We have quite the ongoing cookie debate at our house. See I am amongst the chewy cookie lovers. I have even been known to purposely underbake my cookies just a little bit to keep that doughy texture in the middle. My husband likes his crispy with biscotti being a type of cookie that he really enjoys. Typically I end up compromising by making some chewy and some crispy cookies when I bake a batch, but these cookies landed squarely in my camp. Sugar cookies are one of those varieties that HAVE to be chewy 🙂
In reality, this is a recipe I found in Cook’s Illustrated that was developed to create the perfect chewy texture for a sugar cookie. The ingredients are a little different from your typical cookie line-up including cream cheese and vegetable oil. I was intrigued and decided to make this version of the cookies to please my coconut-loving husband.
The promise of a cookie with a soft, chewy center and a crackly-crisp top was spot-on. To me, the coconut-lime version made them seem really summery. Even my crispy-cookie husband enjoyed these, and I know that both the normal version and coconut-lime version are cookies that I will be keeping in my arsenal for quite some time. Enjoy!
Chewy Coconut-Lime Sugar Cookies
From Nov/Dec 2010 Cook’s Illustrated
2-1/4 cups (11-1/4 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 tsp. table salt
1-1/2 cups (10-1/2 oz) sugar, plus 1/3 cup for rolling
2 oz. cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces
1 tsp. finely grated lime zest
6 Tbsp. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and still warm
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 Tbsp. milk
1 Tbsp. lime juice
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, coconut, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Place 1-1/2 cups sugar, cream cheese, and lime zest in a large bowl. Place remaining 1/3 cup sugar in shallow baking dish or pie plate and set aside. Pour warm butter over sugar and cream cheese and whisk to combine (some small lumps of cream cheese will remain but will smooth out later). Whisk in oil until incorporated. Add egg, milk, and lime juice; continue to whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture and mix with rubber spatula until soft homogeneous dough forms.
The final dough will be slightly softer than most cookie dough. For the best results, handle the dough as briefly as possible when shaping the cookies. Overworking the dough will result in flatter cookies. Divide dough into 24 equal pieces, about 2 tablespoons each. Using hands, roll dough into balls. Working in batches, roll balls in reserved sugar to coat and evenly space on prepared baking sheet, 12 dough balls per sheet. Using the bottom of a drinking glass, flatten dough balls until 2 inches in diameter. Sprinkle tops evenly with 4 teaspoons sugar, remaining in shallow dish (2 teaspoons per cookie sheet), discard any remaining sugar.
Bake, 1 tray at a time, until edges are set and just beginning to brown, 11 to 13 minutes, rotating the tray after 7 minutes. Cool cookies on baking sheets for 5 minutes. Using wide metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature.