I recently baked up a batch of my Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies and had a friend who cannot eat gluten ask if I could put together a gluten free version of the same recipe, since she is a huge fan of both coconut and chocolate (who isn’t?). Of course, I couldn’t say no to a request that involved a recipe challenge and spent a little bit of extra time in the kitchen testing out a recipe that gave me cookies that were just as satisfying as the originals. These cookies are loaded with coconut and generously studded with chunks of chocolate. They’re buttery, with just the right amount of sugar to highlight the naturally sweet coconut. The cookies are relatively thin, with a crisp edge and a chewy center.
Fortunately for my friend, gluten free flour options have improved immensely in the past several years and it is much easier to walk into a grocery store and pick up one to work with. Gluten free flour blends don’t all perform the same way when you bake with them because every brand – and many individuals who make their own – has their own ratio of ingredients that they use. This means that your results might vary slightly from mine. I recommend using a cup-for-cup all purpose flour blend, such as Cup 4 Cup or Bob’s Red Mill Baking Flour, which use rice flour as a main component. Flours that use a nut flour or a bean flour base will produce a thicker dough and will not spread quite as well.
The cookies should keep well for several days after baking when stored in an airtight container. While they will be crispy when they are fresh from the oven, the cookies will become chewy after a day and the flavor of the coconut becomes a bit more prominent. They make excellent ice cream sandwiches, but are equally good when served with milk or coffee.
Gluten Free Coconut Chocolate Chunk Cookies
2 1/4 cups all purpose gluten free flour blend (such as Bob’s Red Mill Baking Flour or Cup 4 Cup)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups shredded coconut
2 cups coarsely chopped dark chocolate
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Beat in eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, blend in the flour mixture, followed by the coconut and chocolate chunks. Mix until chocolate chunks are well-distributed in the cookie dough.
Shape cookies into 1-inch balls and arrange on prepared baking sheet, leaving at least 2 1/2 inches between cookies to allow for spread.
Bake for 11-14 minutes, until golden brown and set. If cookies are not set in the center, return to oven for additional 2 minutes (some gluten free flours bake a bit slower than others)