Oatmeal Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies - Sweet & Savory Kitchens
Oatmeal, Coconut and Chocolate Chip Cookies - Sweet & Savory Kitchens

Margaux says…

Oatmeal, coconut and chocolate chip really doesn’t adequately describe these cookies. It’s more like: Oatmeal Coconut Chocolate Chip Browned Butter Almond and Craisin Cookies. But that’s too hard to remember. These cookies are jam packed with yummy goodies, and I LOVE cookies with everything but the kitchen sink in them. These are exceptional, and I think it’s the coconut. So, if you’re like me, and love coconut and chocolate together, you should give these a try. My Aunt Cindy emailed me this recipe last spring, and I have made them several times.

Browned Butter

The original recipe didn’t call for browned butter, but after making cookies with browned butter in them, I’m always willing to go the extra mile. It really enhances the flavor! These cookies have so much in them, that I don’t feel bad grabbing one for breakfast even. Protein, fiber, carbs, vitamin C…it has it all. Right? 😉

cookie dough

oatmeal coconut chocolate chip cookies - Sweet & Savory Kitchens
Oatmeal, Coconut and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes about 24 large cookies

Ingredients

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups packaged finely shredded unsweetened coconut (see note below)*
12 oz semisweet chocolate chips or chocolate chunks
3/4 cup almonds with skins (4 oz), toasted, cooled, and chopped
1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries or raisins

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Brown the butter: In a large saucepan (preferably light in color so that you can see when the butter browns so that it doesn’t burn), melt one and a half sticks of the butter on high heat. When it’s just melted, start swirling the pan around on the burner, until you see the butter starting to brown on the bottom of the pan (it will appear as little brown bits on the bottom). Remove from the heat, and put the remaining half stick of butter in the pan and swirl around until completely melted. Set aside to allow to cool slightly.

Beat together butter and sugars in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium
speed (or beat by hand with a wire whisk). Add eggs and beat until just blended, about 30 seconds. Let sit for one minute, then beat for 30 more seconds. Then beat in vanilla, baking soda, and salt. Add flour and mix at low speed until just blended (or carefully stir in by hand with a wooden spoon). Stir in oats, coconut, chocolate, nuts and dried fruit.

Arrange 1/4-cup mounds of cookie dough about 3 inches apart on large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (or greased) (about 8 cookies per sheet). Pat down cookie dough slightly so that it’s about 1/2 inch thick. Bake in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position and rotating pans halfway through baking, until golden, 12 to 15 minutes total (it should still look just slightly underdone in the center).

Cool cookies on sheets 1 minute, then transfer with a spatula to racks to cool completely. Make more cookies in same manner.

Cook’s notes: I have made these without the browned butter step, also, and they are still great. Just use room temperature butter, and beat it on high speed with the sugars until light in color and texture. I have also used pecans instead of almonds, and left out the craisins altogether, although I like the tartness of the craisins paired with the sweetness of the chocolate.

My Aunt Cindy just reminded me that these also can be made subbing half the butter for coconut oil! It gives a more intense coconut flavor. If you still want the browned butter, just brown one stick of butter, and then swirl in the coconut oil once the butter is browned.

*note on coconut: I have used both unsweetened shredded and sweetened (the regular Baker’s shredded coconut found in the baking aisle). The unsweetened is preferable, but in a pinch you can use sweetened. It makes the cookies MUCH more sweet, and I feel like the coconut flavor is lost a little because of that. So maybe decrease the sugar a bit and use only a tablespoon or two of the granulated.

I love these warm, and highly recommend microwaving them for 20 seconds or so before eating them (or just eating them right off the pan!).

Margaux says…

I’m not big on semi-homemade, at all, ever. Except for these cookies, so I guess I can’t say ever. But one taste, and you’ll agree. It’s one of those no-bake, super easy, make in minutes recipes like everyone seems to make around the holidays. And I usually steer clear of those. But I simply cannot stop eating these when they’re in front of me, and I have to have them once a year. It’s fudgy-peanut butter-crispy goodness. They’re one of my Aunt Gigi’s specialties, who is the original expert/ amateur baker in the family, and she always makes them for Christmas, along with several other perfect cookies, some of which I will post soon.

Scotcharoos

Butter a 9×13 pan.

1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
6 cups Special K cereal

2 cups (one 12 oz. bag) semi sweet chocolate chips
2 cups butterscotch chips

Heat the syrup and sugar just until it starts boil around the edges. Add the peanut butter and mix well. Add the Special K and spread the mixture into the prepared pan. Melt the chocolate and butterscotch chips together and spread over the Special K mixture. Let cool and cut into squares.

One 12-oz. box of Special K makes two recipes of bars.

