Yesterday, I finished my last practical of pastry school. After countless batches of mousse and enough meringue making to last a lifetime, I’ve finally reached the end of the classroom. This semester, in my contemporary cakes class, we’ve focused completely on entremets- fancy little cakes, layered with mousse, cremeux, sponges, japonaise, and enough other components to make your head spin. They are usually glazed to perfection and decorated using contemporary designs and clean lines. I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to stretch my technical muscles and figure out how to put my stamp on the style and I will be sharing a rendition of my final exam entremet on the blog soon. But for now, as my semester and time in pastry school comes full circle I’ve been craving simplicity in my home kitchen. We’re going back to the basics today and I am sharing with you one of my signature, no-fail, last minute cookie recipes.
I developed this recipe back in college for my now-husband. It was 2011 and the height of the Levain Bakery cookie craze and I was all in. Despite having never been to NYC or had a Levain cookie of my own, I watched enough Food Network specials to know all about those extra-dense, soft and gooey on the inside, just crispy enough outside balls of dough to fall in love. They had all of my favorite cookie aspects (thin, crispy cookies have no place in my heart) and so I began browsing the internet in search of a copycat. I found a dark chocolate cookie recipe and began playing with it until I struck cookie gold. My husband’s birthday was coming up and I decided to make a special batch with coconut for him (it’s one of his favorite flavors) and these cookies were born. Funny enough, we celebrated his birthday last week and I made these cookies. A lot of things change in 8 years, but good cookies last a lifetime.
P.S. The cookies in the picture are scooped using a smaller cookie scoop. I DO NOT recommend doing this. I was making them for a larger group that needed smaller cookies, but the fudgey consistency of these cookies really begs for the giant cookie scoop. Do yourself a favor and indulge in the big boys.
P.P.S I have still never been to NYC to experience the Levain cookie, however, a few years ago, my husband was in the city for a work trip and he spent his only 2 hours of free time on a subway ride, a 10 block walk, and a 45+ minute line so that he could bring cookies home to me. I’m telling you, the man is a gem. Also, next day Levain cookies aren’t too shabby.
Dark Chocolate Coconut Cookies
Yield: 18 large cookies
1 cup butter, cold and cubed
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped
7 oz shredded coconut
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and coconut.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed until completely combined, fluffy, and lightened in color. Add eggs one at a time and mix until combined. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl.
Add cocoa powder and vanilla and mix until combined. Decrease speed to low and gradually add dry ingredients, mixing until just combined and no flour streaks remain. Fold in dark chocolate pieces.
Use a large cookie scoop (or a 1/4 cup measure) to scoop dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Chill for at least one hour and up to 12.
When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 ℉ and bake for 13-17 minutes, until the tops of the cookies are dry. Let cookies cool on tray for 5 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.
Optional Glaze: Combine 2 oz of chocolate and 1 tbsp of coconut oil. Microwave, stirring frequently, until smooth. Drizzle or dunk cookies in glaze and let set.
Note: You can sub regular cocoa powder for the dark cocoa powder if you have no other options, but having tried the recipe both ways, the dark cocoa powder makes the cookie and shouldn’t be skipped.