German Chocolate Cookies

When I was a child, I used to love German chocolate cake, the classic chocolate cake filled and topped with a gooey pecan and coconut concoction, and ordered it whenever and wherever it was offered. I was sure it would be easy to mimic those flavors in a cookie, but that turned out to be no simple task. After testing and testing, I came up with this cookie: crisp and light in texture but rich and chocolate-y in flavor. It certainly rivals the cakes I had growing up.

Although I am not a milk drinker, these beg for a tall glass of cold whole milk or for an even more decadent treat, coconut ice cream.

German Chocolate Cookies
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Cook time: 
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Serves: 3-4 dozen
  • ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa (I like Droste or Sharffen Berger)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup lightly toasted and cooled pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1 4 ounce bar German’s chocolate, coarsely chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silpat/exopat.
  3. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle and mix until smooth and creamy.
  4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg and vanilla, one at a time, mixing well between additions.
  5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix until everything is well incorporated.
  6. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the coconut, pecans and chocolate and mix again.
  7. Drop the dough by heaping teaspoons about 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet. Alternatively, you can roll the dough into a log.
  8. Transfer the cookie sheet to the oven and bake until the underside of the cookie begins to firm up, about 10- 12 minutes.
  9. Cool on the cookie sheet and repeat with remaining dough. Transfer to a wire rack.