I hated coconut as a child. Each Halloween, the houses that gave out Mounds and Almond Joy were met with a begrudging “thanks” while my brother and sister and I scampered to the next house, one that hopefully had Skittles or M&M’s or something good.
But this year, for the first time, I had trick-or-treaters come to my house! I was prepped with my candy bowls, and based on my own experiences, had picked out most of the Mounds and Almond Joy candies that came in the variety pack I bought. I wanted any kids that came to my door to have the “good” candy. Of course, I also dressed up Junior for the occasion (which you may have seen if you saw this post).
Anyways, that left me with a pile of coconut-and-chocolate candy. A big pile of it. I couldn’t feed it to Junior so each time I walked by the giant pile, just waiting to be eaten, I thought about trying one myself. Taste-buds change when you grow up, right?
I eventually did try one, and then another, and maybe then another, and realized they were DELICIOUS!
This happened in October though, so why am I blogging about it in February? My mind works in mysterious ways… The other day I was swimming (the only physical activity I can really do with my broken leg) and as I was going back and forth and back and forth, I kept thinking about two things: (1) Junior (obviously) and (2) Halloween, and my discovery of chocolate and coconut. A few thousand yards later, I had a plan–I was going to come home and whip up some delicious, sugary thing loaded with chocolate and coconut. And I was going to call my parents so I could talk to Junior.
According to my parents, Junior actually comes over and sniffs the phone when I talk to him. They might be lying to me and Junior might be completely oblivious to the fact that my voice is coming out of the telephone, but I like to think they’re telling the truth. Really, though, I think some part of me knows he just does this the whole time:
After the phone call, I crutched over to the kitchen to start my baking endeavor. I realized that I didn’t have enough cocoa powder or chocolate chips to make brownies, and I didn’t have any butter or white sugar. Which meant a little creativity was in order–I decided to make cookies with coconut oil instead of butter and brown sugar instead of white. Both these changes actually worked out perfectly; the coconut oil added another layer of coconut flavor the cookies and the brown sugar yielded a chewier cookie. I also took a hint from my Sugar Cookie Softies and added lots of leavener, so my cookies would bake up soft and puffy, and a bit of cream of tartar, so they would stay soft and puffy after baking.
These cookies combine coconut and chocolate in a delicious way, and are stuffed with as many chocolate chips as the dough could handle. They have great texture–the soft, chewiness of the cookie itself pairs well with the mini chocolate chips and coconut in each bite. And the fact that there’s no butter in the recipe is just a bonus!
Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies
makes about 20 cookies
1/2 cup room temperature coconut oil (not rock hard and not melted)
3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup sweetened, shredded coconut
Using a stand- or hand-mixer, cream together the oil and sugar, beating it on medium speed for 3-4 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg and vanilla, beating for an additional minute. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cream of tartar, and salt. Add to oil/sugar mixture, stirring until combined. Mix in the chocolate chips and the coconut. You may have to use your hands to get the chocolate chips fully incorporated–the cookies are loaded with them. Form the cookies into balls using about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough and flatten slightly with the palm of your hand. Refrigerate the dough for at least two hours before baking.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Bake the cookies for about 7 minutes, until the edges are just starting to brown and the tops are still quite soft. Let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.