If you like coconut macaroons and buttery shortbread, you’ll love these cookies that combine the two in a rich, tender sandwich. To give the shortbread cookies as much coconut flavor as a macaroon, we used a lot of the sweet, shredded stuff—for equal parts flour and coconut—and we added coconut extract. In addition, we tossed a handful of finely chopped almonds into the dough for nuttiness. We wanted these cookies to be ultrarich and even more tender than traditional shortbread. We achieved this by enriching the dough with a whopping 16 tablespoons of butter. This made for a very soft dough; cutting the chilled dough into preportioned squares that we could then quickly roll into balls helped us turn out shapely dough portions without much hassle. Of course, melted chocolate was the perfect filling to sandwich these cookies together. With the irresistible combination of almonds, coconut, and chocolate in these small sandwich cookies, we felt like we were eating an Almond Joy—only better. A food processor makes quick work of finely chopping the nuts.
- Yield: 72 sandwich cookies
- 19 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup packed (1¾ ounces) light brown sugar
- 1 large egg plus 1 large yolk
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 2 cups (6 ounces) sweetened shredded coconut
- ½ cup whole blanched almonds, chopped fine
- ¾ cup (4½ ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
- Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat 16 tablespoons butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg and yolk, coconut extract, and vanilla and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low; add flour, coconut, and almonds; and mix until just combined. Transfer dough to counter and divide in half. Form each half into 1-inch-thick square, wrap squares in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut 1 dough square into ½-inch squares. Roll squares into ¾-inch balls; space balls 1 inch apart on prepared sheets. Bake until edges are just golden, 12 to 14 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack. Repeat with remaining dough. Let cookies cool completely.
- Microwave chocolate and remaining 3 tablespoons butter in bowl at 50 percent power, stirring frequently, until melted, about 2 minutes. Spread ½ teaspoon chocolate mixture over bottom of half of cookies, then top with remaining cookies, pressing lightly to adhere, before serving.