A few months ago I was in New York City with my friend Crista. We were strolling along when the scent of peanut butter cookies fresh out of the oven caught our attention and drove us into Batch, Pichet Ong‘s West Village bakery. A small, but charming and very funky (meant in the best way) place Batch was a source of sugar euphoria for many before it sadly closed its doors shortly after our visit. Crista, a skilled fixer, entered into food negotiations on the spot with the friendly counter person when we were discouraged of purchasing the cookies that second as they were still very hot (as in you are going to burn your tongue) and would fall apart. The cookies were seriously good, very soft and warm (okay hot). I was so happy I felt obliged to thank the lovely man being interviewed outside the bakery, who I assumed to be the owner. When someone creates something that yummy don’t you? He was gracious and weeks later when I found out the interview had been with a local publication about Batch closing I again felt obligated to contact him and wish him the best. This year was not all bad for Pichet, he was nominated for a James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef and I am happy to report has plans to reopen Batch in New York City this fall.
On the menu will be his Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies, quite honestly one of the best things I’ve ever put in my mouth. Thank you Pichet for giving me this recipe to post and for getting it all just right in the kitchen.
Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 1/3 cups (4 oz/113 grams) finely shredded Unsweetened dried coconut.
2 cups (11 oz/310 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup (8 oz/226 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup plus 1 Tbsp (6 oz/169 grams) packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp (6 oz/169 grams) sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups (11 7/8 oz/336 grams) bittersweet pistoles, bittersweet chocolate chips, or roughly chopped bittersweet chocolate. **Interesting note by Pichet. Chocolate chips can be used in cookies, but he prefers not to use them in brownies as they are not good for melting.
Preheat oven to 300.
Spread the coconut on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake until golden brown and fragrant, about 7 minutes. Set aside to cool completely. For a chewier cookie, don’t toast the coconut. (**I did not and preferred them this way.)
Sift together the flour and baking powder and set aside.
Put the butter, both sugars, salt, and cooled toasted coconut into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. With the machine running, add the eggs one at a time, and then add the vanilla. Turn the mixer speed to low and add half the flour mixture. When incorporated, add the remaining flour and mix until no traces of flour remain. Stir in the chocolate chips. If you have time, cover the dough tightly and chill for at least 2 hours, or up to 3 days, before baking.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop the cookie dough into 1-inch balls and put 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake until brown and crisp, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Yield: 36 cookies.