We usually bake a batch of cookies every week. It might sound extreme to some, but as a food blogger I have to stay on my toes! Trying new recipes and flavors combinations is something I crave, and the fruits of my labor are usually kind of fun to
stuff in my face like a complete animal nibble on. My favorite recipes, however, are the ones that are kind of random, and 100% unplanned; thrown together from the random ingredients in my pantry.
I had about a cup left of shredded coconut in our pantry from another recipe. I knew the flavors alone wouldn't be strong enough, so I toasted the coconut and crumbled up those golden morsels into the cookie dough. To take the coconut flavor even further, I added a little coconut extract. I thought it might taste a little strange, but HOLY SMOKES, those subtle changes to such a simple recipe completely transformed these darling little cookies. The toasted coconut hits you right-off-the-bat with the sweet cookie base, then the aftertaste of sweet coconut tenderly comes with that hint of extract.
I could have stopped right there. I could tell from the dough alone that these cookies were amazing. However, I like a little somethin' somethin' hidden in the cookies for a bite of texture. I knew chocolate does wonders with coconut, but didn't have any chips on hand.
It was then I remembered I had a lonely box of malt balls in my purse. Don't judge me! Haha! I keep candy in my purse for bribery. I'm 100% for bribing my child with a whopper or mini M&M. I knew the kid wouldn't mind if I commandeered his bribe candy in the name of a delicious cookie. I crushed them up, and tossed them in.
If you're like 75% of the people I served these to, you're probably thinking "What the heck, Blondie? Malt balls. In a cookie?" (insert raised brow and skeptical grimace). Make these, take a bite, and laugh along with us. It works! The malt balls totally rocked these cookies. The malted centers blended in with the cookie, adding a touch of lightness, and the chocolate shells had just enough softness to kiss each cookie with just enough chocolate. Instant love, I tell you.
Toasted Coconut Malt Ball Cookies
makes about 2 dozen
1/2 C toasted coconut*
2 C all-purpose flour
1 T cornstarch
1 t baking soda
3/4 t salt
3/4 C butter, room temperature
3/4 C brown sugar
1/2 C granulated sugar
1 t vanilla
1/2 t almond extract
1 T coconut extract
1 C crushed malt balls (Whoppers, etc)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prep cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream together butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, while the butter and sugar are creaming together, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Set aside.
4. Back to the creamed ingredients. On medium speed, add in extracts, vanilla, and egg. Mix until incorporated, and scrape down the sides if needed.
5. Bring mixer to a low speed and slowly add in dry ingredient mixture until just combined. Toss in malt balls and coconut and stir until evenly distributed.
6. Roll dough into 2 Tablespoons-worth balls and place 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 9 minutes, and then remove from oven. They should look a little underdone, but it's okay. Let cool on cookie sheet for about a minute, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Eat a few while they're still warm :)
7. Store in an airtight container with a slice of bread. (they should still be moist and soft without the bread for a couple days).
Recipe adapted from: The Perfect Cookie Base, Baking with Blondie