Brown Butter Coconut Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies & The Beach Boys’ Christmas Album

As an adult, Christmas can sometimes lose some of its magic or lose its innocence perhaps. (Caution for anyone reading this, if you know that Santa still exists, STOP reading immediately.) The magic of waking up Christmas morning to find the tree full lit, the bottom bursting with presents and the stockings filled to the brim with small gifts, it isn’t the same when you have to do all of the shopping, wrapping and turn on the lights to get the full effect. Don’t you wish you would wake up Sunday morning it would be as glorious as when you were young? When you believed that Santa was real and created each Christmas morning specifically for you. Of course, if you didn’t celebrate Christmas, perhaps another holiday holds the same magic. Did Hannukah once feel like an incredible parade of presents that you could pick from to open one each day? My husband didn’t grow up celebrating Christmas, sharing with him my Christmas traditions and intricacies almost felt like the experiencing the innocence of Christmas all over again.

Our first Christmas together, I machine sewed stockings to hang, I was so excited to share with him what I liked about the holiday. We had only been together nine months. In hindsight, it really shows how caring and considerate of a man I was fortunate to find, he was willing to celebrate ‘MY’ holiday. Primary among the joys I experienced in letting him in on the joys of Christmas, was sharing the music! There is a plethora of tunes celebrating winter, the birth of Jesus, Santa, Christmas trees and grandma getting run over by reindeers. I would have loved to know what he was thinking as I shared these with him. I remember the Beach Boys’ Christmas album was one in particular that I enjoyed having him listen to. It is so ‘California’  in its sounds and I loved that. It is also pretty incredible that for 63 years people have been celebrating the holiday season by listening to the Beach Boys’ sing the carols plus a few of their own additions.

I wanted a cookie that my hubby would love, to thank him for patiently letting me shove Christmas in his face year after year. For anyone who is concerned, we have started our own Hannukah traditions and created our unique Christmas traditions, so the holidays have become very much our own and very much a blend of what we each grew up with. He likes chewy cookies with a slightly crispy exterior, anything with chocolate and coconut. I thought the coconut almost went with the Beach Boys’, maybe if they were singing on a Hawaiian island, maybe. Ultimately, this album paired with these cookies because when I was making cookies for my man, reminiscing on our first Christmas and the albums we shared, the Beach Boys’ was top of the list. I hope you enjoy this pairing as much as I did! What holiday traditions did you blend with your families?


Brown Butter Coconut Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes about 36-48 small-medium cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 cups packaged finely shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 12 oz bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 6 oz of dark chocolate

Instructions

    1. Take your stick of butter and slice it into 6-8 roughly chopped pieces. Place in a saucepan on medium heat (avoid medium high, it can make it burn!). The butter will start to melt and begin to foam. Swirl the pan occasionally to make sure it melts evenly and the foam mixes around. The color of the butter and pieces at the bottom (the butter solids) will go from a lemon yellow to a golden yellow and then finally (maybe 15-20 min later) a delicious nutty brown. It can turn from nutty brown to too brown quickly, pay attention and use your nose! When it smells like roasted nuts, its done. Let cool slightly before using.
    2. Preheat oven to 375°F.
    3. Beat together butter and sugars in a mixing bowl until well combined. Add eggs and beat for a few turns, then add in vanilla, baking soda, and salt. Mix well.  Add flour and mix at low speed until just starting to combine. Stir in oats, coconut and chocolate. The mixture will just barely stick together and will be very slightly crumbly. However you should be able to make it stick on the sheet pan. If not, add 1 Tbsp of non-fat or non-dairy milk.
    4. Using two spoons, make 2 tbsp size mounds of cookie dough about 2 inches apart. My sheets could fit 12 cookies on each sheet. Gently pat down each mound to about 1/2 inch thick. Bake each sheet in the middle of the oven for 10-12 minutes until lightly golden brown all over.
    5. Cool cookies on sheets 1 minute, then transfer with a spatula to racks to cool completely. Follow the mound and pat then bake process for the remaining dough.
    6. In a double boiler (a bowl that fits over and covers a pot with boiling water), melt the 6 oz of dark chocolate. Place the cookies on parchment paper or paper towels and using the tines of a fork, drizzle the melted chocolate over each one. Sprinkle with Christmas sprinkles and let set (about 30-60 minutes depending on the temperature of your apartment or house.) Repeat for all batches of cooking.

Notes:

The chocolate drizzle isn’t necessary but for parties or making sure your cookies are ‘presentation ready’, the chocolate drizzle adds that extra pop. Feel free to omit if needed.

If you are someone who usually halves the butter in cookie recipes, I would caution you against doing that here – I only used the smallest amount of butter I could without compromising spread or browning. If you do reduce it more (I don’t recommend this) and it turns out, please let me know!

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