Here is the inevitable question when one sees a title like this: do we need another chocolate chunk cookie? I suppose we all have our reasons for revisiting the classic chocolate chip/chunk cookie. Maybe it was your childhood favorite, or perhaps it was the first cookie you made for your own children?
We didn’t eat a lot of chocolate chip cookies as children; my parents preferred “biscuits” (as Britons would describe cookies), such as Digestives and Peek Frean. But my recollection of an afternoon of play, many years ago at a friend’s home, illustrates the universal appeal of warm chocolate chip cookies. As we spent time with our coloring books and board games, the cozy little house filled with the perfume of cookies in the oven. Once the baking sheets emerged and were set aside to cool, it was all that my friend’s mother could do to keep her older twin sons from devouring the entire batch! As she shooed the boisterous boys from the kitchen, we three little girls were waiting for our turn at the cookie feast. I stood back shyly as this sweet lady, with her lovely English accent, deftly removed a cookie from the sheet and handed it to me. What a treat! The edges were crispy, but the interior was warm and gooey with still-melting chocolate chips. It was a moment in time when, even as a small child, I felt the warmth of friends and food and the companionship of sharing it all. And, after so many years, it remains a special memory.
The recipe I chose for these cookies is from a favorite food blogger, one I have followed since I started writing here four years ago. Tara O’Brady has had her first cookbook published and by all observations it is a good one! Her site, “Seven Spoons”, remains one of my favorites. I thought there was no way I should make the entire recipe, but in retrospect, I could have frozen half the batch. That will be the plan next time, and there will be a next time. I did tweak the ingredients just a little: I added chopped walnuts and a little finely shredded, unsweetened coconut. If you want to make Tara’s original recipe you can find it here and here. Otherwise, read on for a slightly different take on a really terrific cookie. And, be sure to share with your family and friends, preferably when those chocolate chunks are still warm and melty.
Chocolate Chunk, Walnut, and Coconut Cookies
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons fine-shred , unsweetened coconut (I use a product called "Let's Do Organic")
- 5/8 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate , chopped
- A scant 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- Maldon flaky sea salt , for sprinkling atop the cookies (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a heavy cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set the oven rack to the middle position.
Melt the butter slowly, over low heat, without allowing it to bubble or brown. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, shredded coconut, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Pour the butter into a large mixing bowl and whisk in the sugars. Add the egg and whisk to combine, then stir in the vanilla. Using a sturdy spatula, stir in the flour mixture. When it is almost all incorporated, add the chopped chocolate and walnuts. Try not to overmix the dough.
Form the dough into balls of about 3 tablespoons each. Arrange on the prepared sheet, leaving about three inches of space between each cookie. Sprinkle with a little sea salt, if using. Bake until the cookies are light golden and cracked on top, with still-soft centers, about 10 to 13 minutes. Let the cookies sit for a minute or two on the sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store in airtight container for up to a week (they won't last that long!)