So… baking. That thing I used to do all the time. Well, I’m getting back into it! It has been (and will probably continue to be) a slow process getting back into the swing of things, but I think it’s finally back to stay. I’ve made a lot of excuses for the past several months about being too busy to get into the kitchen, but the stuff making me busy has rarely been fun. So, if I can make time for un-fun, often stressful and rather unpleasant things, then I sure as heck can make time for some fun, right? Plus baking has this magical way of making a bad day seem less awful, or turning a terrible mood into something more manageable. So please take these cookies as a re-commitment of myself to this space. I can’t promise I’ll be here all the time, but I can promise not to disappear completely again.
To re-enter my little blogging universe, I picked something perfect for the upcoming Easter holiday. I’m such a sucker for holiday-themed candy — especially M&M’s (the almond or mint variety are my favorites), which are one of my most guilty pleasures. I picked up a bag of Easter-colored Almond M&M’s with the intent to make something delicious with them, and that is exactly what I did.
Since these Almond M&M’s have two of three components in an Almond Joy, I decided to throw some shredded coconut into the mix and make Almond Joy Cookies. They’re really loaded up with the good stuff – when I was folding in my coconut, chopped almonds, and chocolate chips, I had a moment of feeling like I’d totally over-done it with the mix-ins. Not to worry, I didn’t!
These cookies are really fantastic. They’re no frills but the flavors all meld together to create a really well-balanced and comforting little cookie. I added a little bit of whole wheat flour, which I really only did to make myself feel better about eating them (please don’t call me out on my delusional ways…), and topped them with Easter M&M’s. These cookies could easily be made without the M&M’s — I actually ran out of M&M’s towards the end, and made some plain, and they’re almost just as good. But however you spin it, these cookies are great. Wonderfully crispy around the edges, and pleasantly chewy in the center. I opted to use raw almonds, because I really like the flavor, and I think that it lends a distinct taste and texture to the finished cookie. It plays so nicely with the sweetened coconut and dark chocolate chips.
If you’re looking for something simple but really satisfying, give these a try. They freeze well, and have been keeping my sweet tooth sated for the past week or so each night after dinner. You can’t beat a homemade sweet treats to round out a busy day!