Vegan Chocolate Coconut Cookies for the GFBCS2013

What, you might ask, is “GFBCS2013”?  It is:

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2013

All of you loyal readers who have been with us from the beginning know that the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap is, in a sense, the reason for this blog.  Quite simply, i love making cookies and love eating cookies, so i have wanted to participate in this event for a few years.  In order to do so, i had to have a food blog, and thus you came to be reading this.

For the swap, i made a vegan chocolate cookie topped with toasted coconut.  This is a recipe that i developed, and went through many iterations (i think people at the office were sick of me asking them to explain WHY they liked one cookie better than the last batch…), but it all started with this recipe.

I made those, straight up, to take to a party, where they received rave reviews.  But i have a friend who is allergic to eggs, so i wanted to make a variant without eggs.  And i have some cholesterol issues, so i wanted to remove the butter…  The cookies had become vegan.  And then i just added the coconut, for whatever reason.  I guess because i really like coconut.


I have been impressed with these.  They are moist, almost cake-like, with a rich chocolate taste.  The topping is toasted coconut with a sprinkle of both turbinado sugar and kosher salt.  The salt makes the chocolate sparkle, the turbinado makes the coconut pop, while the coconut adds a delightful crunch to the whole thing.

1.5 cups of Crisco Butter Flavor Baking Stick
1.5 cup packed brown sugar
0.75 cup sugar
1 cup of no sugar added applesauce
1.5 tsp vanilla
2.5 cups flour
1.75 cups cocoa powder
1.5 tsp baking soda
3 tsp baking powder
1.5 tsp kosher salt (plus a pinch for topping)
1.5 cups of coconut flakes
about a tablespoon of turbinado sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mise en place people — gather all of your ingredients for the cookie, and measure appropriately.
    CS13_DoughINGThis way you are not scrambling for something while the cat tries to lick the batter.  (Please note: no batter was actually licked by cats … this time!)
  3. Cream the Butter Stick and the two sugars together. I use a stand mixer and normally let it go for 5 minutes — get it really light and airy and well-mixed.
  4. Add in the applesauce and the vanilla, and continue to whip until it is smooth and creamy once again.  This can take up to 10 minutes, as you want the applesauce really worked in there.  Be patient and wait until you get something that looks very smooth, like so:
  5. Mix the flour, cocoa power, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together, then slowly mix it into the well whipped batter. Add it in small increments and use a spatula to scrape the sides down often.  Take it slowly, let it all get incorporated.  You will end up with a deep brown batter, like so:
  6. Let that rest for a few minutes while you toast the coconut.  You can do this whatever way you want.  I tossed the coconut in a small skillet and put it on a burner at medium heat.  I shook the skillet occasionally.  I like toasting coconut in the way because you get a wide variety of colors — some very toasted, some barely toasted.  I like that variety.  If you want it more uniform, then spread the coconut on a cookie sheet and put it in the over, but check it every few minutes, and stir it often.  Mine ended up looking like this:
  7. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  8. Take a small handful of dough, maybe the size of a golf ball, roll it to smooth it, then pat it flat into a disc shape, like so:
  9. Press one side of the disc of dough into the toasted coconut. Don’t press too hard, or else the dough will fall apart, but you need to press hard enough so that some coconut sticks to the top of the dough.
  10. Fill the sheet, giving about an inch or so between cookies.  These ones do not grow a lot, but you want to give them a little room to spread out.  Bake for about 17 minutes.
  11. Remove from the oven and let the cool on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes.  While cooling, take a pinch of turbinado sugar and sprinkle just a bit on each cookie.  Then do the same with fresh kosher salt.  Sadly, this “sprinkling” doesn’t really photograph:
  12. Remove the to a cooling rack to finish cooling:
  13. Brew a pot of coffee, grab a cookie, and enjoy!



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