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by Joanna Wohlmuth

Spending more time in the kitchen is about the only upside I’ve found to the never-ending cold weather. Snow day baking is definitely the ideal, but any cold and dark night is a good time to turn on the oven. Adding some tropical flair to a standard oatmeal chocolate chip cookie has been the most effective way to remind myself that, eventually, I’ll walk out of my apartment in a tank top and think nothing of it. Actually, I’ll probably complain about the heat.

Replacing some of the oatmeal with toasted coconut and the butter with coconut oil make these cookies taste rich and slightly nutty, but the coconut flavor isn’t overpowering. The addition of coconut oil to an already not-too-sweet cookie practically makes it a health food in my book. Cookies for breakfast, anyone? If you’re a macaroon fan, you can replace all the oatmeal with toasted coconut and thank me later.

These cookies don’t take long to make, once you have unsweetened coconut flakes and coconut oil on hand. Don’t be tempted to skip the 30-minute chill in the refrigerator. If you do, the edges will spread and burn since coconut oil is almost liquid at room temperature.

Photo: Joanna Wohlmuth

Double Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies

Makes about 30 cookies

1 cup coconut oil (at room temperature)
½ cup brown sugar (light or dark)
¼ cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup organic rolled oats (not instant oats)
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 ½ cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ cup milk
½ tsp vanilla
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Toast the shredded coconut in a 350° F oven until light brown (stirring once after 5 minutes and then cooking for another 2-4 minutes until done). Set aside to cool.

Beat the coconut oil and sugars together in a bowl. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until well blended. Mix the flour, oats, coconut, salt, and baking powder together in another bowl. Pour the vanilla extract into the milk.

Add a third of the dry ingredients, followed by half the milk, and so on until all the ingredients are just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Chill the batter in fridge for 30 minutes and preheat the oven to 375° F.

Drop tablespoons on dough on an ungreased baking sheet, at least two inches apart. Bake cookies until lightly browned, about 10-12 minutes. Cool for 2 minutes on the sheet and transfer to a rack to cool completely.

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