It is always a challenge to come up with new ideas for Chocolate Mondays, especially after doing them for five years. For today’s recipe I thought I had a great idea to combine one of my favorite cookies with one of my favorite cake frostings. And then I took a look on the Internet.
There are dozens of versions, so I’m certainly not original but I really do love these cookies. They are packed with chocolate flavor, rich and deep, and the sweet coconut and pecan frosting provides the perfect complement. I could eat a dozen in one sitting!
These cookies have both cocoa powder and chocolate chips for a double hit, just like we love. I’ve lowered the sugar content of the frosting by using less sugar and unsweetened coconut.
I also like the contrast between the crunch of the cookies, the creaminess of melted chocolate chips, the nutty goodness of the pecans, and the chewiness of the coconut in the frosting. It is pretty perfect for me. And when the baking cookies fill your house with the most amazing aromas, you will definitely agree with me, LOL.
If many coconut desserts you’ve had in the past were too cloyingly sweet for you, you can easily fix that by using unsweetened coconut. Sometimes called desiccated (meaning dried), it gives you all the flavor of coconut without adding any sweetness. You can usually find it at Whole Foods and other gourmet grocers or online. This also makes it a wonderful choice for savory dishes. Because it is dried, expect it to expand when added to liquids. I rarely use sweetened coconut anymore; I can control the sweetness of my dessert a lot better with desiccated coconut.
Some people like the flavor of coconut but don’t like the texture. They think it is too chewy. To help that, you can put your coconut in a food processor and grind it a little. The smaller pieces will be easier to eat than long strands and your coconut naysayers may change their minds!
Have a wonderful week and Happy Chocolate Monday!
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
I scooped my cookies straight onto the baking sheets, but they would be easier to frost and eat if they had flatter tops. It isn’t hard to do, just dip the bottom of a glass in a bowl of water and press down on the top of each dough ball before popping the tray in the oven.
Unless you really heap on the frosting, there will be a little left over. If you’re like me, it is perfect for a little snack, straight off a spoon. 😉 If you double the number of cookies, you can use the frosting as filling for a sandwich cookie. Twice the fun!
Using Authentic Foods superfine flours guarantees a grit-free cookie. There is nothing else on the market that comes even close to the smoothness of their flours. You can’t tell these cookies are gluten-free!
- 1 cup (120g) all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (gluten-free if needed)
- 1 tsp baking powder (gluten-free if needed)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated cane sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped semisweet chocolate (about 66%) or chocolate chips
- Coconut-Pecan Frosting
- 1 cup evaporated milk (not sweetened condensed milk)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 cup butter, cut into chunks
- 2 tsp vanilla paste or pure organic vanilla
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1-1/2 cup chopped pecans
- Pecan halves, for garnish, optional
- Bake the Cookies: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Gradually add the flour mixture and blend until totally incorporated. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a flexible spatula, making sure there are no dry ingredients in the bottom. Stir in the chocolate pieces.
- Using a 1-1/2 inch scoop or a rounded tablespoon, drop the dough 1 to 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake in the preheated oven, spinning the trays front to back and switching them top to bottom halfway through baking. Cook until just slightly firm when you gently press the top, 10 to 14 minutes. Let cool for about 2 minutes on the baking sheet. Using a spatula, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Make the Frosting: In a large saucepan, place the evaporated milk, sugar, egg yolks, salt and butter. Whisk to combine ingredients, place over medium-high heat, and bring to a boil stirring constantly. Reduce to medium or medium-low to hold at a low boil, stirring often until thickened and reduced by about half, 7 to 8 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and transfer to the bowl of your standing mixer. Beat with the paddle attachment on medium until cooled a bit and thick enough to spread. You should be able to hold your hands on the bottom of the bowl comfortably; this can take up to 10 minutes depending on the strength of your mixer. Mix in the vanilla, coconut and pecans.
- Set frosting aside. It will continue to thicken as it cools.
- Assemble Cookies: Spread some of the frosting on the top of each cookie and place on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Set a pecan half on top. Allow frosting to set up before serving. Best on the day they are baked and frosted.
- Yield: about 2 dozen 2-inch cookies
Create a New Tradition Today!
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