Sunday, May 4, 2014

Almond Joy Cookies

 These cookies are inspired by "Almond Joys", the American candy bar made of a coconut filling, a layer of almonds on top, and then covered in chocolate.  The use of almond butter (like peanut butter, but made with almonds) was a great idea - I hadn't baked much with this in the past.  These are a dense chewy hearty cookie full of delicious flavors that make you want to reach in for just one more.  I find them a little less sweet then the average american cookie, which is one of the reasons why I think they were so popular with my british friends (who had never heard of Almond Joys).

The desiccated coconut flakes we can buy in the UK are reported to be a little bit drier and less sweet than the sweetened coconut flakes available in the US - I found the only difference this makes is that the dough is a bit more crumbly, requiring more effort to form the balls before baking.  However they came out tasting great for me in both countries.  The only real change I made from the original recipe was to add in chocolate chunks instead of drizzling it on top, and I went for the thicker chewier size.  The original recipe has all the weights of the ingredients, if you prefer that to measuring cups.

Almond Joy Cookies
mildly adapted from Bravetart

1/2 cup almond butter - unsalted or lightly salted (I used creamy)
28 grams butter (2 Tb) softened unsalted butter
1/2 cup + 2 Tb brown sugar
1/2 cup + 2 Tb white sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 egg
1 cup all purpose flour
2 cups (UK) desiccated coconut/(US) unsweetened coconut flakes
150 grams 70% bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Make the Cookies:
preheat the oven to 176c/350f
  1. Mix together everything but the egg, flour and coconut in a bowl, until well mixed
  2. Add in the egg, and mix again.  Add in the flour and mix well once again.
  3. Using a spoon, mix in the chopped chocolate.  If you are in the UK this will be a very very crumbly dough!
  4. Use your hands to press together large balls of dough, a little smaller than a golf ball, and place on a cookie tray.  Using either your hands or a glass, press down gently on the balls of dough, to flatten them to about 3/4 inch thick (you may need to hold in the edges to keep these from crumbling). 
  5. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until the edges are a golden brown and the cookies have set, but the middle is still on the soft side.
  6. Cool on a wire rack, and store in an airtight container.


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