Tropical Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Two cookies in one! Traditional chocolate chunk combined with a tropical, coconut and dried fruit infused chocolate cookie. 

Tropical Chocolate Chunk Cookies. One side chocolate chunk, the other tropical!

*To read more about what inspired me to start this new (weekly!) blog series, click here!*

Oh my goodness, I am so excited to share these tropical chocolate chunk cookies with you.  I mean, how fun are these?!  And yes, there’s a whole lot going on up there, just you wait…

Today’s Throwback post was another easy one.  I literally took one look at the magazine cover [Chocolatier, November 1987] and within five minutes, had already written down a grocery list.

Tropical Chocolate Chunk Cookies. One side chocolate chunk, the other tropical!

In fact, the name is probably the first thing that popped out to me.  The Bicoastal Cookie.  A little mysterious, am I right?  Not the most obvious recipe title, but you’ll soon realize why this is the perfect name.

The recipe calls for two different doughs–a New York chocolate chunk cookie dough and Los Angeles dark chocolate apricot cookie dough. Merged together into one massive monster cookie the size of your hand.  Life is good

Tropical Chocolate Chunk Cookies. One side chocolate chunk, the other tropical!

You have the classic, traditional–perhaps slightly uptight and a bit nutty?–East Coast cookie and the edgy, tropical and hippy-esque “anything goes” West Coast cookie, infused with dried pineapple, coconut flakes, and dried apricot.  [Please don’t send me hate mail.]

There are all sorts of cookie people in the world.  Some prefer cookies that are thin and crispy–I’m pretty sure no one likes cake-y cookies–and others prefer ones that are thick and chewy.  These cookies definitely fall into the latter category.

Tropical Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Thick, chewy, and chock full of incredible texture.  A little bit of tartness from the dried apricots and pineapple, tropical chewiness from dried coconut, and some nice crunch from chopped walnuts.  Oh yes, and a butt load of chocolate.  Seriously, a ton of it.

These cookies are definitely not your “throw together in 20 minutes” type of cookie, but they are straight-forward.  You do need to make two different types of cookie dough and allow them both to rest and firm up a bit in the fridge–particularly the chocolate cookie dough, which calls for both melted bittersweet chocolate and cocoa powder.

Tropical Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Once this happens, you simply roll each dough into 1-inch diameter balls, smoosh (that’s a technical term, people)  both of them together, roll them into even larger balls and bake them for about 20 minutes.

About 15 minutes in, you’re going to want to take them out quickly, garnish each side with additional chopped apricot, coconut, and chocolate, and continue baking for an additional 3-6 minutes (err on the side of under-cooked, as cookies will tend to firm as they cool–or until the very edges of the cookies begin to brown).

I know, it seems like a long time, but these cookies are massive.  Trust me, it will more than work out in the end.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Los Angeles Chocolate Apricot Cookie Dough:

  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, broken into small chunks
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped dried apricots, divided
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped dried pineapple (unsweetened or sweetened, your choice)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut, divided

New York Chocolate Chunk Cookie Dough:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons wheat germ
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into chunks, divided
  • 1 1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnut halves

Directions:

Prepare Los Angeles Chocolate Apricot Dough:

  1. Place chocolate in microwave proof glass bowl and heat at 20 second increments (stirring each time) until chocolate is just melted. Set aside and allow chocolate to cool for 5-10 minutes until just lukewarm.
  2. In bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Using stand mixer (or hand-held mixer), beat butter, with a paddle, at medium speed for a minute until creamy. Add the sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until well combined. Beat in the melted (lukewarm) chocolate. On low speed, slowly add the flour mixture until just combined. Using a rubber spatula to scrape the bottom of the bowl to ensure that all of the ingredients are well incorporated.
  3. Fold in 3/4 cup of chopped apricots and coconut (set aside remaining 1/4 cup of each for garnish) and dried pineapple.
  4. Place dough in covered container and allow to chill in the fridge for 1-2 (preferably 2) hours until firm.

Prepare New York Chocolate Chunk Dough:

  1. In small bowl, whisk together the flour, wheat germ, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Using stand mixer (or hand-held mixer), beat butter, with a paddle, at medium speed for a minute until creamy. Add the sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until well combined. On low speed, slowly add the flour mixture until just combined. Using a rubber spatula to scrape the bottom of the bowl to ensure that all of the ingredients are well incorporated.
  3. Fold in six ounces of chopped chocolate (set aside remaining three ounces for garnish) and walnuts. Put in covered container and place in refrigerator until firm (about 1-1/2 hours).

Bake Cookies:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (F). Line a full-size baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper.
  2. Remove each dough from the fridge and using a spoon, measure 2 tablespoons (or use a spoon to eye ball it, it will yield a ball of dough an inch in diameter, roughly) of classic New York dough and roll into a ball. Measure 2 tablespoons of classic New York dough and roll into a ball. Smoosh the balls of dough together and roll into a ball. Wash hands between each cookie, as the chocolate will melt a bit on your hands.
  3. Repeat for each cookie--since these cookies will be large, leave at least 2-3 inches space between the dough on the baking sheet. Tip: I recommend only baking 6 (maximum 8) at one time.
  4. Bake cookies for 15 minutes (rotating baking sheet during the halfway point). Remove the baking sheet from the oven and garnish the New York side with additional chocolate chunks. Garnish Los Angeles side with apricot chunks and coconut flakes (you can slightly press it in the dough to set it).
  5. Continue baking the cookies for an additional 4-6 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to brown around the edges.
  6. Remove and cool on pan (on rack) for 3-5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Allow baking sheets to cool completely between batches (or alternatively, run under very, very cold water to speed this up).
  7. Cookies remain fresh (and will soften a bit) for up to a week in an airtight container.

Cookies will be continue to soften (and become extra chewy) after the first day of baking.

Recipe adapted lightly from November 1987 issue of Chocolatier magazine.

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Tropical Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Previously on Throwback Thursday…