Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'm (coco)nuts for chocolate. I wouldn't say I'm new to this whole coconut chocolate combination, but I am definitely new to toasted coconut in chocolate chip cookies. MIND. BLOWN.I've seriously been hooked on coconut lately -  I've been adding it to oatmeal, granola, cookies, cakes and even dhal (an Indian lentil stew/curry)! But toasting it and adding to cookies, that was a stroke of genius, I must admit. And trust me, even when I was stirring it in, I was not convinced, not in the slightest bit.

But the coconut, when toasted, gets all fragrant, crunchy, golden brown and straight-up delicious! It lends the most nutty, aromatic and wonderfully-textured feel to these cookies. Cookies are secretly my favorite typed of baked good as they're the easiest to sneak a bite of, are completely no-mess (crumbs don't count!) and don't need any bowl or spoon to eat from. 
I'm a die hard dark chocolate fan, so all my cookies tend to use dark chocolate chips. However, I think white chocolate chips, maybe with the addition of chopped macadamia nuts, would be an outstanding substitution. Milk chocolate works too!

Makes 14 medium-sized cookies
3/4 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup unrefined sugar
1 egg
3 tbsp coconut oil, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4-1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 175 C. Line a cookie sheet with baking paper.

Once the oven has heated, spread the desiccated coconut on the cookie sheet and place in the oven for 5-7 minutes, or until toasted and fragrant. Stir once or twice while toasting to ensure even cooking. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In a separate, larger bowl, beat together the coconut oil and sugar until creamy. Add in the egg and beat again until light and fluffy. Then add in the vanilla and beat one last time. Into the same mixture, stir in the cooled toasted coconut.

Add in the dry ingredients into the wet and beat gently. If the dough is too thick to beat at this point, just use a spoon to combine.

Finally, add the chocolate chips and stir one last time.

Time permitting, refrigerate the dough for about an hour. I didn't have the time to do so, so I baked the cookies directly and they still turned out great! Before baking, reduce the oven temperature to 160 C, or turn it on again and preheat to 160 C.

Using a cookie scoop or your hands (I prefer this!) roll the dough into balls of your preferred size and flatten slightly before setting to bake on the cookie sheet. Leave some, not too much, space between the dough to allow for spreading. 

Bake the cookies for 12 minutes, then increase the oven temperature to 200 C and bake for another 2-3 minutes or until the cookies look a gorgeous golden brown. 

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

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