There must be thousands of variations on the chocolate chip cookie. When I plugged the words "chocolate chip cookie recipe" into a Google search, I was immediately returned over one-hundred thousand results, and there are several cookbooks that focus only on variations of this one treat, which are available on Amazon. Everyone from Nestle's Tollhouse to Neiman Marcus claims that their version is the best, but we all know that this honor goes to the cookies that have come straight out of our own ovens. There is something about a freshly baked, still warm and gooey, chocolate chip cookie that makes it better than what any award-winning bake shop can provide.
One fun thing about chocolate chip cookie recipes is that they allow room for improvisation. As soon as you have made the cookie base, it becomes a blank canvas on which you can add whatever mix-ins appeal to your current craving or whatever you happen to have on hand in your pantry. I happened to have partial bags of both white and semisweet chocolate chips, as well as a large supply of coconut, due to the fact that I bought some when I already had a large bag hidden in the back of the shelf. I also like to add oats to my cookie dough, as it adds a chewy texture and a nice toasty flavor. These cookies bake up nice and thin and buttery-sweet. Make sure you have an ice-cold glass of milk nearby for the full-on chocolate chip cookie experience. Here are a few tips for preparing these doubly delightful desserts:
- The cookie dough can be prepared up to two days in advance and then refrigerated, tightly covered. If the dough becomes to hard to scoop, then let sit at room temperature for a few minutes to soften.
- Another preparation method is to scoop the portions of cookie dough, place them on a baking sheet or platter, and then refrigerate them. This way, all that needs to be done is place the baking sheet in a preheated oven or transfer the portions to a baking sheet and bake.
- If you don't have parchment paper, you can use a silpat (silicone baking liner), or you can lightly grease the baking sheet. I prefer parchment as it allows the cookies to bake evenly and it prevents the bottoms from burning.
- For a variation, try adding nuts like sliced almonds, chopped macadamias, or lightly toasted pecans to the batter.
- If you like your cookies to be extra-chewy, like I do, try to underbake them a bit or add more coconut. I like to use a combination of sweetened and unsweetened coconut.
Double-Chip Coconut Oatmeal Cookies
Makes about 28 cookies
1 ¼ cups flour
⅛ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
12 tablespoons butter, softened
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
½ cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ½ cups oats
1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
½ cup white chocolate chips
1 cup shredded coconut
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter with the brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the granulated sugar and beat for an additional 2 minutes. Add the eggs and the vanilla and beat until well combined. Beat in the dry ingredients at low speed, in 2 additions.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and, with a large spoon or spatula, mix in the oats, both types of chocolate chips, and coconut. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least one hour, until chilled.
Preheat the oven to 375F degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a heaping tablespoon or a small ice cream scoop, drop mounds of dough onto the baking sheets 2 ½ inches apart. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown and just set. Let the cookies cool on the sheets for 5 minutes and then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.