Finding Joy … in Cookies

Sometimes, it's important to make home that super-cool place that involves things like rainbow-colored painted craft projects and cookies that are inspired by your favorite candies. This would seem to be especially true if you've got young kids at home, although I can't say it's not therapeutic at any age. So recently, the patio table got covered with brown paper, paint and brushes were assembled, and two different artsy projects ensued:

What are they? Why, rock buddies -- created to keep napkins and other light objects from blowing off the patio table -- and clothespin hangers, which got installed on said patio to hold the artwork of the youngster as well as any menus created for our al fresco meals enjoyed there. After all that work, it only seemed fitting that some treats were in order. Thankfully, the earlier part of the day included a cookie baking frenzy that resulted in, not one, but two kinds of candy-inspired cookies:

I'll cover the M&M ones soon, but I wanted to introduce my favorites first. Why do they get to go first? Because I'm the mom, that's why! Almond Joy candy bars are among my favorite candy treats available, but I don't have them around often because then I will eat them all. So, while it might not make a lot of sense, I opted to make a batch of cookies inspired by them instead. I figure I've had a baking adventure with my youngster and I might be able to restrain myself from eating the entire batch within days. Maybe.

Almond Joy Cookies

  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup half & half
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2¼ cups flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1½ cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • ¾ cup slivered almonds

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the butter and the sugars and beat until creamy. Add the egg, half & half, and almond extract. Mix well.

Mix in the flour, baking soda, and salt just until mixed.

Fold in the chocolate chips, coconut, and slivered almonds gently, to avoid crushing the chips and nuts.

Scoop generous tablespoons of dough and place them on a silicone mat-lined cookie sheet. Bake them in the preheated oven for about 12 minutes (baking time may vary).

  • Yields: 4 dozen cookies
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes

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