The Best Soft and Chewy Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you think cookies made without any butter mean making a sacrifice in the taste department, think again.

No butter, no problem. You definitely won’t miss it.

The cookies are very similar to the recent The Best Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. I loved them and wanted to see what would happen if I omitted all the butter and replaced it with coconut oil.

The results? Big success. It’s hard for me to say which cookie is ‘better’. They’re similar, yet different, and both will leave you with your hand caught way too many times in the cookie jar.

First things first, the cookies don’t taste strongly of coconut. If you’re thinking pina colada, Hawaiian Tropic, tropical vacation, Seven Layer Bars type of in-your-face coconut flavor, no, not at all. It’s very subtle.

I think coconut oil creates cookies that taste a bit sweeter than butter-based cookies. The amount of sugar is the same in both recipes, but the imperceptibly sweet undertones from the coconut oil creates a slightly sweeter cookie. No complaints.

I find in general that cookies made with coconut oil are heavier, denser, and not as light as those made with butter. It’s a function of oil versus butter; oil is just denser and heavier. It’s not a bad thing, but if you want a light, delicate, airy cookie, these aren’t that.

They’re wonderfully weighty and thick so you can really sink your teeth into the pillowy soft interiors dripping with chocolate. I used the same amount of chocolate chips in each recipe, made 2 less cookies in this recipe, and these 12 cookies literally will not hold more chocolate.

Both versions are insanely soft and moist, with slight chewiness around the edges and at the base. There’s nothing crispy or crunchy about them, although you could bake the cookies longer if you’re looking for crunchier cookies.

To make the dough, I used melted coconut oil, along with an egg, sugars, vanilla and after getting the dough to the point where you add the dry ingredients, it’s super weird looking and does not look like ‘dough’. It’s shaggy and looks like shredded Play-Doh bits piled loosely in the bottom of a bowl. It’s both oily and dry, and you’ll think something is horribly wrong, but it’s fine.

Mix in the chocolate chips and using either a large cookie scoop or your hands, form 12 equal-sized balls. You need to compress and compact the dough by squeezing it and it’ll come together. Don’t be afraid to really squeeze it. As a bonus, your hands will be wonderfully moisturized from the coconut oil and it’s some of the best raw cookie dough I’ve ever had. I’ve sampled tons and I’m alive.

If your dough is absolutely not coming together, and is fluffy, fuzzy, or too dry, drizzle in one tablespoon of coconut oil at a time until it comes together. Do this as a last resort because it can make the dough oily.

You must chill the dough before baking. It’s absolutely crucial for thick, puffy, full cookies. If you bake with warm dough, your cookies will spread and bake thinner and flatter and the coconut oil will render them oil puddles rather than cookies.

I baked the cookies for 11 minutes, but if you choose to make smaller cookies, you’ll need to bake for less time. How much less? I don’t know. The secret to these cookies is keeping them a touch underbaked, which I think is the secret to most good cookies. I have other Cookie Tricks and Secrets here.

I now have two new favorite chocolate chip cookie recipes. I really cannot pick a favorite. Make this one and that one and let me know what you think.

I know you’ll never miss the butter.

Who could, with all that chocolate.

The Best Soft and Chewy Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies

TYou’ll never miss the butter in these cookies that are so soft and loaded to the max with chocolate. The cookies don’t taste overtly of coconut and it’s very subtle. They’re dense, moist, and soft with a hint of chewiness at the base and edges. It’s just enough to balance the soft pillowy centers that are brimming with chocolate chips. After adding the dry ingredients, the dough is shaggy, loose, and doesn’t look like ‘dough’ until you really compress and squeeze it to form dough mounds. The cookies are on the larger size, and I made 1 dozen. Baking about 11 minutes works perfectly for this size cookie, and if you alter the size of the cookie, you’ll need to alter the baking time. The dough must be chilled before baking so the cookies don’t spread and bake thin and flat.

Did you make this recipe?

Ingredients:

3/4 cup melted coconut oil (in liquid state, measured like you measure canola, olive, etc. oil)
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
one 3.5-ounce packet instant vanilla pudding mix (not sugar-free and not ‘cook & serve’), no substitutions
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste
one-12 ounce bag (2 cups) semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use Trader Joe’s)

Directions:

  1. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large mixing bowl and electric mixer) combine the butter, sugars, egg, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until well combined, about 2 minutes.
  2. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flour, pudding mix, baking soda, optional salt, and beat on low speed until just combined, about 1 minute.
  3. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the chocolate chips, and beat on low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds. Mixture will look shaggy and like shredded Play-Doh bits, and is both oily and dry; this is okay.
  4. Using a large cookie scoop, 1/4-cup measure, or your hands, form approximately 12 equal-sized mounds of dough by compressing, compacting, and squeezing until the dough comes together; don’t be afraid to really squeeze it. If your dough is absolutely not coming together, and is fluffy, fuzzy, or seemingly too dry, drizzle in one tablespoon of coconut oil at a time until it comes together. Do this as a last resort because it can make the dough oily in a hurry. The chips are prone to falling out, but just keep pushing them back in.
  5. Place mounds on a large plate or tray, flatten slightly (when properly chilled, cookies don’t flatten much while baking so flatten them now), cover with plasticwrap, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, up to 5 days. Do not bake with unchilled dough because cookies will bake thinner, flatter, and be more prone to spreading. Make sure the cookies are in the exact shape you want them before chilling, because it’s exceedingly difficult to re-shape them after chilling.
  6. Preheat oven to 350F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat or spray with cooking spray. Place dough mounds on baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart (I bake 8 cookies per sheet) and bake for about 11 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just set, even if slightly undercooked, pale, and glossy in the center; don’t overbake. Cookies firm up as they cool. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for about 10 minutes before serving. I let them cool on the baking sheet and don’t use a rack.
  7. Cookies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 months, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.

Adapted from The Best Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

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