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These sweet and chewy Almond Joy Cookies have only four ingredients and taste like a candy bar. Start with basic flourless coconut macaroons that take just minutes to make. Then add almonds and dark chocolate for an easy, delicious, and naturally gluten free cookie recipe that is sure to be a favorite!
Almond Joy Cookies – A Twist on Coconut Macaroons
Grab a glass of milk. It’s cookie time. When you are making cookies, do you prefer to stick to old standbys and family favorites? Or try new things?
For me, it is always a mix. For the holidays, I have to make Gluten Free Snickerdoodles and nutty Gluten Free Snowballs for my family. Any time of the year, Chocolate Chip Cookies and Oatmeal Raisin Cookies are timeless.
But I also like putting a twist on a classic. Monster Cookies become Toffee White Chocolate Chip Monster Cookies. And in this case, simple 2-Ingredient Crispy Coconut Macaroons from The Fountain Avenue Kitchen are transformed into Almond Joy Cookies that taste like a candy bar.
Just like my Almond Joy Puppy Chow, I can’t get enough of the decadent combination of coconut, almond, and chocolate. But instead of a crunchy snack, now you have gooey and coconutty cookies with crisp edges. You are going to love making and eating these easy treats.
Why You’ll Love These Almond Joy Cookies
- They are naturally gluten free without needing any special flour or other ingredients.
- They are easier than similar recipes that have many more ingredients and require you to do things like whip egg whites or sift flour. This makes them easy to make if you have to throw something together last minute.
- They are flexible and you can adjust it to how you like them. Flatten them out, keep them mounded, bake a little less, bake a little more – and you can get the thickness, level of chewiness, crispy, brown edges (or lack thereof), that you prefer.
- They are more like a candy bar versus Almond Joy Cookies that have chopped almonds or chocolate chips. These have a whole almond and are dipped in chocolate, just like an actual Almond Joy. Skip the almond and you can call them Mounds Cookies!
Yes, you only need four ingredients. Then just stir, scoop, press, bake, and dip. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full amounts and instructions. Or keep reading for all of my tips and tricks.
- Sweetened flaked coconut – be sure your brand is gluten free, if needed.
- Sweetened condensed milk – not evaporated milk, which will not work to sweeten and bind the cookies.
- Whole raw almonds – use natural or almonds, as they will toast in the oven, and you don’t want them to be salted.
- Chocolate – an Almond Joy candy bar is coated in dark chocolate, and I say the darker, the better. But you can use whatever you prefer, or even substitute milk chocolate if that is what you like.
How to Make Almond Joy Cookies
Start by lining your cookie sheets with parchment paper so they cookies don’t stick, and preheat your oven to 350°F. Now let’s make macaroons.
Make the cookie mixture. Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the coconut and stir with a spatula until it is well-mixed and the coconut is throughly coated.
Scoop and form cookies. Using spoons or a cookie scoop sprayed with nonstick cooking spray form mounds with about one tablespoon of the mixture. You can leave them mounded up or press them down slightly depending on whether you want your cookies thick and chewy or a bit thinner and crispier. Press an almond into the top of each mound.
Bake and cool. Bake at 350°F for 8-11 minutes, checking after 4 minutes to press the almond in further and flatten as desired. Let cool completely.
Tips for Success
The mixture is sticky. If you spray your scoop or spoon with nonstick cooking spray, it will be easier to scoop the mounds onto the baing sheets. Also, I highly recommend using parchment paper to keep the cookies from sticking to the pans.
Watch the baking time. Cook time and amount of spreading will differ based on whether your coconut contains cornstarch, and this varies by brand. If it DOES NOT contain cornstarch, you won’t want to press down the cookies, and they may take a bit longer to bake. If it DOES contain cornstarch, flatten the cookies a bit because they won’t spread much.
Mix in the chocolate and almonds. If you don’t want to deal with the dipping step, you can just stir aout 1 1/2 cups of regular or mini semi-sweet morsels and 3/4 cup chopped almonds into the coconut mixture before baking to get the same flavors with one less step.
Change things up. Feel free to use milk or white chocolate. You can also use a different type of nuts. Pecans will make these taste similar to turtles.
Storing Almond Joy Cookies
Package these cookies in an airtight container and they will last for 3 to 4 days. You can calso freeze them for up to two months. You cannot freeze the dough before baking.
Things You’ll Need
- Spatulas – my favorite set of silicone spatulas comes in handy once again for stirring together the cookies and melting the chocolate.
- Cookie scoop – a scoop will help you form the mounds and ensure evenly-sized cookies.
