As a curious-natured human who loves food, I’m always eager to try new recipes and ingredients. While poking around online one day, I came across coconut palm sugar and read about its properties and how this sweetener is made. I learned that coconut sugar undergoes minimal processing by tapping the tree’s flower-bud stem to access its nectar, preserving more of its natural properties and potentially reducing exposure to harmful chemicals and additives often found in highly processed sugars. Its sourcing from coconut palm trees also contributes to its appeal, as coconut palms require less water and fewer pesticides than other sugar sources like sugarcane, aligning with my personal sustainability goals.
So, I recently purchased a bag of this seemingly amazing coconut sugar and decided to try it for myself. Upon first taste, I noticed the granules were medium brown with a caramelized flavour and a distinct difference in texture over regular refined sugar. Although not in any way unpleasant, I immediately wondered how this coconut sugar would compare to “regular” sugar in baked goods.
Meltaways are classic cookies that always satisfy a sweet craving. A traditional Meltaway has powdered sugar in both the cookie and the melting glaze that tops them. I thought this would be a great place to start experimenting with my new coconut sweetener. But first, I had to figure out how to make the granules into powder. Back to Google I went to learn this process. It turns out it is relatively simple, actually, and I’ve included the basic instructions below.
HOW TO MAKE POWDERED COCONUT SUGAR
- Combine 1 cup of coconut sugar and one tbs of tapioca starch in a high-speed blender or coffee grinder.
- Begin blending at medium-low speed, gradually increasing to high. Blend for 30-45 seconds until the mixture turns light brown and achieves a powdered texture. Allow it to sit in the blender for 30 seconds to avoid being engulfed in a cloud of powdered sugar.
- Transfer the powdered coconut sugar into a mason jar or any other airtight container for storage.
- This recipe will yield about 1 1/4 cups of powdered coconut sugar.
Of course, I wouldn’t skip the opportunity to create a new seaberry-flavoured confection, so I used spice-infused pure sea buckthorn juice for both the cookie and the glaze in my recipe.
Additionally, I made one glaze with regular powdered sugar to compare results.
Overall, the cookies themselves tasted very close to a basic shortbread. The combination of seaberry juice and coconut sugar gave the cookie a lightly toasted colour and a lightly spiced caramel flavour.
The glazes are where the most difference is apparent. The coconut palm sugar and seaberry glaze has a deep, almost chocolate colour and a lovely pronounced spiced caramel flavour.
The glaze made with regular powdered sugar and spiced seaberry juice was beautifully yellow-coloured, and the flavour of the sea buckthorn juice was far more noticeable.
Although the results were very different between the two glazes, my friends and family “taste testers” declared both cookies delicious winners.
Recipe for Seaberry Meltaway Cookies with Coconut Sugar.
- 14 tablespoons of unsalted butter at room temperature
- ½ cup of powdered coconut sugar (approximately 57g)
- 4 tablespoons of Seaberry juice (feel free to use regular seaberry juice or my spiced version – click here for the recipe)
- 1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour (about 196g)
- ¼ cup of cornstarch (equivalent to 4 tablespoons)
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- Fresh or thawed Seaberries to top cookies
For the Seaberry glaze:
- 1 cup of powdered coconut sugar (about 115g)
- 4 tablespoons of Seaberry juice, plus more as needed for the desired consistency
- Begin by creaming the room-temperature butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until it becomes creamy. Gradually add the powdered coconut sugar (½ cup) and continue beating until the mixture becomes light and fluffy.
- Incorporate the Seaberry juice (4 tablespoons) into the butter-sugar mixture, blending gently on low speed until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.
- In a separate small mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour (1 ½ cups), cornstarch (¼ cup), and salt (¼ teaspoon).
- Add the dry flour mixture to the creamed butter and Seaberry mixture in four batches, blending on medium-low speed until each addition is fully incorporated.
- Transfer the cookie dough to a small bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Use a 1-inch cookie scoop to portion out the dough, rolling each portion into a tight ball and placing them two inches apart on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 11-13 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Transfer the parchment paper with the baked cookies onto a wire rack to cool.
- Repeat the baking process with a new piece of parchment paper on a cooled baking sheet. Allow the cookies to cool completely.
- To prepare the Seaberry glaze, whisk together either powdered sugar (1 cup) or powdered coconut and Seaberry juice (2 tablespoons at a time) until smooth. Adjust the consistency by adding more Seaberry juice or sugar as needed. Spread the glaze on each cookie and garnish with a single Seaberry if desired.
- Allow the glaze to set completely before storing the cookies in a cool place or refrigerator.
If you decide to try this recipe, please let me know what you think in the comments below.