In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, applesauce, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract. Then, whisk in the egg, stopping as soon as it is blended.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, stir to combine, stopping as soon as the dry ingredients disappear. The dough will seem very stiff and dry at first. Use the spatula to gently push and "smush" the dough and stir and fold as needed. It will come together.
Fold in the chocolate chips. Chill the dough for at least 1 hour, or press plastic over the top and chill for up to 2 days.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
With a cookie scoop or spoon, portion the dough, then use your hands to roll into balls that are 1 ½-inches in diameter (you should have 18 total). Arrange on the baking sheet, leaving at least one inch between each. Place any uncooked dough balls that do not fit on the sheet in the refrigerator to continue chilling while the first batch bakes.
Bake for the cookies for 8 to 9 minutes, until very lightly browned around the edges and feel dry on the sides and top when lightly touched. They will still appear underdone in the centers. Do not over bake or the cookies will be dry. The cookies will not spread much as they bake.
Place the baking sheet on a wire rack and let the cookies cool on the sheet for 2 minutes. Carefully remove the cookies to the rack to finish cooling completely. The cookies will be fragile at first but will firm up and their texture will improve as they cool. Repeat with the remaining dough balls, cooling the sheet completely between batches. Enjoy!
*I do not recommend any other kind of oil for this recipe; it’s important that the oil is solid at room temperature (the way coconut oil is) in order for the cookies to set up properly. I haven’t experimented yet, but I believe you could use unsalted butter instead.
**If using regular whole wheat flour, the cookies will have a heartier texture and more pronounced “wheat” taste compared to white whole wheat flour. If using regular whole wheat, I recommend a blend of half all-purpose flour and half regular wheat flour. Be sure to measure your flour correctly (lightly spoon it into the measuring cup, then level it off). If you pack the flour too tightly, the cookies will come out dry. Better yet, try weighing the flour.
***Make sure your baking soda is fresh (not expired) or your cookies may not rise and could have a strange aftertaste.
To Store. Keep cookies in an airtight storage container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
To Freeze. Freeze baked cookies in a freezer-safe storage container or ziptop bag for up to 3 months. Thaw and enjoy as desired or bake directly from frozen, adding a few minutes to the baking time as needed.