Recipe: Coconut Cookies

When I taught journalism and English at a little college in Idaho, my office was kitty-corner to the cafeteria.

On more than one occasion, I bought lunch. And dinner.  We worked long hours in the student newsroom, so I was thankful to have someone just steps away making food for my crew…and myself.

Granted, often times the food was, well, cafeteria food. But they also regularly featured coconut cookies.

While I’ve had some bad chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies with an after taste and even funky smelling oatmeal raisin cookies, I’ve never had a bad coconut cookie. Not even in a cafeteria…which is known for taking what was once great food and turning it into something totally unrecognizable. Think lasagna with cottage cheese or enchiladas with Velveeta. Or, my personal nightmare, egg salad with egg substitute.

But the coconut cookies were always good. No matter the main dish, the coconut cookies elevated it to something worth eating.

Today, I made coconut cookies for the first time. And while I miss the teaching and coaching and advising that used to go along with my coconut cookies at the college, I must say that these cookies coming out of my oven as I write this taste a heck of a lot better than the ones at the college ever did. And that’s saying something.

This recipe is inspired by one at, but has several modifications.

To make Dairy-Free: Swap the butter for Earth Balance


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter ** replace with Soy-Free Earth Balance
  • 3/4cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 entire 7oz package flaked coconut


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C.) Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually blend in the flour mixture, then mix in the coconut. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
  3. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly toasted. Cool on wire racks.

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