Toasted Coconut Mocha Cheesecake Cookies

Toasted Coconut Mocha Cheesecake Cookies
Hey, serious question time.

Out of all the smells on earth, which is your absolute favorite?

I know, this is kind of personal for a Wednesday, but I feel like we’ve reached that level in our friendship.

And, also, I can’t decide for myself.

I’ve been over the question, in my head, mostly, for the past few days and I can’t settle on one answer. There is too many smells that I love. Seriously, though, like the Juicy perfume I wear, or fresh laundry, or Thanksgiving dinner, or that manly man smell—you know the one I’m talking about—or baby smell, or even the smell when you open a brand new book. How is one supposed to settle on a favorite?

Toasted Coconut Mocha Cheesecake Cookies

You just can’t. It’s impossible. Or, I should say, it’s impossible for me.

What I can do though, is settle on two. I can’t tell you which is first or second, but I can tell you, without hesitation, these are my absolute favorite smells on earth. PERIOD.

You ready?

My two favorite smells are….

Toasted Coconut Mocha Cheesecake Cookies

Freshly brewed pot of coffee AND cookies baking in the oven.

I know, kind of predictable considering I consume rant about coffee more than your average person, and have a baking blog that quite often features cookies. But, it’s the truth, predictable or not. Those two smells are absolute heaven to me. Really, they need to be bottled and sold. Don’t you agree?

I’d buy it in bulk. And then I’d send you a bottle of each. Okay, fine, two. But, only because I like you.

The problem is, like I said, I can’t narrow it down to one smell.

I just can’t. 

Or, can I?

Toasted Coconut Mocha Cheesecake Cookies

Oh hi Toasted Coconut Mocha Cheesecake Cookies.

What’s that you say? You have coffee in you? And when you bake you leave a faint smell of coffee in the air?

Oh my. How wonderful.

Toasted Coconut Mocha Cheesecake Cookies

Toasted coconut shreds, mini chocolate chips, and coconut coffee grinds all combined into a soft and doughy cookie. Oh, and I stuffed the cookies with coffee cheesecake, because…well, because why not?

It’s coffee + cookie + coconut + cheesecake. 

I mean, get in my belly, right?

Toasted Coconut Mocha Cheesecake Cookies
Yields: about 21 cookies

Ingredients:
Toasted Coconut Mocha Cookies
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 teaspoon fine or coarse coffee grounds, coconut or mocha or coconut mocha flavored
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sweetened coconut shreds, toasted
1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mocha Cheesecake Filling
4 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 (.07 oz) packet instant coffee dissolved in 1 tablespoon water

Directions:
Toasted Coconut Mocha Cookies
In a large bowl combine flour, cornstarch, baking soda,salt, and coffee grinds. Set aside.
In a medium-sized bowl whisk together melted butter and sugars until no clumps remain. Whisk in the egg, and then the egg yolk. Add coconut and vanilla extracts, whisking until incorporated.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together with a rubber spatula until just combined. The dough will be soft, but very thick to work with. Using the spatula fold in the toasted coconut shreds and the mini chocolate chips. Cover the dough and let chill for at least 2 hours, or up to 3 days–I let mine sit overnight.

Mocha Cheesecake Filling
While the cookie dough is chilling, make the mocha cheesecake filling. Using a mixer combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, and 1/2 of the instant coffee mixture. Mix until smooth–it’ll have the consistency of a no-bake cheesecake. Place bowl in the freezer and freeze for at least 3 hours–I let mine sit overnight.

Assembling the Cookies
Once dough and cheesecake filling have chilled, start assembling the cookies. Roll about a tablespoon and half of cookie dough into a ball. Make a deep thumbprint in the middle of each dough ball, sort of like a well. Place a teaspoon of the coffee cheesecake in the center of the well and fold the edges of the dough over, using your fingers to enclose the cheesecake in the dough ball. Bake cookies for 11-12 minutes–the cookies will look soft and underbaked. Allow cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

NOTE: I had extra coffee cheesecake, which I dipped these cookies into and ate, but if you don’t want extra, I suggest cutting the cheesecake portion in half.

Cookie Dough recipe adapted from this chocolate chip cookie recipe.

 

Wait, don’t think I forgot, I told you my favorite smells and now it’s your turn to share. That’s how this friendship thing works. I think.

Toasted Coconut Mocha Cheesecake Cookies

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Toasted Coconut Donut Holes with Coconut Cream Filling

Toasted Coconut Donut Holes with Coconut Cream FillingGUYS.

I made donuts.

The mini kind. The kind you can eat in two bites.

The deep-fried, not baked, kind.

The leave your fingers chocolately, tummy happy, kind. The can’t stop popping them in your mouth kind.

I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let’s back this up.

Donuts.
Who doesn’t love donuts? No one. That’s who.

