Source: Maida Heatter's Cookies (Andrews & McMeel, 1997), page 164.
Chocolate and coconut - a favorite combination. These cookies remind me somewhat of a Mounds candy bar. The soft, chewy coconut and pecan center is surrounded by a chocolate cookie that has a soft, sand-like texture.
You will notice that my cookies have a circular shape. The illustration in the book shows a square-shaped cookie. I'm not sure how this happened but I doubt the shape of the cookie affects the taste.
The recipe is comprised of two parts - the filling and the dough. There are many steps but they are not that difficult.
1 cup packed shredded coconut
3 oz. cream cheese (room temperature)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
Chop the coconut into short pieces, either with a sharp knife or in a food processor. Set aside.
Cream the cheese in a mixer. Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts and the sugar. Lower the speed and add the coconut and nuts.
Take an 18-inch piece of wax paper and spoon the filling down the length of the paper (about 14 inches long). Fold the long sides of the paper over the filling and form the filling into an even, compact roll or rectangle 14 inches long. Wrap the filling in the paper and transfer it the freezer.
1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 oz. (2 squares) unsweetened chocolate
3 oz. (6 TBS) unsalted butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners sugar
Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and set aside. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat. Set is aside to cool.
Cream the butter in a mixer. Beat in the vanilla and sugar and mix well. Beat in the egg and then the chocolate. Lower the speed and add the flour mixture, scraping the bowl occasionally and beating only until smooth.
Take a piece of wax paper about 12 inches long. Place the dough down the length of the paper, forming a strip about 8 inches long. Fold the long sides of the paper up around the dough and form the dough into a fat roll or a rectangle about 8 to 10 inches long. Refrigerate for about half an hour.
Tear off two 16-inch pieces of wax paper. Place the chocolate roll on one piece of the paper and cover it with the other piece. Roll over the wax paper with a rolling pin and form the dough into a 14x6 rectangle.
Remove the filling roll from the freezer and place it lenghtwise in the center of the chocolate dough. (Sorry for the bad photo!)
Wrap the chocolate dough around the filling, overlapping the edges slightly and pressing firmly to make a smooth, compact roll.
Wrap the roll and freeze it for a few hours or overnight, until you are ready to slice and bake.
Baking the Cookies
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Remove the dough from the freezer and cut into 1/4 inch slices. Place the slices 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets.
Bake for 10-11 minutes, reversing the sheets halfway through baking to ensure evenness. The filling will feel semi-firm to the touch. Do not overbake or the chocolate will burn.
Carefully remove the cookies with a wide metal spatula and transfer to a cooling rack.