If you’re going to bake, use recipes with ingredients that set your heart on fire. I believe in this to the very last character in the sentence…but don’t relish coconut. Unless of course, it’s presented to me within an Almond Joy wrapper. Otherwise, you won’t find coconut crossing my palate or even my sinus passages. (I buy sunblock and tanning oils with NO coconut smell whatsoever. I open the bottles in the store and sniff to be sure!) Coconut Joy Cookies, however, are my divine exception. The almond extract in the recipe compliments the coconut perfectly along with a delicious toasted flavor thrown in there from the bottom of the cookie. My Aunt Jean in New York, she devours these cookies if I make them when she’s in town and they certainly don’t last long when I mail them to her during the holidays. They ship wonderfully and the filling is interchangeable. There’s also very few ingredients in the recipe so, it’s a quick bake with a fairly low oven temperature at 325 degrees.
Coconut Joy Cookies are dipped in a chocolate candy coating and are great in a holiday spread with or without it. I use a double-boiler to melt the chocolate and don’t shy away from this… it’s easy. You’ll need a small pot and a heatproof bowl. Put enough hot tap water in the pot to fall just below the bottom of the bowl when it rests inside. If the water touches the bowl, it may scorch your chocolate. Keep the stove burner on medium-low, put the chocolate in the bowl and leave it alone for about 15-20 minutes. Covering the bowl with a plate will speed up the process but don’t allow any condensation to drip in your chocolate – you’ll have a mess. Then, stir and dunk. Chocolate can be melted in the microwave; I prefer the double-boiler method simply because it gives me complete control over how hot the chocolate gets and keeps the chocolate warm and smooth for as long as I need it that way. Your home will smell like Willy Wonka should be living there when you get these cookies going. This is the first in my ’12 Bakes of Christmas’ postings for the 2012 holiday season. This recipe is a throwback to my early blogging days and these cookies were one of my very first posts. Eleven to go!