After several false starts and sputters, Winter has officially blown in.
I opened the back door this morning and found a fine layer of sleet and ice covering everything in sight. The wood pile that I forgot to bring in last night: glittering; the red grill: icicles dripping from the lid; the stair railings: slick and shiny in the morning light. Spindly limbs of the burning bush at the foot of the deck droop heavy with the first offerings of, what feels like, an already long winter.
It’s usually this time of year that I crave warm and hearty soups. Soups that coat the spoon and simmer on the stove the whole day, imbuing the house with the smells of domesticity – roasted root vegetables, lentils cooked in chicken broth, winter onions, and heavy cream. I crave the richness of wine glazed meat, roasted for hours. Cookies spiced with ginger and molasses.
While these cookies aren’t spiced or pumpkin or molasses-y, they do have all the heavy requirements of a good Christmas cookie. This is a full-substance cookie. More brownie than cookie, it’s even best a day or two later – perfect for Christmas packages and holiday parties.
Coconut Chocolate Drops with Marshmallow
Adapted from Shutterbean
Makes 2 dozen
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder (spooned and leveled)
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1 cup roughly chopped almonds
3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/3 mini marshmallows (or regular marshmallows cut into small pieces)
4 large egg whites, room temperature
Preheat oven to 325 degrees, with racks in middle and lower thirds.
In a large bowl, sift together confectioners’ sugar, cocoa, and salt. Set aside.
In a medium skillet add the almonds and the coconut. Heat to medium and toast until the coconut begins to brown. Watch carefully and turn often as the coconut will go from nicely toasted to burnt rather quickly.
Stir almonds and coconut into the sugar mixture. Add egg whites and stir until combined. Do not over mix the batter.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoons, 2 inches apart, onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until tops are dry and cracked and the marshmallow is nicely toasted, 15 to 18 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks.
These cookies will be incredibly gooey the day you make them. I think it’s best to make these the day before and let the marshmallow set up fully overnight.