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Secret Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Crispy outside and chewy inside, these are wonderful chocolate chip cookies. You’ll never guess what’s in them.

Secret Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies

In the food world, there are few things as elusive or sought after as perfect chocolate chip cookie. This recipe from my friend Carrie might just have my vote. When she first sent it to me, I thought, “Geez, she sure threw the whole kitchen sink in there.” But Carrie is a great baker so I tried them, and I’m not sure I’ve ever had a better chocolate chip cookie. The secret ingredient? Actually, there are two. The first is oatmeal, which is finely ground so that it lends the desired chewiness without drawing too much attention to itself. The second, believe it or not, is coconut. Weird, I know, but you can barely taste it and it makes these chocolate chip cookies out of this world.

What you’ll need to make Secret Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cookie ingredients including oats, vanilla, and flour.

Step-by-Step Instructions

To begin, place the oatmeal in the bowl of a food processor or blender.

Oats in a food processor.

Process until finely ground.

Food processor of finely ground oats.

In a medium bowl, combine the ground oats with the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Bowl of unmixed dry ingredients.

Whisk to combine and set aside.

Whisk in a bowl of dry ingredients.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar.

Butter and sugars in a bowl.

Beat at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Bowl of creamed butter and sugars.

Add the egg and vanilla.

Eggs and vanilla in a bowl with creamed butter and sugar.

Beat to combine.

; continue beating until combined, about 40 seconds.

Add the dry ingredients.

Dry ingredients in a bowl with wet ingredients.

Beat at low speed until just combined.

Bowl of cookie dough.

Add chocolate chips, coconut and nuts.

Chocolate chips, coconut, and nuts in a bowl with cookie dough.

Mix well.

Bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough.

Working with 1-1/2 tablespoons of cookie dough at a time, form balls and place on parchment-lined cookie sheets, leaving at least 2 inches between them.

Scoops of chocolate chip cookie dough on a lined baking sheet.

Bake, reversing position of cookie sheets halfway through baking, until edges of cookies begin to crisp but centers are still soft, 12 to 14 minutes.

Chocolate chip cookies on a lined baking sheet.

Cool cookies on baking sheets for 1 minute, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

Chocolate chip cookies on a wire rack.

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Secret Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies

Crispy outside and chewy inside, these are wonderful chocolate chip cookies. You’ll never guess what’s in them.

Servings: About 25 cookies
Total Time: 30 Minutes


  • ¾ cup old-fashioned rolled oats, ground in a food processor or blender until very fine
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, softened but still cool
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla
  • ⅔ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup loosely packed sweetened flaked coconut
  • ¾ cup pecans, chopped


  1. Adjust racks to upper- and lower- middle positions and preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the ground oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the egg and vanilla; continue beating until combined. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined. Add the chocolate chips, coconut and nuts and mix until evenly combined.
  4. Working with 1½ tablespoons of cookie dough at a time, form balls and place on parchment-lined cookie sheets, leaving at least 2 inches between them. (Keep remaining batter cool in refrigerator while first batch cooks.) Bake, reversing position of cookie sheets halfway through baking, until edges of cookies begin to crisp but centers are still soft, 12 to 14 minutes. Cool cookies on baking sheets for 1 minute, then transfer to racks to cool completely. Repeat with remaining batter.
  5. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The Cookie Dough can be Frozen for up to 3 Months: Scoop the dough into balls, let set on a baking sheet in the freezer, then place in a sealable bag and press out as much air as possible. Bake as needed directly from the freezer. (Allow 1 to 2 minutes longer in the oven.) To Freeze After Baking: Let the cookies cool completely and store in an airtight container separating layers with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Before serving, remove the cookies from the container and let them come to room temperature.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Serving size: 1 cookie
  • Calories: 146
  • Fat: 8 g
  • Saturated fat: 4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 17 g
  • Sugar: 11 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Sodium: 92 mg
  • Cholesterol: 18 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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  • Love this cookie recipe, the coconut and oatmeal make for a chewy cookie. It is one of my favorite chocolate chip cookies and there are several in my rotation. Noticed when using the metric conversion the amount of flour by weight is slightly higher than KAF’s weight chart and was wondering should I use the flour weight as provided or use a different metric conversion? Thank you!

    • — SK on December 27, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi SK, so glad you like the cookies! Regarding the flour, I consistently got 130 g for 1 cup and make the recipes based on that number, so I’d go with that. Hope that clarifies!

      • — Jenn on December 28, 2023
      • Reply
  • Hi:
    In a super airtight container, how long will these stay fresh at room temperature on the counter? Thanks!

    • — JANE REISER WILLIAMS on May 27, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Jane, these are at their best for up to 3 days. They may lose a bit of their crispy top as they sit, but will still be tasty. 🙂

      • — Jenn on May 30, 2023
      • Reply
  • Hi!
    I’ve made these often and with great success. I have two questions: I only have unsweetened flaked coconut on hand and would like to use that, although I think I may need to chop it some so that it doesn’t stick out in the baked cookie? The other question which is more important to me: I would like to make a double batch, but make the second batch maybe days or weeks later. Can the batter be frozen as a whole or does it have to be frozen in small cookie balls? And if I refrigerate it until I get to it, how many days will it be good in the refrigerator before I bake it? Thanks!

