12 Days of Holiday Cookies: Chocolate Chunk Cookies With Coconut Sugar and Puffed Rice


For a lot of people, chocolate chip cookies are all about the chocolate. Me, I love the molasses-y flavor of the brown sugar dough that surrounds it.

To play off of that flavor idea — and to create a more grown-up-feeling chocolate chip cookie — I swap out the brown sugar for coconut sugar, a commonly available sweetener that has a deep, earthy flavor and aromas of coffee, toffee and vanilla that makes these cookies taste like coffee and doughnuts in the best way. To add chew to the cookies (and stay on theme with the crunchy health food store vibes of the coconut sugar), I add puffed brown rice (look for it next to the healthy cereals), which adds its own nutty flavor. Don’t be tempted to use Rice Krispies; they dissolve into the batter and create weird holes in the finished cookie.

Our first annual collection of 12 L.A.-inspired holiday cookies.

Chocolate Chunk Cookies With Coconut Sugar and Puffed Rice

25 minutes. Makes 45 cookies.

Classic chocolate chip cookies get a grown-up spin with toffee-like coconut sugar and chewy puffed brown rice.
(Leslie Grow / For The Times)


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cups packed coconut palm sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (10⅛ ounces; see Baker’s Note)
  • 12 ounces roughly chopped dark chocolate or chunk-style chips, preferably 70 to 80%
  • 2 cups puffed brown rice, such as Arrowhead Mills brand


  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the butter, coconut sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla, baking soda and salt and beat on medium speed of a mixer until creamy, about 2 minutes (see Baker’s Note). Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition, until incorporated. Add the flour and beat on low speed until almost combined, then add the chocolate and puffed rice and continue mixing until everything is evenly combined.
  3. Using a 1-ounce ice cream scoop or 2 tablespoons, drop mounds of dough 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets.
  4. Bake, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through, until the cookies are golden brown at the edges and just set, about 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 1 minute, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Make ahead: The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Baker’s note: When measuring flour or powdered sugar, spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off the excess. Scooping compacts the ingredients, resulting in dry baked goods. And if using a stand mixer, use a rubber spatula to scrape the bottom of the bowl and the paddle after beating the butter and sugar together and after the dough is mixed to ensure the ingredients are evenly mixed throughout.