Apparantly I’m a jam hoarder. I didn’t realize how bad this habit of mine was until we recently got a new refrigerator. Jams, preserves, jellies. Whenever I see jam on sale I can’t stop myself; if it’s something I even fancy I’m apt to buy it and squirrel it away. It’s not that I eat it on toast. I rarely eat jam on toast. It’s more about what you can do with jam. You can take an ordinary buttercream and make it raspberry by just adding a bit of jam. I was shopping one day and right next to the jams and preserves I came across coconut curd. I have never seen “creme coconut curd” in my life.
When I saw this little jar of Dickinson’s creme coconut curd www.dickinsonsfamily.com you know I had to buy it. On the way home from the store I was already thinking of ways to use it. In between soft chewy cookies, as a filling in cake…the possibilities started swirling in my head as I drove.
The sublime combination of chocolate, sweet chewy coconut and almonds which make up an almond joy are the inspiration for these cookies. The cookie portion of this recipe is similar to a parisian macaron type cookie but because I live in serious heavy fog; I created the recipe to suit the weather here. (Macaron’s do not come out well when the weather is foggy). The result is a very fudgy, soft, and chewy cookie.
Almond Joy Cookies
1 1/4 C almond meal
2 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 C dutch processed cocoa powder (I like Valrhona)
3 egg whites (from large eggs)
pinch of cream of tartar
3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
*whole salted almonds (save for garnache-for the top of the cookie)
Purchased Dickinson’s creme coconut curd
OR Coconut buttercream filling: (see recipe & method below)
Coconut Buttercream: (see method below)
2 egg whites
1/2 C granulated sugar
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 tsp. coconut flavoring/extract
1/2 cup dried dessicated coconut
Bittersweet Chocolate ganache (see method below)
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips
4 oz. heavy cream
Method for cookies:
1. Combine the almond meal, cocoa powder, and confectioners sugar in a bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment; whisk the egg whites, pinch of salt and cream of tartar on high until foamy. Add the granulated sugar and continue whisking on high until the meringue has stiff peaks; about 3-4 minutes.
3. Add about a third of the sugar/almond meal mixture to the meringue and fold until combined. Add the rest of the almond/sugar mixture until the cookie dough is combined and flows like lava when you lift the spatula and let it fall in the bowl.
4. Spoon the cookie dough into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch tip (I use a # 806 Ateco). Pipe the cookies on a parchment lined tray about 1 inch in size and leave about 2 inches in between each cookie. After you have piped all the cookies; take the tray and rap it on the counter to help release any air bubbles in the cookies. Let the trays sit out for 1 hour so the tops become fairly dry.
5. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and bake for 10 minutes, drop the temperature to 300 º degrees and continue baking the cookies for another 6 minutes. Turn off the oven and let the cookies it in the oven for about 30 minutes-40 minutes or until the cookies are able to be pulled from the parchement paper without falling apart. (This takes long at my house because of the high humidity/heavy fog where I live). Check the cookies- they should be set and look wrinkly on top, and you should be able to pull them off the paper easily upon lifting.
6. Remove the cookies and let sit on a wire rack to cool completely.
Method for coconut buttercream:
Place the egg whites and sugar set over a bain marie and cook until the sugar is dissolved and the temperature is 160 degrees. Remove from heat. Whip the mixture with a handheld beater (in a large bowl) or on a stand mixture until the bottom of the bowl is no longer warm to the touch. Add one tablespoon of butter at a time while continue whisking; you will see the mixture start to separate (that’s normal) and continue adding the butter a piece at a time until all the butter is incorporated. Add in the extract and dried coconut and whip until combined.
Method for ganache:
Place the chocolate chips in a small bowl. Heat the cream in a measuring cup in the microwave until the cream is hot. Pour the cream over the chocolate chips and let sit for 1 minute before stirring the mixture to become smooth.
Assembly: Dip half of the cookies in the ganache and let sit for about ten minutes and top with one whole almond. The other half of the cookies pipe or spoon about 3/4 tsp. of coconut filling onto one cookie half; carefully place the ganache topped cookie on top of the half with the coconut filled cookie and twist gently into place.