An easy to make almond joy thumbprint cookie with a chocolate cookie base, fluffy and light coconut frosting, an almond, and a chocolate drizzle!
The inspiration for these cookies goes all the way back to our family trip this summer.
It all started when we packed our car to the brim to head to Moab for a weekend trip with the kiddos. We decided that we’d stop by a grocery store on our way to Moab and fill the cooler with food for the trip.
On that grocery run we stopped by the candy aisle (a must, obviously) where I grabbed some chocolate bars for S’mores and other snacks for the trip (read: rolos. always).
When I came back to the cart, there were several packs of the fun-sized almond joy candy bars.
I looked at the cart, looked at my husband, and then looked at the cart. “You like almond joys?!” To which I got a raised eyebrow, confused look, and a response, “Yeah, I love almond joys. They are one of my favorites.”
It was one of those moments when I was like, how have we been married for over five years, and together for longer than that, and I haven’t known that you like this candy?! Because food is very important to me, and knowing food preferences of people I’m close to is very important too obviously.
I don’t know how I’ve missed this for all these years, but my husband adores almond joys. He ate them the whole car trip down, throughout the trip, and all the way back home.
To make up for my lack of ever buying almond joys for him, I knew I had to create some almond joy based dessert for him when we got back home. Cookies were the first thing that came to mind and the brainstorming evolved to these very treats. Delicious almond joy thumbprint cookies that are, dare I say, even better than the candy bar!
The base is an easy chocolate brownie cookie made with a brownie mix (I’ve used this base a few times in other recipes). The center filling is one of the BEST frostings ever — it’s packed with coconut flavor and has great texture from actual shredded coconut.
And of course, no almond joy copycat is complete without having an actual ALMOND in the center. I’m using my favorite baking nuts — Diamonds of California — in these cookies.
Last, but not least, a little chocolate drizzle over top for good measure. It might sound like a lot, but these cookies are surprisingly quick and easy to make! All the components to these cookies come together nicely and don’t take too much time.
If you’re looking to wow people this holiday season with some crazy good cookies — this is your recipe! And, in case you were wondering, my husband is obsessed with these. Good to know after all these years he’s as crazy about almond joys as I am!
Almond Joy Thumbprint Cookies
- 4 ounces full-fat cream cheese room temperature
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 package (3.9 ounces) instant chocolate fudge pudding mix dry
- 1/4 cup white flour
- 1 package (18.4 ounces) fudge brownie mix
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon coconut extract*
- Pinch of salt
- 1 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 of 1 (7 ounce) bag sweetened flaked coconut so about 3 and 1/2 ounces
Finish them off
- Diamonds of California Whole Almonds
- 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil or vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl fitted to a stand mixer, cream together the cream cheese and butter until completely smooth. They must both be at room temperature -- do not melt or soften in the microwave of your cookies will flatten more/ be less thick. Just leave out for about 45 minutes to an hour and they'll be perfect!
Beat in the large egg and vanilla.
Beat in the pudding mix (do not prepare), and flour.
Beat in the fudge brownie mix. It will be EXTREMELY thick. This is intended; it might seem like it's not coming together, but keep mixing, it will.
Pack the dough into a full 1 tablespoon measuring spoon and then roll into a ball and transfer that ball of dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silpat liner. The cookies should be pretty small like a typical thumbprint cookie (I've tested this recipe a few times & they always make right around 54-58 thumbprint sized cookies).
Bake for 7-10 minutes. Slightly under-baking these cookies gives them an awesome taste and texture like ultra fudge-y brownies so err on the side of slightly under-baking.
When the cookies come out of the oven, press the back of a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon into the center of the cookies.
Allow to completely cool before frosting.
In a large bowl, beat together the butter and shortening until smooth. Beat in the extracts, a pinch of salt, and powdered sugar.
Add in the milk to get to desired consistency -- you want it to be on the thick side. Fold in the coconut until well combined.
Finish them off
Frost the cookies generously and evenly to use all the frosting equally between the cookies.
Press an almond into the frosting in the center of each of the cookies.
In a small microwave safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips and the oil. Microwave in bursts of 15 seconds, stirring in between each burst for 10 seconds until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
Transfer the melted chocolate into a plastic bag and cut off the very tip.
Pipe that melted chocolate generously over top of the cookies. Allow to set.
*Add coconut extract to taste preference. A little bit goes a long way! You can find coconut extract in the baking aisle with other extracts.
The cookies in the pictures do seem larger than they actually are (unintentionally!! I used a macro lens that really gets up close and in the details. Follow the instructions for size and not necessarily the pictures. 🙂
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Special thanks to Diamonds of California for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own!