As the name says, these Crispy, Chewy Carolina Coconut Cookies have moist chewy interiors, crisp buttery edges and lots of fabulous coconut flavor for a delicious sweet indulgence!
To me, these Crispy, Chewy Carolina Coconut Cookies are a cross between a macaroon and a crisp traditional brown sugar cookie. The edges are crisp and buttery while the coconut-laden interiors remain moist and deliciously chewy unlike our Coconut Pecan Toffee Cookies that are equally as delicious but super crisp from edges to center.
Easy to throw together
It's a super easy one-bowl, no-mixer recipe although if you prefer a mixer, that will work too. It's a fun recipe to make with kids with it being so easy. When baking with younger children, I like to have the ingredients measured out in little bowls before getting started which makes the process enjoyable for everyone.
What kind of coconut should you use in these cookies?
I've used both sweetened and unsweetened coconut with good results for these coconut cookies. Sometimes I do half of each.
Double the recipe for lots of cookies!
The recipe makes 18-20 cookies, but if you're looking to feed a crowd, the recipe is easily doubled. I often double this recipe, not because I'm frequently feeding a crowd but because I can freeze the dough in scoops, then pull out exactly as many as I need and have that wonderful fresh baked cookie aroma wafting through my house anytime I please.
"Carolina" Coconut Cookies?
Why are these cookies called Carolina Coconut Cookies? Good question!
I mentioned in an earlier post that we have a little "school" here at The Café every Wednesday with Emmy and Hayes, two of our grandchildren that live nearby. They're still doing online school in the mornings so we decided last Fall to have our own little Woodlands Academy school each Wednesday afternoon. We pick them up around noon, feed them lunch and then study a different U.S. state each week.
It gives mom a nice break and the kids get to learn all kinds of new information about our great country. We cook something from the chosen state and try to revolve dinner that evening (with mom and dad) around popular recipes from that area of the country. This week, the kids chose our home state, North Carolina for our focus. We enjoyed slow-roasted, pulled pork, Carolina slaw on brioche rolls and these Crispy, Chewy Carolina Coconut Cookies.
The truth? I have to admit, these delicious cookies aren't a classic Carolina cookie. I call them that because it's my recipe, we were studying North Carolina this week and we made them in my little Carolina kitchen. So there you have it! If you want to sub your state's name, go for it!
A few grand helpers
Our little friends, Emmy and Hayes, were thrilled to help with the photo shoot for these Crispy, Chewy Carolina Coconut Cookies after we finished "school" on Wednesday afternoon.
And when we offered them a payment for their "help"... well, as you can see they were absolutely thrilled and gave the cookies a huge thumbs-up!
I think your family, friends, neighbors, etc. will give them a huge thumbs up too! Make a batch of these crispy, chewy cookies soon and serve them with plenty of cold milk. Don't be surprised if you get requests for them again and again!
Cafe Tips for these Chewy Crispy Carolina Coconut Cookies
- Because this is a one-bowl, no-mixer recipe, make sure that your butter is nice and soft. You should be able to push your finger into the butter easily without any resistance. That can be a little tricky, especially during the colder months. Here are a few tricks:
- You can soften the butter in the microwave on power level 10%. It works like magic. You’ll need to experiment a bit with your microwave though, as they’re all different. Start with 1 minute. Add 20 to 30-second increments until you learn how long your microwave will take to get the butter nice and soft, but not melted.
- Another technique I often use to soften butter is to put it in the microwave for a few hours with the light on. To keep the light on in the microwave I put a folded paper towel in the door.
- Boil a cup of water in the microwave for 3-4 minutes and get things nice and steamy. Leave the water cup in the microwave, add the butter and close the door. The warmth from the steamy water will help to quickly soften the butter. Sometimes I will even put a kitchen towel or several thicknesses of paper towels in the door so it won’t completely close and the light will remain on. The warmth from the light will also help soften the butter.
- Cutting the butter into small pieces helps it soften quicker.
- Place the hard butter on a small plate. Fill a bowl with hot water. Wait 5 minutes then discard the water. Put the warm bowl over the butter.
- Put the butter in the oven with the light turned on. This will take a few hours.
- The fastest way to soften butter is to put cold butter in the microwave for 10 seconds. Turn it to the opposite side and microwave for another 10 seconds. It might be ready at this point, but if it’s not completely soft, add one or two more 10-second stints.
- These cookies are delicious on their own but I like to top them with a sprinkle of toffee bits. Toffee bits can be found in many larger grocery stores in the same area as the chocolate chips. Super Targets and Walmarts carry them. If you can't find toffee bits, a sprinkle of raw sugar (Turbinado or Demerara) is also delicious.
Thought for the day:
Let us hold unswervingly
to the hope we profess,
for He who promised is faithful.
What we're listening to for inspiration:
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear your results, adaptations and ideas for variations.
- ½ cup very soft butter
- ½ cup light brown sugar packed
- ½ cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups coconut flakes (divided) I've used both sweetened and unsweetened with good results
- toffee bits or raw, coarse sugar like Turbinado or Demerara for topping (I use about ½ cup toffee bits)
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
Combine the soft butter, sugars and egg in a medium-size mixing bowl. Stir with a sturdy spatula until nice and smooth.
Add the vanilla and baking soda and stir to combine.
Stir in the flour, a little at a time and the salt. Mix just until any traces of flour have been mixed in. Add 1 ½ cups of the coconut, reserving the other half cup in a small bowl.
Scoop up the cookies in 2 tablespoon portions. Roll the tops and sides of the dough balls in the reserved coconut and place on the prepared sheet pans with 2 inches between each one.
Bake for 12-16 minutes until light golden brown. Remove from the oven and top each cookie with 1-1½ teaspoons of the toffee bits. Alternatively, you can sprinkle each cookie with ½-1 teaspoon of Turbinado or Demerara raw sugar.
Return the cookies to the oven and bake for another 2-3 minutes until nicely golden brown.
Cool on the cookie sheet for 2-3 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool.
Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 1-2 months.
See Café Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions and tips.