Cocoa Islands Cookies

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Cocoa Islands Cookies

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Cocoa Island is a small, private island resort in the Maldives designed for those seeking a relaxed getaway experience. Comprised of thirty-three romantic overwater suites and villas, this mini-heaven on Earth boasts some of the world’s best beaches, snorkeling, and diving. Like the actual Cocoa Island, this cookie has an understated elegance combining smooth luscious salted caramel, crunchy sweet pecans, and decadent chewy chocolate.


Cookie dough:

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup whole milk


  • 1 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • Sea salt for sprinkling


Caramel Sauce:

  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Recipe Info

  1. Line a cookie tray with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Set aside.

  2. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about one minute. Add in yolks and mix until combined. Beat in the flour, cocoa powder, and salt, followed by the milk.

  3. Scoop the dough onto the prepared tray (I use a 1-ounce ice cream scoop), about 1-inch apart. Flatten each cookie with your palm to about 2 inches in diameter and ½ inches tall. Place cookie tray in refrigerator for 15 minutes to firm up dough.

  4. Prepare the garnishes: In the meantime, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk the egg whites in a small bowl to break them up. In another bowl, place the finely chopped pecans.

  5. Make the caramel sauce: Stir together the sugar, water, and lemon juice in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan. Heat the sugar over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. If necessary, brush the insides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to wash down any crystals sticking to the sides. Increase to high heat and bring to a boil, without stirring, until the sugar reaches a deep amber color, about 7 to 9 minutes.

  6. Remove from heat and carefully whisk in the heavy cream. Be careful, as the caramel will sputter when you add the cream. If necessary, return to low heat to melt any clumps of caramel. Stir in the salt. Transfer the caramel to a dish, place in the refrigerator and let cool uncovered.

  7. Gently remove the portioned cookies from tray and coat the edges of the cookie in the whisked egg whites. Then roll the edges in the pecans and place back on tray.

  8. Bake for 12 to 13 minutes or until tops have puffed slightly. Remove from oven. Using the handle of an ice cream scoop (your thumb or a pestle also work well), make a 1⁄4-inch deep indentation in the center of each cookie.

  9. Once cookies are completely cool, pour caramel into the centers. A squeeze bottle for the caramel works well. Sprinkle a little or a lot of sea salt over caramel. Makes about 13 cookies.

  1. Maldon sea salt works best on these cookies. This salt can be found at specialty food stores.

  1. Excerpted with permission from Beach House Baking : An Endless Summer of Delicious Desserts by Lei Shishak. Photographs by Chau Vuong. Copyright, 2014. Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.

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