Sunday, July 25, 2010

Almond Joy Cookies

There’s a local ice cream parlor that serves the best Almond Joy ice cream I’ve ever had. Since my husband got me an ice-cream maker for my birthday, I’ve been promising myself I would replicate it at home.

And yet: it hasn’t happened. The stores at which I shop have been curiously lacking in sweetened flake coconut in recent weeks, and for ice cream, I just don’t think unsweetened coconut will cut it. I’ve been trying to find some of the sugar-doused stuff for ages, but the shelves are bereft. Increasingly, so am I. Sweetened flake coconut is among my favorite things.

Other kinds of coconut, however, I can find in abundance. Unsweetened coconut flakes and pieces – these healthier alternatives confront me wherever I go. Heck, I even picked up a fresh coconut the other week. I didn’t really care for it. It wasn’t sweet enough to suit my preferences. Does this mean that said preferences have been hopelessly warped by the food marketers and manufacturers of America? I fear it does, but in this instance, I have no desire to fight their nefarious influence.

This brings us to the cookies. (Finally, I can sense you sigh: finally). I was craving almond joy something, but I really didn’t have the candy bar in mind. I figured that if I used unsweetened coconut shreds in a cookie, the sweetness of the cookie itself would give me the semblance of the sweetened coconut flavor that I craved. And I was right! I love it when I’m right.

These are delicious. “Almond Joy Cookie” pretty well encapsulates their essence. I prefer soft, cake-y cookies; if you prefer a more crisp cookie affair, you might want to bump up the amount of butter.

I wanted to make a huge batch of cookies, so be forewarned. This recipe makes a huge batch of cookies. You could halve it (using an egg and a yolk for the 3 eggs), and that would give you a more typical cookie-recipe yield. I didn’t consult recipe before baking, so I am cheerfully claiming credit for this cookie’s inception. I’m a glory hog that way.

Almond Joy Cookies
2 sticks unsalted butter
½ cup almond butter (I used creamy salted from Trader Joe’s)
1 ½ cups white sugar
1 ¼ cups brown sugar
¼ cup malted milk powder (or use 1 ½ cups brown sugar)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
3 eggs

4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups coconut shreds, unsweetened
3-4 cups chocolate chips or chunks – I recommend using dark chocolate (I used mini dark chocolate chunks from Whole Foods and included about a bag and a half, which is what I had on hand. It was a good amount of chocolate)
1 cup almond slivers (I used Trader Joe’s dry roasted almond slivers)

Preheat oven to 350. In a very large bowl, cream together butter, almond butter, sugars, malted milk powder, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add eggs.

In a medium to large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Toss in the coconut shreds, chocolate chips/chunks, and almonds.

Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix until blended. Drop generous tablespoonfuls of dough onto a parchment or silpat-lined baking sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes or until just barely brown at the edges. Makes 4-6 dozen.

Printable recipe here.

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