Margaux says…

You can’t have Halloween without sugar cookie cut-outs.  Actually, you can’t have Christmas or Valentine’s Day without them either, if you ask me.  This sugar cookie recipe is my absolute favorite.  Aunt Suzy gave it to me when I was 11 years old…it came along with a bunch of other “must have” recipes, a recipe box (that I still use, by the way), a large pot for steaming or cooking pasta (which I also still have, and still use), and “how to cook” tapes made by her.  Other than the pasta cooker and the recipe box, this recipe is what I have used the most out of that gift. I love that she was the first person to get me interested in cooking! It was like we were destined to have a blog together someday (although, that word didn’t even exist in 1988).

I think this recipe is my favorite because of the addition of sour cream and nutmeg.  The cookies turn out crisp, but not too crisp, and have great flavor.  They’re perfect with vanilla frosting, which is what I prefer to use over royal icing or a powdered sugar and milk glaze-type icing.  They may not look as perfect with the frosting over the icing that turns hard and smooth, but they sure taste better!

Sugar Cookies

4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Set aside. Cream together butter, sugar, egg and vanilla. Add flour alternately with sour cream. Form dough into ball. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 6 hours to overnight. Divide dough into 4 parts. Preheat oven at 375 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper, or grease them. Roll out dough to 1/4″ thick. Cut with cookie cutter. Bake plain or with sugar on top (if you’re not icing), 10-12 minutes. Remove from cookie sheets and cool on cooling rack. Frost.

Vanilla Frosting

4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2-4 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla

Cream butter in stand mixer with paddle attachment. Add powdered sugar, beat until mixture is starting to clump together in pea-sized clumps. Add vanilla and 2 tbsp milk, beat on high speed until creamy and uniform (scrape down sides of bowl as needed). Add more milk if needed, and food coloring if desired. Frost cookies, let sit for about an hour so that the frosting will set (but it won’t get completely hard because of the butter). If adding sanding sugar or sprinkles, do so right away before the frosting gets a hard crust on top.

Margaux says…

I made these cookies a few weeks ago, while Aunt Suzy was visiting, and forgot an essential ingredient, the molasses. I should never bake while distracted, and without prepping all ingredients first! I’ve learned this lesson many times.

Needless to say, they were pretty terrible. But once I figured out what had happened (at first we thought it was just a bad recipe), I vowed to make them again because I love ginger cookies, and ginger with chocolate sounded so delicious.

So this time I remembered all the ingredients, and they were as delicious as I thought they would be! I may just be working these into my Christmas cookie repertoire, because they’re pretty easy, too.

Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
from Martha Stewart’s Cookies Cookbook

Makes 2 dozen.

  • 7 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup dark-brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    1. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Chop chocolate into 1/4-inch chunks; set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cocoa.
    2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and grated ginger until whitened, about 4 minutes. Add brown sugar; beat until combined. Add molasses; beat until combined.
    3. In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in 1 1/2 teaspoons boiling water. Beat half of flour mixture into butter mixture. Beat in baking-soda mixture, then remaining half of flour mixture. Mix in chocolate; turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Pat dough out to about 1 inch thick; seal with wrap; refrigerate until firm, 2 hours or more.
    4. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Roll dough into 1 1/2- inch balls; place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Refrigerate 20 minutes. Roll in granulated sugar. Bake until the surfaces crack slightly, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely

    Cookie Showdown!

    May 19, 2010

    Margaux says . . .

    Slate Magazine pittedCook’s Illustrated against food52 in a cooking/baking showdown, and of course I had to participate!!  I’ve always been a huge Cook’s Illustrated fan (as you have probably already figured out), and have subscribed to their magazine since I was in college.   I just learned about food52 when Aunt Suzy sent me the article about this competition, and signed up on the spot.  I’m still not 100% sure what they’re all about, but the website has great recipes, and I can’t wait to try some of them out.  The competition stemmed from the two entities coming from completely different places: Cook’s is “America’s Test Kitchen.”  They perfect recipes by testing them over and over, changing small things about them along the way, until they come up with the best.  Food52 is all about the “home cook.”  Its a website started by passionate cooks, who come up with their recipes in their own home kitchens.  So one recipe in the showdown has been tested over and over by professionals.  The other was developed by a home cook.

    Just out of curiosity, and to make things interesting in my own house, I also baked a batch of my family’s favorite sugar cookie recipe, “Freaky Sugar Cookies.”  These are the cookies I grew up with, but hadn’t had in several years, and I wanted to see how they held up the professional’s recipes.

