If my calculations are correct, almonds + coconut + chocolate will either equal sweet oblivion or my demise. More likely the latter.
Last year I was on a bender with candy bars. Filling my daily chocolate quota with the likes of Almond Joy, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and Snickers. Practically veering off the road anytime I spied a mini mart. Never passing up 2 for $1.
The only problem with this sweet addiction, other than the trans fat collecting in my arteries, was that empty candy wrappers replaced my love of baking. I felt somewhat blue when friends stopped by to say hello and all I had to offer them was a Nutrageous. What happened to the homemade sour cherry pie and handmade truffles I once kept covered on my counter? What’s a neighbor to do when I can’t even supply them with that cup of sugar?
That just wouldn’t do.
So I gave myself a good stern talking to, fetched my apron, and got back to basics. Okay I didn’t get the apron, but only because I like to live on the edge (and apparently pay $6.99 for stain removers). I baked, putting a creative spin on my desperate dependency on 59 cent packaged milk chocolate.
I whipped up whoopie pies that tasted of peanut butter cups, dark chocolate mousse as billowy as the filling of a 3 Musketeers, and the sweet almond joy confections pictured here.
Addiction curbed? Not quite. Addiction morphed? That’s more like it.
These chunky little cookies are everything delightful about almond joy candy bars- chocolate, coconut, and almonds. They’re dense and fudgy, sweet and supremely rich. Each chewy center sort of melts on your tongue. They’re meant for those folks who think chocolate is greater than or equal to total contentment.
Dark Chocolate Almond Joy Cookies.
Start by whisking flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Set it aside.
In a medium bowl, microwave 6 ounces of unsweetened chocolate with 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter on high for 1 minute. Stir and microwave again for 15 second intervals until the chocolate has fully melted. Be very careful not to burn the chocolate. If that happens, the chocolate will seize and begin to separate and look like a thick, gritty mud.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, or using a handheld mixer, beat some sugar and eggs with vanilla extract for about 3 minutes, until the the mixture is light, silky, and thickened.
Stream in the melted chocolate and mix until incorporated.
Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the bowl.
Now add in the flour mixture, mixing just until combined. The dough will be thick and firm.
Stir in 1/2 cup chopped almonds and 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut.
Roll the dough into dough balls roughly two tablespoons in size, lay them on a parchment lined cookie sheet, flatten slightly with your fingertips, and bake for about 8-10 minutes until the cookies are puffy and dry on top.
Serve with a glass of cold milk. Dunk them and watch as they melt like fudge.
Dark Chocolate Almond Joy Cookies
makes about 2 dozen
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1 cup sweetened, flaked coconut
Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Set it aside.
In a small bowl, microwave the chopped chocolate and butter for 1 minute at high power. Stir and continue to microwave at 15 second intervals until the mixture has melted. Be careful not to burn your chocolate.
In a large bowl, beat eggs with sugar and vanilla until well blended, about 3 minutes. Stir in melted chocolate mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to mix well. Stir in flour mixture. The dough will be thick. Add chopped almonds and coconut and stir to incorporate.
Cover the dough and refrigerate it for 30 minutes. This will allow it to firm up and rest, for a chewier cookie center.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Shape the dough into balls roughly 2 tablespoons in size. Roll them between your palms and flatten them slightly with your fingertips. Space two inches apart on the baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, until they’ve puffed and begun to look dry and cracked on top. Remove to cool on a wire rack.