On a trip to Los Angeles with my husband last summer, I insisted we stop at a well-known, very expensive grocery store as a kind of tourist experience. I oohed and ahhed at the $35 juices and very impressive kombucha aisle but only took one item to the register: a container of a dozen golden brown coconut macaroons.

These cookies were unlike any other macaroons I’d ever eaten, and I consider myself an aficionado. These weren’t the loose, white heaps I was used to. These were deeply toasted and mounded in shape—so much so that my husband asked me if I was buying a box of falafel. They had a more complex, almost caramelly flavor reminiscent of a slightly less-sweet Samoa Girl Scout cookie.

I attempted to re-create those macaroons here, toasting sweetened shredded coconut first to ensure the cookies are golden brown and nutty all the way to the center, and using light brown sugar to enhance the caramel notes. And speaking of the center, I form each macaroon around a piece of dark chocolate; while still warm, you’ll get a melty, molten core, but I think they are just as good straight from the freezer. —Kendra Vaculin