Thursday, October 11, 2007


Here's a cookie that took me several tries to get it right.  It's crisp on the edges and soft and just very slightly chewy in the center with nice flavors from the coconut and nuts.  The cookie is plenty sweet, even with 1/4 cup less sugar than the recipe calls for.

Coconut-Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from
Rating:  8.5 out of 10

1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup chopped toasted walnuts, or nut of choice
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unbleached whole-wheat flour or white whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter + 1/2 cup Smart Balance buttery spread (or use 1 cup butter)
1-1/4 cups sugar
1-1/2 tsp. dark unsulphured molasses
2 large eggs
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups your choice of chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS: Have all ingredients at room temperature before you start. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. To toast the coconut and walnuts, spread each out onto a separate pie plate. Toast in the oven until they're golden and give off a nice aroma. You can put them in the oven when you turn it on, in which case they should take between 10-13 minutes. The walnuts
may get done first, and you can remove them. The coconut will start to brown on the edges first. When you see that happening, take the pan out of the oven and stir it, distributing the coconut so that the browned pieces are more in the center, if you can. I like to get the coconut good and brown, but you have to be careful you don't burn it, so watch it very carefully when it starts to turn. Set nuts and coconut aside to cool.

Measure the dry ingredients (flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt) in a medium-sized bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter & Smart Balance with an electric mixer (preferably a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, only because it makes your job so much easier). Slowly add sugar and molasses and continue to beat until mixture is fluffy and light in color. (I goofed when I was making this batter and inadvertently combined the sugar with the flours. It didn't change anything in the finished product.) Add the eggs and beat till incorporated. Add the lemon juice and vanilla and beat 3 more minutes or until creamy textured. (If using mixer with paddle, you will beat for less time and you may notice the mixture curdling. It won't hurt anything.) By hand (or if using mixer with paddle, then by machine), stir in flour mixture until just barely mixed; gently fold in the chocolate chips, toasted coconut and walnuts. Chill batter for at least 1/2 hour for easier handling and so the cookies will set up better.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 again. Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop cookie dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto parchment paper, 2 inches apart. Bake in upper part of the oven (meaning put your oven rack at the mid-point or slightly above)
for 11-13 minutes, or until lightly browned, turning the baking sheet around half-way through the baking time to allow even baking of the cookies. (I like to test my cookies for doneness the same way you test a cake -- with a toothpick inserted in center. They'll be best if there are a few crumbs on the toothpick when you pull it out.) Let cookies cool in pan for 2 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to finish cooling. The yield on this recipe was quoted as 48, but I only got 42. Maybe I made bigger cookies.

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