Yesterday I made our neighbors a batch of cookies as a thank you gift for helping me take care of a lost dog. I’d planned on making chocolate chip, but wanted to do something a little more special, and made a version with buttery toasted nuts and coconut.
For the nuts, I used pecans. They are toasted and tossed with butter so not only do they add flavor, they balance the cookie’s sweetness – something that you can’t do just by reducing sugar, because the sugar is what gives the cookies their chewy texture. I used pecans, but walnuts would be just as good. Since the cookies have such a chewy texture, you might even be able to use roasted, salted, almonds.
Update: I gave one of these cookies to my dad. Ten minutes later he called from the road to say how great it was. He never does that, so consider it a vote for the cookie.
- 1/2 cup whole pecans, use a little more if you like
- 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup flaked coconut
- 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cool room temperature, cut into chunks
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large cold egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups (6.8 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 11/4 cup extra dark or dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
- Place pecans on the baking sheet and bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until they start to release their oil (become shiny). Remove from the oven and toss with the teaspoon of butter. Sprinkle with salt and let cool. Chop.
- Wipe the rimmed baking sheet clean and lay the coconut on it. Toast for about 6 minutes or until it is golden around the edges. Let cool.
- In large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cool butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until creamy. Beat in the egg and vanilla until they are combined.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- By hand or using lowest speed of the mixer, stir in the flour mixture.
- Add chocolate chips, toasted pecans and coconut to the dough and stir well.
- Using a (generously!) heaping tablespoon, scoop up 15 mounds of dough. You can bake them immediately, or scoop them onto a foil lined tray, chill, and bake as needed.
- Arrange about 3 inches apart on foil-lined baking sheets. Bake one sheet at time for 12-14 minutes or until cookies are golden brown.
- Let cool on baking sheets for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
-- Chilling the dough will give you a fatter cookie
-- Using chunks of chocolate rather than chips will cause the cookies to spread a bit more
-- For the chocolate chips, I used what I had on hand which was a mixture of Guittard extra dark and Hershey's Dark.