Coconut Oil Sugar Cookies with Brown Butter Glaze
I am currently the owner of 4 cookie cutters: a tooth, a toothbrush, an apple, and a turkey. Each of these shapes has very limited applicability, either due to seasonal limitations or audience limitations — a baby shower probably isn’t the best arena for fondant-covered toothbrush cookies. I have a very bad habit of acquiring things with very narrow uses (think DayGlo orange ankle pants, 4″ turquoise suede platform wedges, and a deviled egg platter with snap-on lid). Thankfully, I had an epiphany yesterday morning and remembered that the window of opportunity to dust off my turkey cookie cutter was rapidly drawing to a close.
I may have already mentioned this tidbit, but as a New England resident and a direct descendant of Gov. William Bradford of Plymouth Colony, Thanksgiving is kind of my favorite day of the year — not to mention that fact that this holiday is a gastronomic jamboree. I’m not kidding when I say that the first thing that my Mom and I do after licking our Thanksgiving plates clean is get out a pad and pen to start planning next year’s feast — even before the pies come out!
Seeing as I play Thanksgiving like it’s a professional contact sport (I think ThanXgiving will be the newest addition to next years X Games), why shouldn’t I go whole hog — or, whole turkey — and bake some uber festive cookies to commemorate my favorite holiday?! Plus, since we’re on the cusp of Christmas cookie season, I might as well stretch my decorating muscles.
Given that Thanksgiving dinner typically contains enough butter to liberally grease a football field, I wanted to swap my normal Brown Butter Roll-out Cookie recipe for a coconut-oil-based version (though I couldn’t resist using 2 tablespoons of butter to make the Brown Butter Glaze…I can only make so many concessions). An internet search brought me to this recipe, which intrigued me immensely — a totally vegan dough that still manages to maintain well-defined edges when baked…it’s a Thanksgiving miracle!
The only change I made to the ingredients was the addition of some cinnamon to compliment the warm flavors of the glaze and toppings. I was thrilled by how quickly and easily this dough came together, how beautifully pale the cookies stayed after baking, and the sturdy-yet-light-and-delicate texture of the cooled cookies. This recipe is definitely a keeper for my holiday roll-out repertoire!
For decorations, I used a variety of fall-colored baking chips — a mix of cinnamon chips, pumpkin spice chips, & butterscotch chips — and shredded coconut for well-textured plumage. My glaze recipe (below) stays liquidy long enough to place your decorations but dries to a storage-friendly consistency within ~1 hour of spreading.
Note: This recipe is not turkey specific; it lends itself well to whatever type of poultry you choose 😉
Coconut Oil Sugar Cookies [vegan!]
Yield: 12 – 3″ turkeys — a sizable flock!
Please visit: this site (plus 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon in with the flour)
Brown Butter Glaze [not vegan…sorry!]
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
~1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
~1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk
Assorted baking chips & coconut, for decoration
In a light-colored pan, melt the butter over medium heat, and continue cooking butter for an additional 3-5 minutes, keeping a close eye on the pan, swirling occasionally. Once the bubbling and popping noises have stopped, watch the pan REALLY closely. Swirl pan frequently, looking for the development of golden flecks on the bottom of the pan and a delicious nutty aroma filling your nostrils. As soon as butter starts to turn brown, pour it into a glass measuring cup, using a heat-safe rubber spatula to scrape ALL of the browned bits into the measuring cup as well. Let cool 10 minutes. Use a fork to whisk in 1/4 cup of the powdered sugar until smooth. Whisk in vanilla and almond milk. Add up to 2 additional tablespoons of powdered sugar in order to achieve a thick-yet-runny consistency (add a dash more almond milk if you need to thin out your glaze). While decorating cookies, I like to keep the measuring cup on top of the still-warm-oven to slow the setting process to keep it viscous for longer.
For turkeys: I recommend working with three cookies at a time to prevent glaze from hardening before you get to add your plumage! Decorate cookies by spreading a teaspoon or so of glaze on top of each cookie. Artistically arrange your baking chips and coconut to indicate a beaks, wings, foots, artsy tail designs, or whatever you like!