That first whiff when you open the can is vaguely sour and sickeningly sweet at the same time. 

My little brain started spinning because somewhere up there, locked away among the cobwebs was a previously shelved idea of what to do with the commercial baker's grade coconut creme concentrate that I just happen to have a case of.  This is NOT to be confused with that crap in the market called coconut cream.  That stuff has a years worth of high fructose corn syrup in every spoonful and a little polysorbate 60 (or 80 can't remember which and does it really matter??) thrown in for good measure.  Probably has artificial coconut flavor added too.  Simple stated...bad ju ju! 

This stuff I'm talking about is made by Tropical Traditions ( and is 100% pure concentrated coconut.  It's make up is about 70% coconut oil and the rest is the fiber from the meat.  I guess you could also think of this as coconut butter.  This stuff is insanely delicious...if you are a coocnut lover that is.  You can spread it on toast like butter or (dare I admit this) just eat a spoonful out of the jar once in a while.  Its naturally sweet because well...coocnut is natually sweet and when it's very concentrated like this product almost tastes like it has been sweetened but it hasn't.  The cream is solid like butter about 75-77 degrees.  Like pure coconut oil though, beyond that temperature it becomes liquid.  It's still very thick and creamy (much like the consistency of sweetened condensed milk) but pourable.

So I know you're dying to know how the cookies came out right?  They were marvelous BUT...the texture wasn't that of a macaroon.  To me it most closely resembled shortbread...hence the title.  These are like stupid easy to make.  The biggest thing is just getting the coconut cream concentrate. can also use this concentrate to make coconut milk.  You just add a teaspoon for ever 6 ounces of water.  Use warm water and blend, the chill.  So if you order a quart online don't be worried that you have to make a million cookies.  Just use it for milk and you can cook with it was well.  It's great in curries, breads, rice...whatever.
I guess I should add that I am NOT affiliated with or compensated by Tropical Traditions in any way.  I just happen to love their products.

Gluten-Free Vegan Coconut Shortbread Cookies

A drizzle of chocolate never hurt any cookie!

  • 1/2 cup tropical traditions coconut cream concentrate, melted
  • 1 heaping cup organic unsweetened shredded coconut flakes
  • 3 tablespoons organic coconut flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon xantham gum
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons organic agave nectar
  • 2 tablespoons melted organic coconut oil
Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a sheet pan with parchement paper. 
In a medium bowl stir together coconut cream and shredded coconut until blended.  Add coconut flour, xantham gum and salt; mix well.  Pour in agave and coconut oil.  Mix with wooden spoon until mixture is completely combined.  It will be very thick.
Use a small 1 ounce scoop (like a tiny ice cream scoop) to form mixture into 12 balls.  Pack into scoop well.  Release from scoop onto parment lined baking sheet.  Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes.  Cookies should only be lightly browned and baked enough to hold together. 

This recipe only makes 1 dozen because it was a test batch and I didn't want to waste a large amount of ingredients if it didn't work.  Fortunately, I was pretty sure it would...and it did!  Double or triple the amounts if you want to make more cookies.  Store cookies in airtight container.

just out of the oven...lightly golden brown

close up...shows the dense shortbread consistency

don't the look scrumptuous?

it's coconut LUV

I don't know who could have done that...really!

(c)copyright Jill Anderson
The Homegrown Gourmet


  1. Those look fantastic. And healthy too! Must admit, the chocolate glaze is a seller.

  2. wasn't much of a stretch to add the chocolate!


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Fort Myers, Florida, United States