Oh my. It’s begun. The holiday cookie madness is taking over and I just can’t stop. But I’m not going to fight it. Nor should you, friends. Just give in to it. This is one of the three Christmas cookies my mom always made (here’s one; the other one is coming). For the life of me, I’m not clear on why these weren’t made year-round. They’re super easy, have 6 ingredients and are ridiculously good. It makes no sense. We shall rectify this situation — after, you know, the holidays are over.
The official name of these cookies are “Eagle Brand cookies,” in honor of the monopoly Eagle Brand had on the sweetened condensed milk market back in the day. I prefer to think of them as “chocolate coconut haystacks” (especially considering Whole Foods doesn’t carry the Eagle Brand brand [Eagle brand?]; so much for that monopoly), but my mother refuses to acknowledge this name and I also must admit that while more descriptive, the name just ain’t sticking.
I digressed again. It’s all the sugar. My mind is racing. Sorry.
Oh, but first, some notes:
Use the best chocolate you can get. With only six ingredients, it makes a difference. As for the nuts, I used walnuts, but pecans would be smashing. Lastly, my mom’s original recipe doesn’t call for the espresso/coffee, but I think that a little bit of coffee really brings out the chocolate flavor even more, which is, naturally, a good thing.
OK, here we go, for real now:
Eagle Brand Cookies
2 ounces best quality unsweetened dark baking chocolate (I used Scharffen Berger)
1-14 ounce can Eagle Brand (or “fill in the blank” brand) sweetened condensed milk
2 cups coconut (I used unsweetened, but if you’re insane, you can use sweetened)
3/4 cup walnuts (pecans would also be smashing)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon brewed espresso or strong coffee
Preheat oven to 275ºF/135ºC (or what my mom endearingly calls a “slow oven”).
Melt the chocolate in a medium mixing bowl in the microwave. Add the condensed milk, stir to combine, then add the coconut and nuts. Mix in the vanilla and coffee.
Spoon a heaping teaspoon onto a Silpat-lined cookie sheet. Cook for 20 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. Cool for a couple minutes on the pan. Delicious hot, but great cooled as well. Also easy to freeze (but why would you want to do that?).