Coconut Oatmeal Cookies With Mini Chocolate Chips

Coconut Oatmeal Cookies With Mini Chocolate Chips

(for Dad’s birthday)

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So my Dad’s birthday is on Monday, and I can’t be there to celebrate with him, so I’m sending coconut. My Dad loves coconut. I wanted to make him something fun with fluffy coconut frosting, but (a) I couldn’t give Mark & Linus something delicate to carry along with the 80 bags of luggage & groceries they were already taking with them; and (b) I know that in general, he prefers less indulgent fare, and I’m sure there will already be plenty of birthday treats going around.

I poked around Pinterest and found a recipe for Coconut Oatmeal Cookies. They looked pretty delicious, but I found myself wondering if I could use whole wheat pastry flour instead of all purpose, since it’s one of the things that makes the Whole Grain Thin & Crispy Oatmeal Cookies so delicious.

But then I had a dilemma. Do I add coconut to those, or swap out the flour in the new ones? I looked for an expert and consulted KC at work, who bakes too, and she suggested the better swap would be the flour. Thanks KC!

Like all good cookies, these begin with butter and (white and brown) sugars.

butter and sugars


And then I added the eggs and vanilla.

with eggs and vanilla

Once that was mixed to my satisfaction, I got out another bowl and whisked together the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. I poured it into the mixing bowl, a little at a time, stirring as I went.

adding dry ingredients

The texture was promising, so I moved forward. In went two cups of oats.

adding oats

And then two cups of coconut. I only had unsweetened coconut on hand, but I figured that would be okay given all the sugar already involved.

adding coconut

Once it was all mixed, it looked even more delicious than before. And yet I thought there was room for one more step. Mini chocolate chips. Not enough to overwhelm the other flavors, not enough to even end up in every bite, but just the right amount to add a little sweet chocolate goodness every once in a while.

with mini chocolate chips

I used the cookie scoop to drop the batter onto cookie sheets, and per the recipe, sprinkled a bit of coconut on the top of each one.

cookies on baking sheet

The right baking time came to about 12 minutes.

cookies baked on sheet

Before I could even get them off the tray and onto the rack, Linus was grabbing at them!

grabby Linus

Luckily I got a lot more cookies than the recipe predicted. And look at them!



They came out just crisp enough to have a crunch but still keep all the nuances of flavor: oats, coconut, with a whisper of chocolate. The key was the coconut though, it’s what makes the cookies unique. And unique they need to be, as they are a birthday gift for the unique and wonderful Dad I am so lucky to have. Other kids’ dads didn’t teach them to fake tapdance, or take them to Paul Simon concerts when they were ten, or remind them that anything can be fun, even putting on your socks. And other kids’ dads didn’t consider going to the movies (and eating popcorn while you’re there) worthy of a separate budget from your allowance, because going to the movies should be encouraged. (Yes!)

Last summer we were at the ice cream shop near their summer house, and I was admiring the giant novelty sign they had up, a huge cardboard cut-out of an ice cream cone. I’ve love those signs, and I mentioned that I’d always wanted to own one. “What would you do with it?” he asked me. “Put it up in my office,” I said.

Later that summer, despite being evacuated due to a tornado warning, Dad and Michael schlepped a giant cardboard ice cream cone, ordered via the ice cream shop, to my office.

Who else would do such a thing? Who else would understand that I really meant it when I said I’d always wanted one? Who else would get it for me?

And who else would do something this great to his hair for his 70th birthday?

Dad at 70 with his new blue hair

Happy birthday Dad, I love you. Eat cookies!


My version of Coconut Oatmeal Cookies with Mini Chocolate Chips (adapted from Cookin’ Up Good Times)


1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white or cane sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 – 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (to taste, really)


Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars at medium speed. Beat in the eggs, and then the vanilla.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture, stirring as you go. (You can use the mixer for this but I did it by hand.)

Once fully incorporated, add the oats and coconut. Mix well, then fold in the mini chocolate chips.

Using a cookie scoop (or something else to ensure consistent cookie sizes, drop the batter onto a cookie sheet that has been greased or has parchment paper. Leave about two inches between cookies. Sprinkle each one with a little bit of coconut.

Bake for 9-12 minutes. (Mine were done at 12.)

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