Tuesday, November 10, 2009


This recipe is a favorite of mine from Carole Walters’ indispensible Great Cookies. The original name is “Chock Full of Crunchies,” which is so darn cutesy I can’t manage to repeat it without rolling my eyes. My version may be less catchy, but at least it’s more descriptive. Walters calls them “a crunch-lover’s dream,” but “crunchy” isn’t really the first thing that springs to mind when I think of these cookies. The cereal does add little chewy-crispy morsels and there are some nuts too, but the main event is a nice, tender, buttery oatmeal cookie, with a nice lacy crispness around the edges and a moist middle thanks to the coconut. I’m a sucker for oatmeal cookies and for coconut, but mostly I think these cookies appeal to me so much because the first time I tasted them, I had a vivid sensory flashback to a kind of cookie my mom used to make when I was a kid, involving coconut and Grape-Nuts (I think we called them “crispy cookies”?), which I’d entirely forgotten about until that moment--so these have a Proustian quality for me. Sure, chocolate-chip cookies hold the top spot in my heart, but for a non-chocolate cookie, these are hard to beat.

2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned in and leveled
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly firm
¾ cup lightly packed light brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup rolled oats (old-fashioned, not quick-cooking)
1 cup finely chopped sweetened, flaked coconut
1 cup crispy rice cereal (i.e., Rice Krispies)
1 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and moderately butter the cookie sheets.

2. Strain together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a large bowl. Set aside.

3. Using an electric mixer (if using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment), mix the butter on medium-low speed until smooth and creamy. Add the brown sugar, then the granulated sugar, and mix until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla and mix for 1 minute longer. Reduce the mixer speed to low, then add the dry ingredients in three additions, mixing just until blended. Using a large rubber spatula, fold in the oatmeal, coconut, rice cereal, and pecans.

4. Drop walnut-size mounds from the tip of a tablespoon onto the cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart. Scrape down the sides of the bowl frequently to maintain an even combination of dough to textured ingredients. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, rotating the pans top to bottom and front to back toward the end of baking time. Bake until the edges begin to turn a golden brown. Do not overbake.

5. Remove the cookies from the oven and let stand for 2 minutes. Using a metal spatula, carefully loosen and transfer to cooling racks.

Yield: About 5 dozen
Time: 1 hour
Leftover potential: High; these cookies freeze well.

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