I waited for my Thursday evening dance classes at the local YMCA with breathless anticipation all week, every week. I, of course, loved the dancing (so-called generously, as it was more just a group of 20 or so lumpy six-year-olds lobbing our formless bodies gracelessly through an almost-visible cloud of feet stink while doing jazz hands), but the real draw was the vending machine.
My parents didn’t believe in vending machines or candy bars or anything of the sort. When they brought me to the Y for gymnastics or swimming, we strode quickly past those buzzing sirens without a backward glance.
But my parents didn’t take me to dance class. I carpooled with my best friend and her mother took us to the vending machine to pick out a whole candy bar each every week once class was over. She would give me a dollar and I would cling to it as though it were my key to all success. I would gently feed it to the machine, punching in E7 with trembling fingers, and then out it would tumble, like magic, that holy grail thing – my Almond Joy. I would savor it for the next hour, knowing full well I would eat nothing that delicious for another week. The cycle continued.
It was, however, an odd choice to make so habitually, as I did not love Almond Joys unconditionally. In fact, I picked out the almonds every single time (no, I did not know what a Mounds was, please don’t ask). I just really, really liked the almond flavor with the chocolate and the coconut.
When I recently created a cookie that incorporates all of those signature flavors without fussing with the whole nut, I did not initially make the connection. It was only as I was munching on what had to be my tenth cookie late in the day that these memories flooded back to me.
It is not just for nostalgia’s sake that I love these cookies. You guys, these are seriously so delicious and tropically sumptuous I could just about eat them every day, or at least once a week after a good workout 😉
Give them a go!
You will need:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 & 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 & 1/2 tsp almond extract
1 pinch salt
1 & 1/8 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
Unsweetened shredded coconut (to taste)
Semi-sweet chocolate chips (to taste)
White chocolate chips (to taste)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cream together the butter and sugars. Add the salt, egg and extracts. The volume of almond extract added is what really sets this recipe apart. In all honesty I don’t actually measure it out when I’m baking, but I pour in a lot more than is normal for a cookie. In this cookie, this flavor is king.
Gradually beat the flour and baking soda into the batter. Fold in your desired amount of chocolate chips and shredded coconut. I like my cookies bulky and textured, so I add quite a bit.
Spoon the batter onto a baking sheet. Live a little and try some.
Bake for 10-13 minutes or until the bottom is golden brown. The body of the cookie will be light and fluffy looking.
Allow to cool and serve!
Dear readers, we hope these can bring a little festive almond joy to your season. Let us know if you try them out!