Sweet coconut, chewy oats, and salty toasted sunflower seeds pair in these delightful and delicious Coconut Sunflower Seed Cookies!
Sunflowers are such happy flowers and it’s hard not to feel cheered up just by looking at them. I’ve always wanted to visit a huge field of sunflowers, but on the rare occasions I’ve been in an area that grows them en masse they weren’t in season. So until then I’ll have to content myself with enjoying sunflowers in my vases, artwork, and by eating these yummy Coconut Sunflower Cookies!
A Brief History of the Sunflower
Sunflowers are native to North America and have a long history where they were one of the first crops to be grown. Some sources say they were domesticated even before corn and that American Indians used sunflowers for food as long as 3,000 years ago.
Though native to North America, it was actually Russia, under Peter the Great, who bred and cultivated the sunflower into the plant we know today. In the 18th century, sunflower seeds were transported from the New World to the Old World. Peter the Great became fascinated by them and Russia began growing them en masse – two million acres of them a year! By 1830 the sunflower made its way back to the Americas. But it wasn’t until 1926, when the Missouri Sunflower Growers Association started producing oil from the plants, that the sunflower really took off and it has been an appreciated resource ever since.
Sunflower heads consist of 1,000 to 2,000 individual flowers joined together by a receptacle base. The Native Sunflower grows to 15 feet tall with flower heads up to 2 feet in diameter, and can produce over 1,000 seeds from one plant! Sunflower seeds are rich in protein and yield a high-quality cooking oil.
© Ivan Feoktistov | Dreamstime
Sunflowers are such happy, stunning flowers, don’t you think? Kansas did well when it designated the sunflower as it’s official State flower. Sunflowers cover the state each summer. So much so that historically they were regarded as an infectious weed and lawmakers had actually attempted at one point to get rid of the “noxious weed.” But one year in the late 1800’s a Kansas state lawmaker attended an out-of-state rodeo and he noticed something that would forever change Kansas’ perception of the flower. His fellow Kansans were wearing sunflowers as a way of identifying to others their state of origin. And so this lawmaker went back home to Kansas and filed the legislation that would make the sunflower the state’s official floral emblem in 1903. Today the noble sunflower stands as a symbol of pride. And what a beautiful symbol is it!
Sunflower seed cookies are a traditional treat in Kansas where they’re often made using a combination of sunflower seeds, rolled oats, and shredded coconut. They’re delicious bites of happiness and this Coconut Sunflower Seed Cookie recipe is my tribute to the Sunflower State of Kansas!
Coconut Sunflower Seed Cookie Recipe
Let’s get started!
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars with an electric mixer until fluffy and pale in color, about 4-5 minutes.
Add the coconut oil, eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and beat just until combined.
Stir in the oats, shredded coconut, sunflower seeds.
Drop the cookie batter by the spoonful onto a prepared cookie sheet.
In an oven preheated to 350 degrees F, bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are beginning to turn golden.
For more delicious cookie recipes check out our:
- White Chocolate Cranberry Pistachio Cookies
- Whole Grain Molasses Cookies
- Scottish Shortbread
- Butterscotch Coconut Cookies
- Healthy Peanut Butter Cookies
- Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies
- Linzer Cookies
- ANZAC Biscuits
Coconut Sunflower Seed Cookies
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter , room temperature
- 1/2 cup coconut oil , room temperature
- 1 cup brown sugar , packed
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs , room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup roasted and salted sunflower seed kernels
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars with an electric mixer until fluffy and pale in color, about 4-5 minutes. Add the coconut oil, eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and beat just until combined. Stir in the oats, shredded coconut, and sunflower seeds.Drop the cookie batter by the spoonful onto a prepared cookie sheet.Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are beginning to turn golden. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let cool.
Originally published on The Daring Gourmet August 5, 2013