No-Butter Soft Honey Cookies
It's that time of year. The time of the year when batches and batches of honey cakes and cookies are making their way out of my oven to occupy any available counter space and table.
And while I just exaggerated a teensy bit, I have been making lots of honey desserts these past couple of weeks. Because Rosh Hashanah is in a week and a half. And honey and apples abound on this Jewish holiday.
We'll get to the apples next week. Today, we're focusing on the honey part. Honey cookies, specifically. No-butter honey cookies, even more specifically.
Honey is a magical, magical thing. Because have you noticed that a honey cake will last you weeks and weeks? And no, this time I'm not exaggerating even a little bit. I made a honey cake three weeks ago and the last piece is still on the counter. And it's still as soft and delicious as the day I baked it.
Well, actually, that's a lie. It's not as delicious as the day I made it. It's better. For real. Honey cakes taste so much better a few days after they're made than the day they're made. Like seriously, honey cake, you need to stop showing off. (No, don't.)
And honey cookies are the same way. While they might not last quite as long as a honey cake, honey cookies last a nice, little while as well. So we're talking two weeks instead of three. Which is great, but probably unnecessary, because these no-butter soft honey cookies will be finished in a day. Make that an hour.
I love honey cakes and cookies. For more than just their staying-fresh-and-soft-for-years aspect. I also love them because of the way they taste. Because they taste so good.
That distinctive honey flavor that honey lends to baked goods is one of my favorites. Along with lemon zest and cinnamon and almond extract and chocolate chunks. I'm not very picky when it comes to my cookies, as you can see.
But honey is special. People generally don't eat honey cookies every day. They're more uncommon. Which I'm not sure if I'm happy or displeased about. Happy, because then they're that much more exciting when you finally eat one. Displeased, because I want honey cookies errrrrrryday.
Honey cookies are also so, so soft. SUPER soft. Cuz, like I said, honey is magical. But they're also something else: chewy. Gah, love me some chewy cookies. Best texture ever.
I've been going on about the virtues of honey cookies in general for the past few hours, but can we talk about these specific honey cookies for a second?
These honey cookies are even more special than your average honey cookie. Because they're dairy-free. No-butter. Coconut oil only. And coconut oil makes cookies soft and rich and dense. And no-butter also means this recipe is one bowl. Because you just melt your coconut oil in a bowl and then add the rest of the ingredients into that bowl. No machine, no creaming. YAS.
And also, these cookies are thick. And rich. And have just the right amount of sweetness. Lots of brown sugar for more softness and flavor, and lots of honey for that honey cookie effect we've kind of been going for. In case you haven't noticed. And just enough flour to make the cookies thick and puffy.
I would have put a little more flour to make the cookies even more puffy. But I didn't want the cookies to be too dry or dense. So instead, I just chilled my balls of dough in the fridge until they were hardened. And then the cookies came out nice and thick without the extra flour.
Oh, and these cookies have a generous amount of cinnamon and ginger. For more awesome flavor. And because it's fall, and it's very appropriate to use those spices right now, in the fall. And I like being appropriate (sometimes).
Soft. Chewy. Thick. Pillowy. Flavorful. Spiced. Butter-free. HONEY COOOOOOOKIES.
no-butter soft honey cookies
Yield: about 36 cookies
1 cup coconut oil,* melted
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup honey
2 3/4 cup packed flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ginger powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
- coconut flakes for garnish, optional
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
If using coconut flakes, spread onto a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 7-9 minutes, or until golden.
Melt coconut oil. Add to a large bowl and stir with the sugars. Whisk in the egg, vanilla extract, and honey.
Stir together the dry ingredients right over the wet ones and stir everything together until just combined.
Round medium pieces of dough between palms, forming balls, and space evenly onto baking sheets. Sprinkle tops with toasted coconut if using. Place trays into fridge until the dough is slightly hardened, about 20-40 minutes. (You can skip the chilling but your cookies will be a bit flatter.)
Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden brown and the tops are beginning to get golden. (You don't need to under-bake these honey cookies, as they're very soft on their own. Just don't let the bottoms get too brown.) Let cookies sit and firm up on sheets for a few minutes before moving them.
Cookies stay soft for a couple weeks, and are even better the day after they're made than the day of.
*Note: use refined coconut oil if you don't want any coconut flavor in your cookies.