Chocolate Chip Cherry Coconut Cookies

These whole wheat cookies are packed with cherries, chocolate chips, and coconut, making them a healthier variation of the traditional and much-loved chocolate chip cookie. Ingredients like whole wheat flour, honey, and applesauce displace some of the cookie’s less healthy ingredients without compromising flavor. Dried cherries, dark chocolate, and flaked coconut give the standard cookie a more complex flavor profile and decrease the amount of sugar necessary. I like my cookies chewy; if you like yours crispier, bake for an extra 3-4 minutes.

1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
⅛ teaspoon salt
½ cup brown sugar, packed
1 T honey
⅛ cup butter, softened
⅛ cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
⅓ cup dried cherries, chopped
1 cup unsweetened coconut, flaked (note flaked, not shredded; bigger pieces of coconut give better flavor and crunch)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. On baking sheet covered in aluminum foil, spread flaked coconut and bake for 5 mintues (watch carefully so it doesn’t burn).
3. Add sugar, honey, butter, and applesauce in a large bowl; beat until blended.
4. Add vanilla and egg; beat.
5. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; add to large bowl and mix at low speed.
6. Add chocolate chips, dried cherries and coconut until just combined.
7. Scoop onto greased cookie pan.
8. Bake for 9 minutes.

Makes about 15 cookies.

Nutritional Information: per cookie: 166 calories, 7 g fat (4 g saturated), 23 g carbs, 2.3 g fiber, 2 g protein, 18 g sugar

Why you should eat these:
The average chocolate chip cookie has about 200 calories, but restaurant and deli options can easily pack in 500 or more! And because cookies are essentially empty calories, it’s best if they have as little a caloric impact as possible. These cookies manage to come in under 200 calories, even though they’re packed with chocolate chunks, cherries, and coconut. Another bonus: these same delicious ingredients give the cookie some nutritional redemption. Dark chocolate is packed with flavonols and antioxidants that help lower blood pressure, protect against cardiovascular disease, improves mood, protects skin, and, as new research shows, may help individuals maintain a healthy weight. Cherries are an athlete’s superfood: due to their anti-inflammatory properties, they help reduce muscle soreness following intense exercise. And coconut, made of healthier medium chain fatty acids, may boost metabolism and the immune system. While I wouldn’t recommend depending on dessert for a nutrient and antioxidant boost, it’s certainly an added bonus to a great-tasting cookie.

3 responses to “Chocolate Chip Cherry Coconut Cookies

  1. I would really really love one of those 🙂 just saying.

  2. I would really like one of these! Can I swing by and grab one?! 🙂

  3. These sound incredible!

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