Chocolate-Filled Coconut Macaroon Sandwich Cookies

Source: Jane's Sweets & Baking Journal

Chocolate-Filled Coconut Macaroon Sandwich Cookies

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup superfine sugar
1 large egg
3 Tbsp. milk (I used 2 percent)
1 tsp. almond extract (I used Penzey's brand)
1 cup All-Purpose flour (I used unbleached)
scant 1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups finely shredded dessicated coconut (this is dry, unsweetened coconut)
2 oz. almond paste, grated (not marzipan)

In a large mixer bowl, combine the cream cheese, butter, and superfine sugar on low speed until well blended. Add in the egg, milk, and almond extract on low speed until combined.

In a small separate bowl, mix together the flour and salt. Add this into the above mixture and beat on low speed just until blended. Continuing to beat on the lowest speed, gradually pour in all of the coconut; mix until combined. Pour in the grated almond paste and mix just until evenly blended.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and press it into a disk. Chill it in the fridge for about an hour or until firm.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Using a portion scoop (I used size 40, which holds just about 1 and 1/2 tablespoons), portion the dough evenly onto the parchment, leaving a couple of inches between cookies.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until they just begin to turn lightly golden on top. Let them cool on the cookie sheet on a rack for about five minutes before removing them to the rack to finish cooling completely.

If you like, slowly melt about 1/2 cup of chocolate chips/pieces of your choice in the microwave, or in a small bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water on the stove. Use about 2 tsp. melted chocolate to fill a pair of cookies by sandwiching them gently together. Let the filled cookies stand undisturbed so the chocolate can cool and set before serving them. Store the cookies in an airtight container; they'll stay fresh for days if well covered.