… Cookies or Candy Bars? You Decide!
Okay, so I couldn’t decide on what to call these. They’re a moist, chewy cookie, yet they taste just like the original Almond Joy candy bars. So I did the best I could and combined the name. Regardless of what we call these, in my book, they’re the cat’s meow … the pot at the end of the rainbow … the … okay, enough of the silly idioms, but you get my drift, right?
This coconut macaroon recipe started out as just that … macaroons. Yum! Then I tried adding some almond extract. Loved that combination! Next I tried making them into thumbprint cookies with some ganache cupped in the center. All really tasty, and recipes coming your way soon, but when one of my most reliable taste-testers said they taste like an almond joy candy bar – but in cookie form, I said, “That’s it exactly!”
Ultimately, I have to place these in the cookie category. And I’m comfortable with that. But if you’ve got a craving for an Almond Joy, they’ll work just fine for you. You’ll notice when you read through the recipe that it’s a bit different from most macaroon recipes … it has just a bit of flour (and no milk), resulting in a cookie that is moist and chewy and still definitely a macaroon, but a little lighter. I’ve placed these sweet treats right up at the top of my favorite cookies list. If you like chocolate, and you like coconut, then I urge you to try this recipe right away. ‘Nough said!
Oops, one more thing to tell you. If you’re more of a “Mounds” person, simply leave off the almonds before the drizzling step. Leave off the chocolate, and you’re right back to the beginning with a perfect macaroon.
Gluten-free, Dairy-free Almond Joy Coconut Macaroon Cookies
Baking time: about 30 minutes total, 2 baking sheets about 15 minutes each, ovens vary
Oven temp: 325ºF
Makes: about 20 cookies
2 egg whites
1/3 cup granulated sugar – Increase sugar to 2/3 cup if you are using unsweetened coconut
2 Tablespoons gluten-free all-purpose flour – I use Authentic Foods Bette’s Gourmet Four Flour Blend1
pinch of kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
2 1/4 cups (7 oz. or 200g) sweetened shredded coconut
4 ounces semisweet chocolate – I use Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips2
*There is intentionally no guar or xanthan gum in this recipe.
Preheat oven to 325ºF. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Beat egg whites in an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. (Be sure that your bowl and beaters are perfectly clean and have no oil on them or the egg whites will never fluff.
Drizzle sugar into egg whites while continuing to beat, until white and fluffy. Sugar may not dissolve completely.
Stir in, with mixer on low, flour, salt, and almond extract until well mixed. Don’t worry if egg mixture deflates.
Stir coconut in by hand.
Scoop coconut mixture by level tablespoonfuls onto baking sheet. Using fingers, gently form egg shapes, about 1/2-3/4 inch high and 1 1/2 inches long, with each tablespoon of mixture.
Bake at 325ºF for 14-16 minutes, or until cookies are lightly golden on the edges and a little on top. Remove from oven and transfer parchment with cookies onto a cooling rack. Let rest 3-5 minutes, then transfer cookies to an unlined cooling rack to finish cooling. Place a sheet of wax paper under the cooling rack before moving to the chocolate step. This will catch all the extra chocolate drippings and make clean up a snap.
Melt half to 2/3 of the chocolate in a double boiler or in a bowl resting over a pan of simmering water. When melted, remove from heat (and off of simmering water) and stir in remaining chocolate. This will temper the chocolate and keep it shiny and crisp and prevent it from cracking and crystalizing as it cools.
Place 2 almonds on each cooled cookie by using a drop of the melted chocolate as “glue”. Allow to set for a couple of minutes.
Place melted chocolate into a quart size resealable plastic bag and seal, pushing all the air out. Snip the corner of the bag and drizzle chocolate over the almond-topped cookies. Transfer cookies on cooling rack into a freezer for 5-10 minutes to set the chocolate.
Store cookies in a resealable container. Place wax paper between cookies if layering them. Will keep up to three days at room temperature.
Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™