AK Cookies Recipe on Food52 (2024)


by: Peter Meehan



6 Ratings

  • Prep time 1 hour
  • Cook time 12 minutes
  • Makes 24 big cookies
Author Notes

This is a tough one. And by tough, I do not mean difficult, though I will note that I have never made these cookies myself—my wife, Hannah Clark, is an excellent baker, and accomplished maker of all kinds of sweet things that I don’t have the skills or attention span to pull off. It’s tough in the sense that, for a very long time this wasn’t a recipe for handing out or, even more unthinkable, publishing. It was our secret house cookie—before it, we had been leaning heavily on the Korova cookie (from Pierre Hermé via Dorie Greenspan, which would later become perhaps better known as the World Peace Cookie), which is one of civilization’s great cookies—and this recipe became the one we’d only share if you got close enough.

But the truth, evident in their appellation, is that they were someone else’s cookie before they were ours. That person is Jeanne Roth, our friend Genevieve’s mom. We ate them at her house in Anchorage on a summer day in 2007. My wife remembers falling for the cookies the moment she saw them on the cooling rack, and Jeanne was kind enough to share the recipe. I often have trouble finding clean socks, my checkbook, or my keys, but I know where that scrap of paper is at all times.

They are, without question or hesitation, my ideal cookie. The oatmeal and coconut disappear; there is a melding, a unification, an alchemy where many ingredients become one greater thing. The nuts stay whole enough to add some textural intrigue, the chocolate—which we now hack into helter-skelter chunks instead of relying on the machine drip of chocolate chips—is sometimes a sliver or a splinter of joy, sometimes a pooled cocoa-colored lagoon of pleasure. I quite often eat one or more at each meal of the day—they are ideal companions to the first coffee of the day, a buffer between the quiet of dawn and the demands of the day to come. I eat so many, I feel like the moon man waxing toward maximum weight when they are in the house, and the only consolation from the sadness that accompanies their absence is that at least I am not eating cookies all day long. Until she makes them again.

Reprinted with permission from Lucky Peach #13: The Holiday Issue, 2014. —Peter Meehan

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: Food52's Holiday Cookie Chronicles —The Editors

  • Test Kitchen-Approved

What You'll Need

  • 2 sticks (1/2 pound, 1 cup, or 227g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup(200g) sugar
  • 1 cup(200g) dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoonvanilla extract
  • 2 cups(250g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoonbaking soda
  • 1 teaspoonsalt
  • 1 cup(113g) shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 12-oz (340g) bag chocolate chips (or about 1 cup/170g chopped-up chocolate—I use Valrhona)
  • 2 cups(178g) quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup(113g) chopped walnuts or pecans
  1. Heat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Using a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars on medium-high speed until pale yellow, hom*ogeneous, and smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix for another 5 minutes. Add the dry ingredients in order, mixing them in on low speed, just until each is incorporated into the dough.
  3. Use two soupspoons or an ice cream scoop to form the dough into lumps about the size of a squash ball. (You can make smaller cookies if you like, or want to feed 'em to kids.) Scoop all the dough and chill it on a quarter sheet pan in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before baking. If you're not baking the whole batch, freeze the balls on the sheet tray before transferring them into a freezer bag. When you are ready to bake, space them well on a Silpat-lined sheet pan and bake for 11 to 12 minutes. Let them cool a bit on the sheets, then transfer them to wire racks to fully cool before serving.
  4. These cookies are best when they have fully cooled, though you will undoubtedly eat some warm because it will take you years to develop the patience to ignore their siren's call until they are ready. You are only human.


  • Cookie
  • American
  • Coconut
  • Nut
  • Oat
  • Chocolate
  • Bake
  • Holiday
  • Dessert

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • K.V.

  • Sam Anderson

  • Smaug

  • Louise Melcher

Popular on Food52

7 Reviews

K.V. April 30, 2022

Before Covid, I often baked something as birthday gifts. I still do now, it just requires more thought about which baked goods will pack and travel well in the mail. I like trying new recipes and this did *not* disappoint. Because they're substantial, I was confident they'd arrive to my friend way over on the other coast in one shape. She enjoyed the salty/sweet/chocolate ratio and I couldn't agree more. I saved half of the batch for some other friends who gobbled them up when they returned home from a trip. My friends and I thank you, Peter!

JustMegan December 19, 2021

I first made these cookies two years ago during our first year in Germany. My husband and I were looking for a cookie that reminded us of back home to make for Christmas. We have made these cookies ever year since. They are perfection and a fantastic change from traditional German Advent sweets. We love sharing them with neighbors and they are always a favorite on our bunter teller. Every year they give us the taste, feeling and comfort of home right when we need it

Sam January 26, 2020

This is truly a top-notch cookie! On my “make-again” list. Used sweetened coconut because that was what I had on hand.

Sam A. December 19, 2019

These were absolute perfection! Thank you for sharing your treasured recipe.

Smaug December 18, 2019

There are a lot of oatmeal cookies out there with similar combinations of add ins- all sorts of dried fruits and nuts, and coconut and chocolate are not unusual, but I'm not sure I've seen this exact combination (or that I haven't)- in general oatmeal cookies lend themselves very well to personalization. I'm a little curious why so much less chocolate when using chopped rather than chips? They're also a little unusual in not including any warm spices, though I think that's a good idea with chocolate, they do tend to clash.

Louise M. December 13, 2019

I just finished baking a batch of these. As I was mixing the dough something seemed very very familiar to me. The Frog Commissary Cookbook of 1985 has their Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies which had 1/2 c more oats (old-fashioned, not instant), 1/2 c more walnuts, 1 tsp. baking powder, 2 T milk, and no coconut. It was a restaurant favorite.

lizinchi December 5, 2019

I’ve made this recipe countless times since it was published in Lucky Peach and am happy to see it reprinted here. I believe the weight measurements for both sugars are off (they should each read 200g, not 100g, and the white sugar isn’t divided). These cookies are my go-to gift for friends with new babies, illnesses, hard times, etc. They are delicious and ideal as gifts because after they are baked they can be kept in the freezer and eaten straight from there. A baking note: I find that the chilled dough balls don’t usually spread in the oven, and I like them as a normal “flat” cookie, so at about the 10 minute mark I take a spatula to each cookie and smash it to about 1/2 inch thickness, then bake 3-4 minutes more. People rave about these.

AK Cookies Recipe on Food52 (2024)


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