I’ve always preferred soft, chewy cookies to their crunchy counterparts. When I’ve eaten a crunchy cookie, I assumed that it was either overcooked or store-bought. My gauge for a successful cookie recipe has been its balance of soft and chewy, giving crunchy little merit. Everyone feels that way, right? As it turns out, no. Recently I discovered that some people actually PREFER crunchy cookies, my father-in-law included. Can you imagine?!
So I set out to create a delicious, albeit crunchy, cookie recipe.
These cookies are a bit of science project. (Oh, that sounds appetizing. 😉 ) What I mean is that savory dishes like soup and stir-fry are more art than science – you can add a little of this and a little of that to suit your tastes and not destroy the recipe. But with baking, too much of this or too much of that and you have a problem.
Take this cookie recipe for example: I originally posted it in September of 2012 and have made it many times with mixed results. Why? Because I was scooping the flour and eyeballing the amounts of oatmeal and coconut. These cookies should have the texture of tender shortbread, a delicate crunch, but should taste like an oatmeal, coconut and chocolate chip cookie. To attain this consistently, you need to weigh the ingredients. And honestly, the more I bake, the more I prefer recipes that list ingredient weights. (Here is a decent kitchen scale for $15.)
I was after a hearty cookie and, as you know, white whole wheat flour is my favorite base for baked goods (like here, here, and here). I love oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, but I wanted to add something unusual to these. Toasted coconut would be fun I thought. But fun isn’t how I would describe the result, more like magic. Coarsely grinding it first (like I did for the Toasted Coconut Kettle Corn) adds a subtle, coconutty (pretend that’s a real word 🙂 ) crunch to every bite. These aren’t hard or crispy, they’re delicately crunchy like a good shortbread.
I won’t say that I’m a convert to crunchy cookies, but I will say that these are utterly delicious. I hope you think so too.
To toast coconut shreds or flakes, you can bake them on a cookie sheet in a 300°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes – stirring a couple of times to toast evenly – or toast until brown, stirring constantly, in a dry skillet over medium heat. Coarsely grind your toasted coconut in a food processor before adding to this recipe.
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour (240 grams) I used Bob's Red Mill Ivory Wheat Whole Grain Flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks) at room temperature
- 2 cups dark brown sugar (340 grams) lightly packed
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (144 grams) I used extra-thick
- 3/4 cup toasted coconut (60 grams) coarsely ground (see headnote), 60 grams
- 1 cup coarsely chopped (113 grams) toasted walnuts
- 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips I used 70%
Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Add butter and brown sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat at low speed until combined; increase speed and beat until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes more. Add the egg and vanilla and beat well, making sure to scrape down sides of bowl. Add flour mixture – cover mixer with a kitchen towel to protect your counters from a flour flurry. Start at low speed until combined, then increase to high for about 1 minute more. Add rolled oats, coconut, nuts, and chocolate chips; mix just until combined.
- Scoop dough into walnut sized balls (my favorite cookie scoop) and arrange about 2-inches apart on prepared baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 12 to 14 minutes, until golden brown. Wait a few minutes before transferring to cooling rack (cookies will fall apart if you don’t – live and learn, ahem.)
If, like me, you like to bake only the number of cookies that will be eaten the same day, then bake what you need and freeze the rest. Thaw them covered with plastic wrap on a parchment lined baking sheet before baking and flatten to ½-inch thick with a glass or mug bottom or the palm of your hand.