July 23, 2024


Food Moments

Crispy, Chewy Carolina Coconut Cookies

6 min read

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As the name says, these Crispy, Chewy Carolina Coconut Cookies have moist chewy interiors, crisp buttery edges and lots of fabulous coconut flavor for a delicious sweet indulgence!

To me, these Crispy, Chewy Carolina Coconut Cookies are a cross between a macaroon and a crisp traditional brown sugar cookie. The edges are crisp and buttery while the coconut-laden interiors remain moist and deliciously chewy unlike our Coconut Pecan Toffee Cookies that are equally as delicious but super crisp from edges to center.

Crispy, Chewy Carolina Coconut Cookies

Easy to throw together

It’s a super easy one-bowl, no-mixer recipe although if you prefer a mixer, that will work too. It’s a fun recipe to make with kids with it being so easy. When baking with younger children, I like to have the ingredients measured out in little bowls before getting started which makes the process enjoyable for everyone.

What kind of coconut should you use in these cookies?

I’ve used both sweetened and unsweetened coconut with good results for these coconut cookies. Sometimes I do half of each.

Double the recipe for lots of cookies!

The recipe makes 18-20 cookies, but if you’re looking to feed a crowd, the recipe is easily doubled. I often double this recipe, not because I’m frequently feeding a crowd but because I can freeze the dough in scoops, then pull out exactly as many as I need and have that wonderful fresh baked cookie aroma wafting through my house anytime I please.

Extreme closeup vertical photo of a stack of Crispy Chewy Carolina Coconut Cookies.

“Carolina” Coconut Cookies?

Why are these cookies called Carolina Coconut Cookies? Good question!

The truth? I have to admit, these delicious cookies aren’t a classic Carolina cookie. I call them that because it’s my recipe, and I make them in my little Carolina kitchen. So there you have it! If you want to sub your state’s name, go for it!

Vertical photo of a small stack of Crispy Chewy Carolina Coconut Cookies on blue and white patterned napkins with glasses and a bottle of milk in the background.

A few grand helpers

Two of our grandchildren, Emmy and Hayes, were visiting shortly after I developed this recipe. They were thrilled to help with the photo shoot for these Crispy, Chewy Carolina Coconut Cookies while they were here.

Vertical photo of a batch of Crispy Chewy Carolina Coconut Cookies with two kids hands helping themselves to the cookies.

And when we offered them a sweet payment for their “help”… well, as you can see they were absolutely thrilled and gave the cookies a huge thumbs-up!

Horizontal photo of two children enjoying Crispy Chewy Carolina Coconut Cookies on a porch couch with cups of milk.

I think your family, friends, neighbors, etc. will give them a huge thumbs up too! Make a batch of these crispy, chewy cookies soon and serve them with plenty of cold milk. Don’t be surprised if you get requests for them again and again!

Horizontal closeup photo of Crispy Chewy Carolina Coconut Cookies on blue and white patterned napkins.

Cafe Tips for these Chewy Crispy Carolina Coconut Cookies

  • Because this is a one-bowl, no-mixer recipe, make sure that your butter is nice and soft. You should be able to push your finger into the butter easily without any resistance. That can be a little tricky, especially during the colder months. Here are a few tricks:
    • You can soften the butter in the microwave on power level 10%. It works like magic. You’ll need to experiment a bit with your microwave though, as they’re all different. Start with 1 minute. Add 20 to 30-second increments until you learn how long your microwave will take to get the butter nice and soft, but not melted.
    • Another technique I often use to soften butter is to put it in the microwave for a few hours with the light on. To keep the light on in the microwave I put a folded paper towel in the door.
    • Boil a cup of water in the microwave for 3-4 minutes and get things nice and steamy. Leave the water cup in the microwave, add the butter and close the door. The warmth from the steamy water will help to quickly soften the butter. Sometimes I will even put a kitchen towel or several thicknesses of paper towels in the door so it won’t completely close and the light will remain on. The warmth from the light will also help soften the butter.
    • Cutting the butter into small pieces helps it soften quicker.
    • Place the hard butter on a small plate. Fill a bowl with hot water. Wait 5 minutes then discard the water. Put the warm bowl over the butter.
    • Put the butter in the oven with the light turned on. This will take a few hours.
    • The fastest way to soften butter is to put cold butter in the microwave for 10 seconds. Turn it to the opposite side and microwave for another 10 seconds. It might be ready at this point, but if it’s not completely soft, add one or two more 10-second stints.
  • These cookies are delicious on their own but I like to top them with a sprinkle of toffee bits. Toffee bits can be found in many larger grocery stores in the same area as the chocolate chips. Super Targets and Walmarts carry them. If you can’t find toffee bits, a sprinkle of raw sugar (Turbinado or Demerara) is also delicious.

Thought for the day:

Let us hold unswervingly
to the hope we profess,
for He who promised is faithful.
Hebrews 10:23

What we’re listening to for inspiration:

Living Hope


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If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear your results, adaptations and ideas for variations.

Crispy, Chewy Carolina Coconut Cookies

As the name says, these Crispy, Chewy Carolina Coconut Cookies have moist chewy interiors, crisp buttery edges and lots of fabulous coconut flavor for a delicious sweet indulgence!

Author: Chris Scheuer

Horizontal photo of a batch of Crispy Chewy Carolina Coconut Cookies with glasses of milk in the background.

Prep Time:
20 mins

Cook Time:
28 mins

Total Time:
48 mins

Servings: 20

Calories: 169 kcal


  • ½
    very soft butter
  • ½
    light brown sugar
  • ½
    white sugar
  • 1
  • 1
    vanilla extract
  • ½
    baking soda
  • 1 ¼
    all-purpose flour
  • ¼
  • 2
    coconut flakes
    (divided) I’ve used both sweetened and unsweetened with good results
  • toffee bits
    or raw, coarse sugar like Turbinado or Demerara for topping (I use about ½ cup toffee bits)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper for easy cleanup.

  2. Combine the soft butter, sugars and egg in a medium-size mixing bowl. Stir with a sturdy spatula until nice and smooth.

  3. Add the vanilla and baking soda and stir to combine.

  4. Stir in the flour, a little at a time and the salt. Mix just until any traces of flour have been mixed in. Add 1 ½ cups of the coconut, reserving the other half cup in a small bowl.

  5. Scoop up the cookies in 2 tablespoon portions. Roll the tops and sides of the dough balls in the reserved coconut and place on the prepared sheet pans with 2 inches between each one.

  6. Bake for 12-16 minutes until light golden brown. Remove from the oven and quickly top each cookie with 1-1½ teaspoons of the toffee bits. Alternatively, you can sprinkle each cookie with ½-1 teaspoon of Turbinado or Demerara raw sugar.

  7. Return the cookies to the oven and bake for another 2-3 minutes until nicely golden brown.

  8. Cool on the cookie sheet for 2-3 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool.

  9. Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 1-2 months.

Recipe Notes

See Café Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions and tips.

Calories 169kcal

Fat 10g

Saturated fat 8g

Trans fat 1g

Cholesterol 20mg

Sodium 105mg

Potassium 67mg

Carbohydrates 18g

Fiber 2g

Sugar 11g

Protein 2g

Vitamin A 154%

Vitamin C 1%

Calcium 11%

Iron 1%

Crispy, Chewy Carolina Coconut Cookies

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