I had a moment earlier yesterday. I was on the phone with Mother Dearest agonizing over the cupcake menu for an office party I’m dessert catering in two weeks, when it occurred to me that I hadn’t posted a recipe in a little while. And, I mean, if a baking blogger is going to bake a bunch of desserts for some outside reason, the only logical thing to do would be double duty them and share the recipes on her blog, right?
Right. Knew we were on the same page.
So I log onto Once Upon an Afternoon Tea to post a cookie recipe that I made last year and have been saving for the beginning of summer, when I saw it. The date of my last post. DECEMBER 23, 2014. :-0 WHAT?! No way it was that long ago. But going back through my memories of the end of the holiday season and everything that has happened since, I guess it was entirely plausible that I had been away from the blog for 5 months. Still shocking, and proof that five months goes by a lot faster than you think it does.
(For updates on what has been going on and what will be in the future–non baking related–Like https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jenna-Edzant/761407460538935 on Facebook!)
Quick shoutout and thank you to everyone who kept checking back in and exploring this site while I was gone. Would you believe that we never had a week with less than 65 views? Wow! Such support from you all, so thank you!
Luckily, I’m back right in time for summer to really start here and as a Welcome Back party offering, I am bringing you these cookies.
A sugar cookie base, flavored with coconut, turned into a thick, chewy bar…topped with a coconut frosting and even more coconut. Basically, if you love coconut these are the cookie bars for you. Serve these with the White Chocolate Macadamia Nut scones or the Mango Coconut Macadamia Nut scones, and you’ll forget that you are in the smog-coated Los Angeles instead of on a beach in Hawaii under a cabana.
How is there such a prevalent coconut flavor throughout every layer of the cookie bar? Because each layer is made with a combination of coconut meat, coconut milk, coconut extract, and coconut oil. Which means, yup, these cookie bars are NONDAIRY! Delicious and healthy coconut products replace the traditional milk and butter of cookies. Not saying that milk and butter aren’t healthy and oh so delicious, but we all have some friends who don’t eat dairy by choice or by necessity and now you can bring them special desserts too! You won’t miss the dairy products, I promise. And come on, coconut equals YUM.
So as I re-extend the baking hand of friendship and hug all of you because I really did miss you, let’s eat some cookie bars.
Note that these cookie bars do contain one egg, so they are not vegan.
nondairy coconut cookie bars
For the cookies
- 2/3 cup coconut oil
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp coconut extract
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp cream of tartar
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
For the frosting
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- pinch of salt
- 2 ½ cups sifted powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp coconut extract
- 2 tbsp coconut milk (or other type of milk like almond milk, soy milk, regular milk, etc.)
- ½ cup shredded sweetened coconut, plus more for garnish
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13 baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick baking spray.
Start by making the cookies. Cream the coconut oil and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer (use the paddle attachment). Beat in the egg and both extracts. Then mix in the baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Slowly mix in the flour until a shortbread-esque dough forms.
Press the dough into the prepared pan and bake for 16-19 minutes. The cookies are finished when the sides are just beginning to look golden and the center looks underdone. If the center of the pan looks done then the cookies are overdone and will be a little crunchy. Set aside to cool on a wire rack, still in the pan.
While the bars cool, make the frosting. Beat the coconut oil and powdered sugar together until the mixture becomes crumbly. Add the extracts and milk. Mix until the frosting comes together and becomes smooth (you can do this in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment). Fold in ½ cup shredded coconut. If you want to make the frosting thinner, add additional milk 1 tbsp at a time until you reach your desired frosting consistency. I left mine thicker.
Frost the cookie bars evenly; sprinkle the tops with more shredded coconut. Let side for 15 minutes so the frosting can set a bit before removing from pan and cutting into 24 bars.
Bars can be stored at room temp, in the fridge, or frozen. These are super resilient cookie bars!