- Parchment paper – essential for lining the baking pans, as these are sticky cookies.
- Wax paper – you can use parchment, but it is easier to peel the cookies off of wax paper after you’ve dipped the bottoms in chocolate.
Flourless Almond Joy Cookies
- 14 oz. bag sweetened shredded coconut
- 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
- Whole almonds about 3 1/2 – 4 dozen, one per cookie
- 8-10 oz. dark chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix the coconut and the condensed milk until the coconut is evenly coated.
- Use spoons or a small cookie scoop sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, form mounds of about 1 Tablespoon of the mixture on the line baking sheet. You can leave it in a mound or press it down slightly. Gently press one almond into the top of each cookie.
- Place the pan in the oven, and, after about 4 minutes, press the almonds further into the coconut, flattening as much as you like depending on how thin and/or crispy you want your cookies.
- Bake for another 4-7 minutes, or until as browned and crispy as you like them. Watch closely during the last few minutes.
- Remove from the oven, and cool completely.
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave at 50% power in 15-30 second intervals, or a double boiler over simmering water.
- Dip the bottom of each cookie in the melted chocolate, and place on wax paper until they cool and harden. If desired, use any extra chocolate to drizzle it over the top of the cookies.
- Store in an airtight container, separating the layers with wax paper.
Could you sub coconut milk for the condensed milk to make this dairy free?
Hmm, I think the stickiness of the sweetened condensed milk holds it together, but I did find this http://mywholefoodlife.com/2014/11/04/vegan-sweetened-condensed-milk/ and this http://andloveittoo.com/sweetened-condensed-milk-gluten-free-dairy-free-casein-free-refined-sugar-free-vegan/
These cookies look soooo pretty.
Ummmmmm….YES PLEASE! When I ate candy bars, I loved….devoured almond joy candy bars:-) Your macaroons look really delicious, and a perfect holiday treat! Hugs, Terra
I am a new coconut convert, but now think Almond Joys are sooo good! Thanks!
Oh yum, those look perfect!!
Thanks Tara! So easy to make them look so cute.
I’m going to have to hide this recipe from my boyfriend or he will make me bake these….which will result in a kitchen disaster! AMAZING.
No, these are too easy to create a disaster – I promise!
Oh boy, you are definitely speaking my language with this recipe! They sound amazing!
Awww, darn your wheat allergy! I would be in agony if I had one, especially this time of year. I’ve been “holiday” baking like a mad woman since November (I like to get a head start) and needless to say, been cramming my face with everything I’ve made. These macaroons are absolutely gorgeous – the perfect little bite!
Luckily it isn’t like celiac, so I can indulge occasionally. But it does keep me from having too many! Though I do make up for it with ice cream 🙂
Love the chocolate on the bottom. Great cookie!
Chocolate makes everything better 🙂
Macaroons are one of my favorite types of cookie. They always remind me of my childhood. And this recipe looks fabulous. Thank you so much for sharing it. Your food pics are beautiful too. Very talented!
Thank you so much. *blushing* You are too kind!
It is like an almond joy in cookie form! Yes please!
Very cute, Brianne! Tasty too!
Thanks! Tasty and easy!
Almond Joys were one of my favorite candy bars as a child…I think I could do some damage to a batch of these. I think I could even eat them frozen!
I am a recent cocnut convert. Once they get in the freezer, it is kind of out of sight, out of mind for me.
My dad’s favorite candy bar in a cookie – going to have to make these for him!
Oooh, I’d love to know what he thinks!
Coconut is a great ingredient for gf cookies. The almonds and chocolate make them amazing! You certainly have a lot to bake every christmas!
Ann made a great cookie with just the coconut, I thought the almonds and cocnut just dress them up for the holidays a bit!
I love your version, Brianne! Thank you for taking my recipe and putting a deliciously nutty and chocolatey spin on them! These are a favorite here and I, for one, am completely impressed that you were disciplined enough to only eat one: )
Such a fabulous, easy idea Ann! Thanks!
Macaroons are a tradition in this house! Love your twist!
I’ve never made them before. This is not the traditional recipe, I guess, but it is sooo easy!
Wow, these macaroons look amazing. I love the combo of flavors. Very clever. Pinned!
Thank you! Gotta love this classic combo.
Be still my coconut loving heart!! So easy to make too. Great recipe
Oh if you love coconut, you have to throw these together!
My goodness these are pretty! And coco-nutty! I’m loving the dark chocolate 🙂
Thanks! Yes, you definitely have to be a coconut fan to enjoy them.