Toasted Coconut Donut Holes with Coconut Cream FillingI mean, come on, if you didn’t have to worry about weight, sugar intake, and all that other health related business wouldn’t you just eat donuts on the regular? I’m pretty sure I would. It would be my morning staple. Sometimes even my snack. I would definitely have a ‘usual’ at the donut shop, and never have to wait in line. Sounds pretty awesome, right?  In my perfect world that would happen. But, in the real world, I can’t even tell you the last time I had a donut. And, I’m talking a real donut here. Not the baked kind. Not like the Baked Cinnamon Brown Sugar Donut Bites I made a while ago.

It may actually have been a year ago that I ate a real donut. Maybe even longer.  It’s not like I’m purposely avoiding donut shops either. It’s just…I’m not a huge breakfast person. And by that I mean I drink a cup of coffee, sometimes two, and call it a day. And, my snacks typically consist of goldfish or pita chips with a little hummus. As you can see, that doesn’t leave a lot of room for donut eating.

The idea of making my own fried donuts never really was a thought. I mean, there are a million other decadent desserts I want to make, and I don’t even have a deep fryer. Yes, I could just use oil and a huge pot, but I never had a good enough reason to go through all that trouble. Plus, I’ll admit it, I was slightly nervous about getting oil burns. I hear they hurt. A lot.

Are you wondering why I decided to finally make fried donuts? No. Okay, well, I’m still going to tell you anyways. My good friend, Lauren, visited this past week. Unlike myself, Lauren has no fears of oil burns. She is a lover of donuts, is always willing to have adventures in the kitchen, and can handle my craziness during the baking process rather well.

Let the fried donut making ensue.

Toasted Coconut Donut Holes with Coconut Cream FillingAs a first timer making donuts, I just want to start by saying, it’s actually kind of fun. Sure, it’s a process—making the dough, refrigerating the dough, letting the cut donuts rise, frying, cooling, stuffing with coconut cream, dipping in chocolate, and sprinkling with toasted coconut—but, the end result is totallllyyyy worth it. And, when you have a partner in crime in the kitchen with you, the time literally flies by.

The dough for these donuts was super easy to work with, and fried up rather nicely (and pretty quickly) into little golden donut holes. Neither Lauren nor I was burned by the oil, but we did burn the roofs of our mouths trying to taste test the donuts before they had cooled. Yup, we both are that inpatient. One of the reasons we’re friends. The donuts themselves are light, fluffy, and not overly sweet. Each donut hole is filled with coconut cream pudding, dipped in chocolate, and then sprinkled with toasted coconut shreds. If you like donuts, and you like coconut, you’ll want to make these!

Toasted Coconut Donut Holes with Coconut Cream Filling
Yields: about 40 donut holes

Ingredients:
Donut Holes
1 package (2 ½ teaspoons) active dry yeast
2/3 cups milk, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
3 eggs
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 7 tablespoons
Canola oil, for frying

Coconut Cream Filling
1 (3.4 oz.) package of Jell-O instant Coconut Cream Pudding
2 cups milk

Toppings
¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
vegetable shortening, as needed
¾ cup sweetened coconut shreds, toasted

Directions:
Donut Holes
In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine yeast and milk. Allow yeast to dissolve completely, about a minute.
Mix in sugar, salt, flour, and eggs on low for about 4 minutes to develop the dough.
With the mixer still on low, add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, until incorporated, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Remove dough from bowl—it will be sticky, so do your best—and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Let dough sit in fridge for 6-15 hours (I let mine sit overnight and then made the donuts in the morning).
Once chilled, remove dough from plastic wrap and place on a piece of large parchment paper. Cover the top of the dough with another piece of large parchment paper and roll dough until about ½-inch thick. Using a 2-inch circle cookie cutter, cut out the donuts and place on a prepared (lined with parchment paper) cookie sheet. Allow donuts to rise in a warm spot for 1 ½-2 hours or until puffy and doubled in size.
When ready to fry, heat a pot filled with 3 inches of oil to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with papers towels (to soak up the extra oil) and set aside. Add donut holes to oil—be careful not to overcrowd the pot—and fry each side of the donut for about 1 ½ to 2 minutes, until golden brown. Make sure to watch your temperature as you continue to fry each batch of donut holes.
Remove donuts with slotted spoon and transfer to the paper-towel lined baking sheet. When cool enough to handle, transfer donut holes to a tray to cool completely.

Coconut Cream Filling
In a medium-sized bowl, mix together coconut cream mix and milk until combined. Let sit in the fridge for about 5 minutes.
Fill a pastry bag with a medium sized tip with coconut cream pudding. Poke a hole on each side of the donut (equidistant between the top and bottom of the donut) and squirt about 1/8 cup in each side of the donut.

Toppings
In a microwave safe bowl, melt semi-sweet chocolate chips and a little vegetable shortening, until of drizzling consistency (microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until smooth).
Dip the tops of each donut hole into the chocolate, holding the donut upside down to let excess chocolate drip off. Sprinkle the top of the chocolate-coated donut with toasted coconut shreds.

*donut recipe adapted from Buns In My Oven

 

Toasted Coconut Donut Holes with Coconut Cream Filling