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Almond Joy · GF (about 18 cookies)

Lately I’ve had these cravings.

Don’t get the wrong idea— there isn’t a BraveTot on the way (sorry, Mom). It’s just that I’ve never had the chance to work up an appetite. In a restaurant, you spend the day grazing on little bits of everything, so you’re never quite hungry. After eight to twelve hours of sugary snacks, dessert’s the last thing on my mind.

coconut white chocolate Gianduja

But now that I’m home, without a menu to maintain, everything sweet sounds good again. A craving hits, and suddenly I start throwing ingredients around in an indiscriminate whirlwind of sugar and flour. No plan, no purpose, no stress.

I don’t have to fret that something might seems too rustic for its price tag, or that it’ll clash with other flavors on the menu. I don’t have to worry about chocolate melting in the heat, or whether I made enough to last the night.

I’ve got nothing but my own cravings in mind, and that’s how these little cookies came about. They taste like Almond Joy, if Almond Joy had as much almond as coconut, a big hit of salt, and legit dark chocolate.

I love the look of drizzled chocolate over the top, but you could just as easily chop the bar and mix it into the dough.

Almond Joy, about 18 three-inch cookies
5 ounces all purpose flour (gluten free variation below)
5 ounces sweetened coconut flakes
5 ounces almond butter, creamy or crunchy both work well
1 ounce unsalted butter or virgin coconut oil, room temperature
5 ounces light or dark brown sugar
5 ounces white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 egg
to garnish: 4 ounces dark or milk chocolate

Preheat the oven to 350°. Sift the flour and toss with the coconut flakes.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the almond butter, butter, brown sugar, white sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, vanilla and almond extracts. Mix on low speed to moisten, then increase to medium and beat one minute.

Add the egg and continue creaming until smooth, pausing to scrape the bowl and beater with a flexible spatula as needed. Reduce speed to low, add the coconut/flour, and continue mixing until the dry bits disappear.

Use a large cookie scoop (2 1/2 Tablespoons) to portion the thick dough into 18 pieces. Roll each one smooth and round, and arrange on two baking sheets. For thick and chewy cookies, leave the dough-balls alone. For thin and crispy cookies, flatten with a drinking glass. You can see the hodge-podge of thicknesses below.

coconut white chocolate Gianduja

If you like, sprinkle the dough with an extra pinch of salt. Bake until the cookies are puffed and firm around the edges, though their centers will still seem a little steamy and damp; about 15 minutes.

While the cookies cool, gently melt the chocolate (if you melt it over a water bath and keep the chocolate below 95°, it will stay in good temper). Transfer to a small parchment cone, snip the end and drizzle the cookies with melted chocolate.

The cookies will keep for a few days in an airtight container, with a sheet of wax paper between the layers.

scooping Gianduja

Gluten Free: replace the all purpose flour with 2 ounces kinako, 2 ounces oat flour, 1 ounce tapioca flour, and 1 ounce white rice flour. Plain soy flour cannot be used to replace the kinako.

Updated to add: many comments left on this post were subsequently lost in a database crash, but they live on with Google’s cached version.

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