We sort of had a theme this year with our Christmas cookies. Most of them had a common ingredient. No, not sugar or flour or something like that. Most of the cookies we made this year involved cream cheese in some way. All except for the ginger cookies of course. That would have been weird.
I saw this recipe for chocolate coconut cookies the night before making the cookies and knew it was something I would make. Although coconut isn’t one of my favorite foods, I still like it in cookies and candies. What could go wrong with coconut and chocolate? As I was making this It totally smelled like a mounds bar. At first I didn’t think following the directions about the middle rack and rotating the cookie sheet halfway were necessary, but it should be done as written. Otherwise, you might have burnt coconut and unevenly spread cookies.
I really enjoy the “Ultimate” series cookbooks, but find their writing to be a little difficult to understand. It doesn’t help that their books don’t have images as well. Therefore, I have rewritten the recipe to be more reader friendly.
6 oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup (about 5 oz) unsweetened coconut flakes
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
Position oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 375°F.
To make coconut filling:
Beat cream cheese and sugar at medium speed until smooth and light, about 1 minute. Beat in egg yolk, then vanilla, until smooth. Beat in coconut at low speed until evenly distributed. Set aside.
To make cookies:
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Beat butter to soften. Add sugar and continue to beat until light and airy but still a little grainy. Beat in egg until smooth.
Add flour mixture, beat at low speed until just combined. Dough should be stiff but still pliable.
Using a small cookie scoop (about 1 TBSP), scoop dough into hand or a dry work surface. Flatten into a circle about 2 1/2 to 3 inches in diameter. Mound a heaping teaspoon of coconut filling onto the center of the dough. Fold the sides of the dough up, but do not seal the top.
Place cookies on a greased cookie sheet 2 inches apart.
Bake for 9 minutes, rotate the sheet 180°, then bake for another 9 minutes or until the cookies are just starting to brown along the edges.
Cool on cookie sheets for 2 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
Store at room temperature up to 3 days.
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen (although I think I may have gotten more than that)