Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Candy to Cookie Conversion.

“Sometimes you feel like a nut.

Sometimes you don't.

Almond Joy's got nuts.

Mounds don't.”

(Written by Leo Corday and Leon Carr and sung by Joey Levine)

Whether you enjoy eating coconut, or not, when this commercial for Peter Paul’s Almond Joy and Mounds candies comes on, bet you find yourself singing along.
  While the Mounds bar was a huge hit, with the military, during WW2; Almond Joy has been around just as long.  Originally called the Dream Bar, the candy confection was a mixture of sweet coconut and diced almonds, encased in dark chocolate.  Once the Peter Paul Company purchased it though, the name was changed, along with the almonds.  Instead of diced almonds mixed in, two whole almonds were placed atop the coconut, making each whole piece a two-bite candy.  Now owned by Hershey, the current slogan for Almond Joy is “Unwrap Paradise”, and that would definitely make it a dream bar, once again, if it gave us paradise.

From the professional baker to the homemaker, it is not unusual to try and create a bake good, from the perspective of a candy.  Perusing the internet, many a recipe can be found where a cake or cookie has been created to resemble a brand name candy.  Snickers cheesecake anyone?  So, is it any wonder that Almond Joy is now an easy to bake, 4-ingredient cookie?  In fact, the recipe is so easy, that the almonds and semi-sweet chocolate chips can be swapped out for other types of nuts and chips.

Alright parents, the children are home from school for the winter holidays, and they will enjoy making these cookies with you.  With the main ingredient of coconut, think about making these for Easter as well, if you cannot find, or make, coconut crème eggs. 

Oh, and I took this recipe one step further than just swapping ingredients; dipping the bottoms in melted chocolate!  Want to go even further, drizzle that melted chocolate over the cookie.  With chocolate, more is always more!  I recently made two separate batches, and a half of each batch was dipped in either dark or white melted chocolate.  I have received requests to, “Please make more, and they were so good!”  If you needed independent endorsements of this recipe, now you have them.


Recipe for Almond Joy Cookies

(Note: I could not find the origin of this recipe.  Each food site/food blog I checked claimed to be the originator of this recipe.)


1 (14 oz.) bag sweetened coconut flakes

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

2/3 cup chopped almonds (lightly salted is preferred, but I used salted and still came out great)

1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk


Preheat oven to 325F.  Line aluminum/metal type baking sheet or pan with parchment paper (Note: this is a must if you want the cookies to cleanly come off the pan without crumbling.  Using silicone mats, or lining with wax paper, will cause the cookies to melt completely flat.)

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients; stir until well combined.  Using a 2-inch ice cream scoop, place a dozen mounds on the parchment paper.  Have a small bowl of water nearby to moisten tips of fingers to slightly flatten down the mounds, and firm up the round appearance.(Note: if using a 1 and ½ inch cookie scoop, 3 and ½ dozen cookies will be created)


Bake cookies for 12-15 minutes, or until cookies turn golden brown.  Let them completely cool on the parchment before removing; they will peel off easily.  Store in airtight containers.


Makes 3 dozen.


My first batch was using this original recipe.  The second batch, I swapped out the almonds for chopped walnuts, and used cinnamon chips instead of semi-sweet chocolate chips.  Again, 3 dozen cookies from the mixture.


Then I melted 2/3 cups of dark chocolate and white chocolate coating, in separate bowls (Ghirardelli brand, or almond bark works too).  I did intervals of 20 seconds, in the microwave, stirring after each interval, until completely smooth.  For the original recipe, I dipped half the batch in the dark chocolate.  For the walnut/cinnamon chip half batch, those were dipped in the white chocolate.  The cookies were placed, chocolate dip side down on wax paper and let cool until the chocolate hardened.


While the undipped cookies were definitely delicious, the dipped cookies went to a whole other level of awesome!  A simple 4-ingredient cookie which has so much potential to be more, depending on what ingredients are inside your baking pantry.  Bake ‘em up and have fun!

Mary Cokenour