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Coconut, Almond & White Choc Chunk Cookies

If you follow me over on Facebook, you'd have seen that I call these Copy Cat Cookies, and here's why; in April I flew to Brisbane for the International Cake Show Australia, the inflight snack was..... you guessed it, coconut, almond and white choc chunk cookies.

They were delicious. They were light and so flavoursome and so moorish. As soon as I landed in Brisbane I knew I'd be making my own version as soon as I arrived home. I was literally counting the days and planning the recipe in my mind! Over the last few weeks, I've made these more times than I can count and each time they just disappear. Everyone who tries them loves the flavour and texture! They are the perfect blend between light, chewy and crunchy.

The coconut, toasted almonds and white choc chunks just work so perfectly together. The recipe makes a lot of cookies, depending on how thick you roll and slice them, expect about 30-40 cookies from one batch. You can freeze any unbaked portion of dough for later or halve the recipe to make less dough. Just be mindful when (if) halving the recipe to halve absolutely all of the ingredients.

Don't skip any of the steps or the ingredients, because that will alter the texture. And, let me know when you get to make them! I hope you love them just as much as we do!!

Here's the recipe: 250 g softish, unsalted butter

200 g caster sugar

30 g milk powder ( I use full cream)

2 extra large eggs

pinch salt

2-3 tsp vanilla bean paste/essence or extract

200 g (A) white chocolate chips or chopped choc bits

100 g desiccated coconut

50 g (A) toasted almond flakes or slivers, chopped

380 g plain flour

20 g corn flour

2 g baking powder

For dipping you'll need: 180 - 200 g (B) white chocolate, chopped

18 - 20 g oil, I use rice-bran

50 g (B) toasted almond flakes or slivers To begin the recipe, toast all of the almonds gently in a warm oven, at approximately 150 C for 5-6 minutes, checking the almonds at the 3-4 minute mark and gently move on the tray to distribute the heat. Let the colour of the almonds guide you here and if you feel they need slightly longer or shorter that is absolutely fine. The toasted almonds should be lightly golden in colour. Remove the toasted almonds from the oven and transfer from the hot baking sheet onto a chopping board to cool slightly, then chop roughly. Weigh 50 g for the cookie recipe and reserve the remaining amount to sprinkle over the white choc dip. Chopping the chocolate now will mean that it's ready to add into the mixture later, this can be done by hand with a sharp kitchen knife or by pulsing in a food processor, until the chocolate is chopped into a rubble with a good combination of large and smaller chunks. Set aside until needed.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter, caster sugar, milk powder, salt and vanilla and beat with the paddle attachment on medium speed until the butter and sugar resemble a paste. When we're making cookies, the dough should be pasty rather than light and fluffy, so a slightly lower speed is great to limit the formation of too many air-pockets. Once the butter and sugar are evenly combined, no clumps of butter can be seen and the mixture looks like a paste, add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each. The batter can start to look split at this stage for two reasons; the first is that fats and liquids naturally repel each other, so the moisture from the egg will naturally cause the butter to split. Secondly, the temperature of the eggs makes a difference too, the bigger the temp difference between the eggs and butter, the more likely the butter is to split. For these cookies though, that's not a big issue, adding 2-3 tbs of the weighed flour will help to bind the mixture together and help to absorb the extra liquid. When the eggs have been added, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and then add the chopped chocolate (A), desiccated coconut and chopped almonds (A), stir quickly with the paddle to combine the ingredients thoroughly and coat them in the butter, sugar and egg mixture. Finally add the flour and baking powder, in approx. 2-3 additions, mixing gently between each. Adding the flour gradually helps to distribute the flour more evenly and stops overloading your mixer. The mixture may come together easily or still look crumbly in the bowl, this is determined by the temperature of the ingredients. If the dough looks slightly dry or clumpy, use your hands to bring the dough together in the bowl, the heat from your hands will warm the butter and help the dough stick. Pour or scrape the dough onto your workbench, divide in half (approximate is fine), dust each half in a small amount of flour and roll each into a sausage approximately 5 cm in thickness and about 20 cm long. Roll each log individually in cling film to secure and place in the fridge for 30 - 45 minutes, or until firm enough to slice. Don't rush the chilling stage, chilling cookie dough well helps to create softer and more tender cookies.

When the dough is firm, pre-heat the oven to 160C (150C if your oven runs hot) and line two baking trays with baking paper or silicone baking mats. Unwrap one length of dough at a time and slice evenly, approx. 1cm in thickness. Lay the cookies, evenly spaced, on the baking sheet with a gap between each to allow even airflow and heating. Continue with the second length, until all of the dough has been sliced. Any unused dough can be kept in the fridge for 2-3 days or sealed tightly and frozen for up to 12 weeks. Bake the cookies for approximately 16 - 18 minutes depending on thickness, thicker cookies may take longer to bake through completely. The baked cookies should spread slightly, look set and be lightly golden in colour. Remove from the oven and cool before dipping in white chocolate. Once the cookies are completely cooled, combine the white chocolate and oil in a microwave safe bowl and warm in short 12-15 second bursts in the microwave until completely melted and smooth, Between each burst, stir the chocolate and oil well to distribute heat and dissipate any hot-spots. White chocolate can burn and seize much easier than milk or dark so being patient is imperative, make sure not to overheat the chocolate. It may take 3-4 short bursts to become completely melted. Dip each cooled cookie into the melted chocolate so that the chocolate comes approximately halfway up, scrape away any excess chocolate and lay onto a clean piece of baking paper or a silicone mat, and immediately sprinkle with the reserved toasted and chopped almonds. Leave in a cool room until completely set. Enjoy the cookies straight away, they are their freshest for 4-5 days stored in a sealed container, in a cool dry place and away from direct sunlight. Warmth can cause the chocolate to melt. I hope you absolutely love this recipe as much as I do and I would love to know when you give it a try!

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