Hubris:ˈ(h)yo͞obris/ – extreme pride or self-confidence that leads to unacceptable offense spoken or done towards the (usually Greek) gods, resulting in harsh consequences, as commonly depicted in Greek tragedies (Oedipus, Odysseus, Creon, Agamemnon, etc.)
I acknowledge I suffer from insufferable hubris. It’s a tragic character flaw, and one that’s not easily changed or forgiven. It stems from a source of good fortune and entitlement, yet it’s so easily mistaken for self possessed skill and self proclaimed importance. What is simply luck of the draw at birth, becomes a heavy cloak used to disguise insecurities. I’ve learned enough from Sophocles to know that I need to constantly look over my shoulder to see when the gods will strike. I suppose a little bit of foresight and conscious and intentional patience and humility don’t hurt.
These coconut cookies are magical. Given the high browned butter and coconut content, the cookie melts in your mouth with lovely caramely, nutty and coconut flavor. Every bite is so full of coconut, giving it infinite texture (see close-up pic above) – making it so fun to eat. I think in the future I will play around and add crushed macadamia nuts or cashews or pecans ooh! Or maybe even some key lime zest to complement the coconut and browned butter. This one’s a winner. Enjoy!
Brown Butter Coconut Cookies
Source: Smitten Kitchen
1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 tbs water, or more as needed
1/2 c + 2 tbs granulated sugar
3/4 c light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 c + 3 tbs all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/3 tsp fleur de sel, eye-balled or to taste
4 c dried, unsweetened coconut flakes
In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat until it stops crackling and turns a dark brown color, making sure to scrape up any solids at the bottom of the pan. Sometimes I take my eye off the pan, and the butter turns almost CHARCOAL – not to worry – it’s still good. I’ve used CHARCOAL butter successfully before, but you probably want to keep it at the dark brown stage… oops. Remove from heat and let it cool a bit before pouring the liquid and any solids into a measuring cup. LET IT COOL FIRST, then add about 2 tbs of water (or as needed) to bring the amount back to 1 cup. Please, please let it cool first – or else it will fizz and splash and you will get those nasty hot grease burn marks on your hand. Let the butter cool and solidify completely (the freezer is ok!), about an hour or two.
Preheat oven to 350*.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, scrape the solidified browned butter and give it a whirl to help soften it. Add both brown and granulated sugar and mix until fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla, scraping down the bowl as needed. In a separate bowl, whisk together flower, baking soda and salt. Add flour mixture to the mixing bowl in 2 installments, making sure it’s thoroughly combined before the next flour addition. Lastly, add the coconut in 2 installments as well.
Drop about a 1.5 tablespoons balls of dough onto a lined baking sheet, giving each dough ball a lot of room for spreading. Flatting each ball with the back of a spoon. Bake tray for 11-13 minutes or until golden brown. These cookies spread a ton and should be pretty flat. If they haven’t spread as much as you’ve liked, add another teaspoon or two of water, mix, bake, and monitor cookie spread. Bake remaining cookies until golden brown. The centers should still be pliable, but the edges should be on the crisp side. Let cool on baking sheet for a couple of minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Enjoy as is, or with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream or a big glass of milk – or however you like to enjoy your cookies. Yum.
I know a man who forgot to look over his shoulder. He did not read Sophocles. He forgot that his cloak was god-given and not man made. He realized only too late – and when he did, those successes and victories and glories were stripped from him, one by one. And all he had left was his experience to rebuild. Experience and his wrinkled, grit-stained, aged hands. That taught him humility. And with humility and resilience he rebuilds. Brick by brick. Stone by stone. Not cursing the gods, but silently counting his blessings, and accepting his punishment. This same fate runs in my blood. I fear its imminence. I fear its untimeliness. I fear its consequences and my inability to be resilient. Funny this hubris – it gives you all the confidence in the world, and so suddenly disappears when are punished by it.
Thanks for reading,