Every year when Halloween rolled around I had a secret wish. I hoped beyond hope that I’d take my daughter Trick-or-Treatin’ and she’d return with at least a few Almond Joys. You know the candy made up of sweet coconut with an almond on top dipped in chocolate? Could there be a better formula for perfection? Of course, each year I was met with opposition from my little goblin. It turned out she liked these candied morsels too. That’s where these Almond Joy Cookies stepped in to save the day.
The thing is, my daughter was one of those kids that obviously prepared a spreadsheet in her head. This is the part of the story where in the telling of it, I roll my eyes. Because although I completely love spreadsheets as an adult, I have never had a mental tracking kind of skill, especially when I was three!
She would dump her goodies on the floor and group the candies by type and that’s when the mental counting would begin. She knew how many she had of each. This meant I had to be stealthy in my pillaging.
“Oh, look sweetie,” I would say pointing out the window, “I think it might be The Great Pumpkin!” When she ran to the window, I’d steal a couple of Almond Joys. Terrible. I know! I’m not proud of the desperation caused by a little sugar and coconut concoction.
But you know, I’m the one who escorted her from door to door so surely I should get something out of the gig. Right?
Today my daughter doesn’t go Trick-or-Treatin’ anymore. I guess teenagers just aren’t into free candy. What’s up with that?
And what’s really ironic about this is that I’m vegan now which means I don’t even eat Almond Joy bars anymore because they’re made with milk chocolate. Don’t be sad for me. Because really I don’t even want them anymore. Once you’ve made the transition to dark chocolate, trust me, you lose the flavor for the milky stuff. So these Almond Joy Cookies are my new favorite way of getting my Halloween fix.
The good news? I don’t even have to wait for Halloween…and there’s no sneaking involved to eat them!
- ½ cup dairy-free margarine (or coconut oil)
- ½ cup almond butter
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 3 tablespoons dairy-free milk
- ½ cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 3 cups old fashioned or instant oatmeal
- ½ cup cocoa (I used Hershey's extra dark)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup coconut flakes
- 1 cup dairy-free semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup dairy-free mini chocolate chips
- 1 cup almonds, roughly chopped
- Heat your oven to 350F
- In a mixing bowl combine the margarine, almond butter and sugar and use an electric mix (or your vigorous elbow grease) and mix until light and fluffy.
- Add the ground flax seeds, corn starch, dairy-free milk, water, vanilla and coconut extract. Stir until all these ingredients are combined. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl combine the flour, oatmeal, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir until combined.
- Add the well-combined flour mixture to the margarine mixture. Stir until combined.
- Add the coconut and chocolate chips and, once again, stir until combined. Note: I like to reserve some of the coconut and mini chocolate chips to press onto the top of each cookie. You know, to make them really stand out!
- Use a cookie dough dispenser or a large tablespoon to drop cookie dough onto an ungreased cookie pan (or one prepared with parchment paper), roughly 2" apart. Top each cookie with extra coconut and mini chocolate chips and place in the heated oven. Bake for 9 - 12 minutes, depending on your preference for doneness.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool a minute or two before transferring to a rack to cool completely.