    So on top of working my part-time job all weekend, I came home each night and baked 3 different batches of cookies.  And now we have sugar cookies coming out of our ears!  Add to it a late-night trek out to Whole Foods due to a missing ingredient, and I’ve had a very busy weekend.  Luckily the recipes were for sugar cookies, which are typically pretty easy to make.  Even the Cook’s recipe just took me a few minutes to whip up, despite having several more ingredients.

    And the winner is….Cook’s Illustrated!!  And actually, Freaky Sugar Cookies were a very close second!    There were four testers: me, my husband Jason, my sister-in-law Mandy and her boyfriend Jorge.  The Cook’s recipe was a winner for three of us, but Mandy preferred the food52 recipe.  The Cook’s recipe was liked for both its texture and flavor.  It was crispy on the edges, very chewy on the inside, and was very subtly spicy and not too sweet.  The food52 recipe was too sweet in our opinion (which is why Mandy liked it), and had a cakey texture in the center that we didn’t like.  The flavor actually reminded us of snickerdoodles more than sugar cookies. The Freaky Sugar cookies were a perfect classic sugar cookie, and had an amazingly delicate and crispy texture.  Actually, I almost like them better than the Cook’s recipe!  The Cook’s barely ekes out the win for me just because they’re more interesting due to the spices.

    For those of you who are only interested in sugar cookies as a vessel for your frosting, I wouldn’t recommend any of these.  I have a different sugar cookie recipe for that, which you HAVE to try.


    (clockwise starting at Desi’s finger: food52, Cook’s Illustrated, mine)

    The Recipes:

    Cook’s Illustrated Chai Spice Sugar Cookies
    Note: The final dough will be slightly softer than most cookie doughs. For best results, handle the dough as briefly and gently as possible when shaping the cookies. Overworking the dough will result in flatter cookies.

    Makes two dozen cookies

    2¼ cups (11 ¼ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
    ½ teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    ½ teaspoon table salt
    1 ½ cups (10 ½ ounces) sugar, plus 1/3 cup for rolling
    ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
    ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
    ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
    ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
    pinch ground black pepper
    2 ounces cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces
    6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and still warm
    1/3 cup vegetable oil
    1 large egg
    1 tablespoon milk
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract

    1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl. Set aside.

    2. Combine 1 ½ cups sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, and black pepper in large bowl; add cream cheese. Place remaining 1/3 cup sugar in shallow baking dish or pie plate and set aside. Pour warm butter over sugar and cream cheese and whisk to combine. (Some small lumps of cream cheese will remain but will smooth out later.) Whisk in oil until incorporated. Add egg, milk, and vanilla; continue to whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture and mix with rubber spatula until soft homogenous dough forms.

    3. Divide dough into 24 equal pieces about 2 tablespoons each. Using hands, roll dough into balls. Working in batches, roll balls in sugar to coat and set on prepared baking sheet, 12 dough balls per sheet. Using bottom of drinking glass, flatten dough balls until 2 inches in diameter. Sprinkle tops of cookies evenly with 4 teaspoons remaining sugar (2 teaspoons per tray), discarding any remaining sugar.

    4. Bake, one tray at a time, until edges are set and beginning to brown, 11 to 13 minutes, rotating tray after 7 minutes. Cool cookies on baking sheets for 5 minutes; using wide metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature.

    food52 Chewy Sugar Cookies #2

    Serves about two dozen

    1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1/4 cup light brown sugar2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1 large egg
    1 1/2 cup all-purpose unbleached flour (I use King Arthur)
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1 cup turbinado, or coarse sugar

    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two large sheet pans with parchment
    paper.

    2. Cream butter and sugars for 1 minute. Scrape sides of bowl. Continue beating for another minute. Scrape bowl again.

    3. Add vanilla. Beat for 1 minute. Scrape sides of bowl.

    4. Add egg. Beat for 1 minute. Scrape sides of bowl.

    5. Add flour, salt and baking soda. Beat 1 minute. Scrape sides of bowl and beat for another
    minute.

    6. Place course sugar in small, shallow bowl. Using a small cookie/ice cream scoop (mine is 1½ inches in diameter), scoop balls of dough, and drop a few at a time in the course sugar and gently roll around. Place balls of dough on parchment, leaving about 1½ inches of space around each. My pans fit 12 cookies very comfortably.

    7. Do not press the balls down. This will ensure a chewy middle.

    8. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, turning and reversing pans midway through baking. Resist the urge to bake your cookies longer, or they won’t be chewy. The tops don’t get much color but the bottoms will be nicely golden.

    9. Place pans on cooling racks. When cool, store cookies in air-tight containers.

    Freaky Sugar Cookies

    makes about 2 dozen

    Cream together:
    1/2 cup butter
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    1 cup sugar

    Add:
    1 egg
    1/2 tsp vanilla

    Sift together and add:
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp cream of tartar
    2 cups flour

    Form into balls the size of walnuts.  Roll in sugar.  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Flatten with the bottom of a sugared glass to about 1/4″ thick.  Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, until they start to brown around the edges.  Let cool on cookie sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack.