    • — Jane on May 19, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Jane, glad you like these! I wouldn’t recommend making these with unsweetened coconut as I am concerned they would be dry. That said, if you do plan to use it, chopping it a bit may be a good idea. And regarding making the cookie dough ahead, you could get away with refrigerating it for 3 to 4 days. For freezing, I like rolling it into balls first, but you could freeze it as one large mass. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on May 22, 2023
      • Reply
  • I am a huge fan of Jenn and her recipes but not this cookie. It turned out so so. Too crumbly.

    • — Olga on March 19, 2023
    • Reply
  • WOW! Absolutely delicious. Followed recipe as written except baked in convection and didn’t rotate pans. We finally got a chocolate chip cookie that didn’t go flat. This will definitely be our go to chocolate chip recipe from now on. LOVE your recipes Jen!

    • — Monique on January 29, 2023
    • Reply
  • I needed a cookie recipe for a batch I was making as a gift and this seemed to fit the bill as something a little different from standard chocolate chip cookies. Not only did this cookie turn out delicious with a great texture (quality control, y’know) but the cookies were also attractive without added attention. Typically, I often need to “pat” my drop cookies with my spatula a little past being halfway done in order for them to cook evenly but these cookies baked perfectly without that treatment. I will certainly be making these again!

    • — Lois on December 29, 2022
    • Reply
  • I love all Jennifer’s recipes, but please.. the thing I love best is that I can print them out on ONE sheet of paper.. don’t change that metric.

    • — Patti on September 19, 2022
    • Reply
    • Glad you like the recipes! I try to be cognizant of how much space the recipes will take up paper-wise but sometimes it’s just not possible to limit the recipe to one page. I’m not sure if you use the double-sided option, but I always print that way to cut down on paper waste.

      • — Jenn on September 19, 2022
      • Reply
  • I’ve made these twice, one with coconut and one without. Both taste great. The crunchy yet chewy combo is the best! I believe this has become my go to chocolate chip recipe.

    • — Kimberly on August 9, 2022
    • Reply
  • I made these today for my husband who is Gluten Intolerant. He LOVES them. I used Grandpa’s GF flour and the rest of the recipe as written. I may have put a little less flour as the GF seems to take less than regular flour. I made big cookie balls from my large ice cream scoop. Froze the balls. Baked the frozen balls for 15 minutes and they are fantastic. My husband said it is the best GF cookie he has ever tasted. Thank you!!!

    • — Pam Coppinger on July 11, 2022
    • Reply
  • I’ve always enjoyed baking and have collected and tweaked recipes over the years. This recipe with coconut flakes is very similar to a recipe I have at home. For my cookie recipe, I tend to use margarine or regular butter and bake it longer to make it crispier.

    What does the unsalted butter do in baking? Does margarine make cookies crispier for crisp cookies?

    I made your recipe as is and the chewy cookie lovers enjoyed it. What temperature and time to I bake to make it crispier?

    Thank you.

    • — Tayrumi on May 8, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Tayrumi, The primary reason that recipes call for unsalted butter is that the amount of salt in salted butter varies by brand. This makes it harder to calibrate the rest of your seasoning in the recipe. I never bake with margarine so I don’t know if it would make crispier cookies. You could bake these for another minute or two to get them a little more browned but if you want a really crispy cookie, I’d recommend this recipe.

      • — Jenn on May 10, 2022
      • Reply
  • Such a great recipe— I try all different kinds of chocolate chip cookie recipes and this one is definitely at the top! The coconut and ground oats really give it the great texture and sets it apart from traditional CC cookies. My husband loves these and he’s not a sweet tooth. Thank you again! Time to buy your book!

  • Hi. I have made these often and they are always excellent and well received! I am about to make them again, but have question: The coconut I have on hand is Baker’s which is what I usually use, and has been in the refrigerator (opened but in an airtight container) for almost a year … I tasted it and it seems ok, but maybe dry. Is it still OK to use it? I am about to leave my current residence for a number of months and don’t want to buy a brand new bag. Just not sure what to do. Thanks!

    • Hi Jane, I can’t say for sure, but I suspect it will work. Please LMK how they turn out!

      • Hi. A neighbor gave me fresh coconut so I didn’t have to use my old stuff. Just letting you know I never had to find out if it worked well! Thanks for your advice.

        • Problem solved!

          • I actually had a similar issue- coconut dried up in the fridge. I just threw it in the food processor so there wouldn’t be large dry pieces of coconut in the cookies!

            • — Erica on February 15, 2023
  • Haven’t tried to bake these cookies yet as my dough is dry and crumbly — it dawned on me that it has to be the flour, Canadian vs American as there is a difference. Is there a fix to make the dough stick together?

    • Hi Helen, the dough can be a bit dry and crumbly after being refrigerated. I’d let it warm up just a bit as that may help. Also, there’s a chance you may have used too much flour. Did you use the spoon and level method to measure the flour? Even a few extra ounces can make a big difference. This article/video explains it nicely. (I don’t think any differences in Canadian flour would’ve had an impact on the dough.)

  • Hi Jenn,

    Wondering if I can brown the butter for this recipe to give it more depth of flavor. Love your recipes.



    • Hi Susan, I don’t think it will work here as the butter still needs to be solid. Sorry1

    • I brown my butter and allow it to sit to cool completely and it works great and does give it extra flavor

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