Renee's Kitchen Adventures

Thursday, November 17, 2011

"Almond Joy" Shortbread Cookies

I started my Christmas baking yesterday.  Bake and freeze will be my motto for the next month!   I developed this cookie using one of my very favorite shortbread cookie recipes and fell in LOVE with the combo.  I wanted to share.  This recipe is neither WW friendly nor low in fat or calories...but I believe, there is room in everyone's diet for a little indulgence now and then.  I am not going to work out the nutritional stats for this recipe either.  Just give you the ingredients and the directions.  They are rich and intended to be enjoyed in moderation! 

Last year, I made Lemon Coconut Snowball Cookies and they were such a hit!  I absolutely adored working with the silky smooth dough that came together like magic.  This year, I decided to do a couple of variations on that cookie and the "Almond Joy" Shortbread Cookie was born!  It doesn't actually have the candy bar in it, it just borrows those flavors: coconut, chocolate and almonds.    Nestled into the shortbread cookie itself is the coconut.  It is dipped into melted chocolate and then sprinkled with roasted almonds.  I also made a  rum and toasted coconut version...but you will have to wait for that recipe!  ;) Wait no longer!!!  find the recipe for Toasted Coconut Rum Shortbread Cookies HERE!

My family was split between which variation they liked better...and what I think it boiled down to was whether you are an Almond Joy fan or not!  These cookies would make a great addition to your cookie menu this year! 

Almond Joy Shortbread Cookies

Yield:  approx. 2 1/2 doz. cookies

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar, that has been whizzed in the food processor for 30 seconds
1/4 tsp. salt
16 TBS unsalted butter, at cool room temperature ( 2 sticks cut into 8 pcs each ) 
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp imitation coconut flavoring
2 TBS ( 1 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature ( I used light)
1/2 cup shredded coconut, that has been whizzed in food processor for 30 seconds
1 cup milk or semisweet chocolate chips, or similar melting chocolate
1 cup sliced and roasted almonds

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.  

2.  In the bowl of a standing mixer, with the paddle attachment on, combine the flour, sugar, and salt.  Let mix on low speed until combined.  With mixer running on low, drop butter in by TBS one piece at at time until all butter is incorporated and the mixture looks slightly wet and crumbly.  Add in the vanilla, coconut flavoring, and the cream cheese.  Mix on low until it comes together into a smooth ball.  ( it magic!)  Add in the coconut until just combined. 

3.  With hands, roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on parchment lined cookie sheets. With palm of hand, flatten each ball into a disc.   Bake one batch at a time in oven until lightly browned on bottoms, about 12 minutes.  Remove to wire rack and allow to cool.  

4. Melt the chocolate in microwave at 50% - 70%  power or over a double boiler on stove.  If you are using chips, you might want to add a little shortening to loosen up the chocolate.   Dip or spread the melted chocolate on the tops of the cookies then sprinkle with a bit of the almonds.  ( you may not use all the chocolate or the almonds)  Allow chocolate to set before storing.  These cookies freeze well. 


As I said, these cookies were a huge hit!  You can't really feel the texture of the coconut in the cookie, but you can taste the flavor.  I am kind of glad I got a start on this baking chore I have this year!  I've been hired to do some cookie gifts and I didn't want to wait and be stressed the last minute.  Shortbread cookies do freeze wonderfully.  They were a good one to start with!  

My WW meeting today was good!  It focused on having a plan for Thanksgiving.  I always do better with a plan, so I gave it some thought and formulated a plan for the day.  This should help me stay true to my goals.  I will be allowing myself ONE treat on that day and making half my plate full of vegetables.  This will be easy, as I am the one in charge of the sides.  I am planning on doing three veggies this year, along with a raw veggie tray for mindless noshing.  I also intend to get a walk in at some point during the day, even if it is a short one.  Do you have a plan for next Thursday?  


  1. Girl! These are absolutely gorgeous! Whoever gets to sample these is lucky!Nom Nom. Can't wait to do some holiday baking. In terms of Thanksgiving- I plan to fit in a run in the morning and focus on turkey and veggies :)

  2. These look really good. I don't know how hard it would be to limit myself to only one but I bet they will disappear quickly

  3. Those look like cookies my MIL makes - not WW friendly either but oh so good!

    We are hosting next Thursday, so I will be in control - like you, lots of veggie options! :D

  4. I made those lemon snowballs last good! I remember the velvety dough - sooo yum! And Almond Joys, well...those are a favorite :)

  5. Well, I bet I'd love them b/c I love almond joys (and mounds)! I'm so curious what the texture of these is like--is it soft or more dry and crispy? BTW, I just happened to glance over and saw you still have me listed as "Recipe Rhapsody!"

  6. Veronica...they are sort of softish, as shortbread cookies go. Not crispy. Sort of like the texture of mexican wedding cakes. Yes, it automatically named your blog that when I put in the address...I will try to see if I can fix it.

  7. You had me at Almond Joy... LOL. These look fantastic, and what a different take on the usual holiday cookies!

  8. Thanks for answering! I'm really wanting to try this dough now.

  9. I love shortbread cookies! Add chocolate and you can't go wrong! You are smart to start baking...I really need too, but haven't started ANYthing Christmas (other than my Christmas ringtone on my phone.haha) With 3 kids, I need to get busy!

  10. My plan for next week is to eat as many veggies from the raw veggie tray as I can. I'm just gonna stuff my gullet with raw vegetables and hope for the best. LOL

  11. Those look divine! I'm "pinning" this recipe onto pinterest.

  12. Hi Renee, hope all went well with the Thanksgiving plan. LOVE the look of this recipe too! All the best for the week.

  13. Hey! Did you join Pinterest yet? ;)

  14. Anna, I did join pinterest...but I don't know how to link it to this blog. I am Renee or MyKadventures. My boards are a combo of personal and blog related right now.


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