    The dough will be very soft and a little difficult to handle, so be careful!

    P.S.  I have a feeling that the food52 recipe is going to win based on all the comments from Slate Magazine readers.  A lot of people have issue with “snooty” Cook’s Illustrated.  I guess they didn’t know that Christopher Kimball is really just a huge food nerd, and not snooty at all!

    Margaux says

    So I have to admit, I subscribe to Martha Stewart Living. It’s ideal for me, because I like crafty stuff, as well as liking to cook and bake. So it saves me from having to subscribe to multiple magazines, since I barely have time to read just the one. Plus, its really, really good. This month’s Martha had a chocolate chip recipe that was supposedly for everyone: people who like chewy cookies, and people who like crispy cookies. My husbands favorite cookies are chocolate chip, so I thought I have to try this one, since its claiming to be the best. I seem to be on a cookie kick lately, which is kind of weird…I’m usually more of a cake/pie baker. But I’m finding that its easier to throw together a batch of cookies with a one-year-old running around my feet than anything else. I can also just bake one or two sheets, then save the dough for later when I have more time.

    This chocolate chip recipe is only slightly different from the one on the back of the Toll House chip bag, which is what I usually use. I like using the dark brown sugar…it gave them a little more flavor. These definitely lived up to Martha’s testimonial of being the best! They didn’t fall flat like every other recipe that I’ve used do, and they have a chewy center with a nice crispy edge. Just make sure that you don’t over-do them…they need to be just turning golden brown, and still just slightly underdone in the middle. I over-did a few batches, and they weren’t as good.

    Crisp and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
    (from Martha Stewart Living, April 2010)

    2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1 1/4 tsp salt
    1 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp baking soda
    2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
    1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
    3/4 cup granulated sugar
    2 large eggs
    1 tsp vanilla
    1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

    1. Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
    2. Preheat oven to 350. Beat butter and sugars with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture, beat until combined. Mix in chocolate chips (I did this by hand).
    3. Using a 2 1/4 inch ice cream scoop (about 3 tbsp), drop dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Bake until golden around edges but soft in the middle, about 15 minutes. (That was too long for me…check after 13 minutes to be sure). Let cool for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack, and let cool completely.

    Finished Dough

    Finished Cookies

    Brown Sugar Cookies

    May 15, 2010

    Margaux says

    These are the BEST cookies I have ever made. Hands down. It helps that the recipe is from Cook’s Illustrated because they make things pretty much foolproof, they have such detailed instructions. As boring and mundane as the recipe sounds, its not…these cookies are rich and buttery, with a crispy outside and a chewy inside, slightly salty and perfectly sweet. Plus, they’re very easy and require just a few standard ingredients.

    14 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)
    1/4 cup granulated sugar (about 1 3/4 ounces)
    2 cups packed brown sugar (14 ounces)
    2 cups unbleached flour plus 2 tablespoons (about 10 1/2 ounces)
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon table salt
    1 large egg
    1 large egg yolk
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract

    Instructions

    1. Heat 10 tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue to cook, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl. Stir remaining 4 tablespoons butter into hot butter to melt; set aside for 15 minutes.

    2. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large (18 by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper. In shallow baking dish or pie plate, mix granulated sugar and 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, rubbing between fingers, until well combined; set aside. Whisk flour, baking soda, and baking powder together in medium bowl; set aside.

    3. Add remaining 1 3/4 cups brown sugar and salt to bowl with cooled butter; mix until no sugar lumps remain, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula; add egg, yolk, and vanilla and mix until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined, about 1 minute. Give dough final stir with rubber spatula to ensure that no flour pockets remain and ingredients are evenly distributed. 

    4. Divide dough into 24 portions, each about 2 tablespoons, rolling between hands into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Working in batches, toss balls in reserved sugar mixture to coat and set on prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart, 12 dough balls per sheet. (Smaller baking sheets can be used, but it will take 3 batches.)

    5. Bake one sheet at a time until cookies are browned and still puffy and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft (cookies will look raw between cracks and seem underdone; see photo below), 12 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Do not overbake.

    6. Cool cookies on baking sheet 5 minutes; using wide metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature.

    Checking Doneness:

    Achieving the proper texture—crisp at the edges and chewy in the middle—is critical to this recipe. Because the cookies are so dark, it’s hard to judge doneness by color. Instead, gently press halfway between the edge and center of the cookie. When it’s done, it will form an indent with slight resistance. Check early and err on the side of underdone.