Coconut Is The Secret Ingredient Your Chocolate Chip Cookies Need

There's very little a baker can do to improve upon the classic chocolate chip cookie formula. A golden cookie dough sporting a mix of brown and granulated sugar, rich chocolate chips, and plenty of butter, it hits the spot almost every time. But even a tried-and-true icon could use a tasty upgrade every once in a while. Enter an aromatic addition that'll completely transform your chocolate chip cookies: coconut. 

Nutty, mildly sweet coconut is an instant game-changer to the flavor and texture of your cookies. Coconut adds chewiness to each bite, working much like oats do in an oatmeal cookie, only bringing with it more flavor. Baked in the oven, the coconut turns golden and crisp on the exterior, while remaining tender and soft on the inside, offering a duet of textures. Meanwhile, it infuses the chocolate-forward cookie with the earthy sweetness signature to coconut. While this sounds like an easy ingredient to incorporate into your standard cookie dough, you'll need to follow a few key rules to get it just right. 

Adding chew and flavor to your cookies

Let's discuss what type of coconut you should be adding to the dough. There are many types of coconut products on the market, from flaked coconut to coconut flakes (yes, there's a difference), and it can be difficult to determine which should go in your dough. For this recipe, we suggest you go with a confection classic, desiccated coconut. Desiccated coconut is set apart from other coconut products because it has been dehydrated after shredding, meaning it packs much less moisture. This is good for cookie dough since any excess liquid could ruin its consistency. 

There's also a right and a wrong time to add the coconut. Unlike chunky chocolate chips, finely shredded desiccated coconut cannot easily be folded into the cookie batter at the end. You'll risk overworking the dough (leading to tough cookies) if you try to fold in the coconut properly. Instead, add the coconut after creaming together the butter and sugar, so the coconut is evenly dispersed in the dough without activating the gluten that comes in with the flour. Then, you'll create a chocolate chip cookie worth remembering.