Coconut Shortbread Cookies are coconut cookies made for coconut lovers! Finely shredded coconut adds a tropical touch to a perfectly buttery shortbread, with a coconut glaze and sprinkling of coconut for extra pop!
Christmas came fast this year, and without the extra time that normally cushions us between holidays, Thanksgiving turkey catapulted us to Christmas cookies in the blink of an eye. With this in mind, I have tried my best to stay on top of things, and you would think that all the wrapping and holiday cards would bring with it all the holiday cheer, but the truth is, there’s one event each year that seems to mark the start of the Christmas season for me.
It has to do with cookies. And friendship.
For the 9th year in a row, local friends I have made through this world of food blogging gathered yesterday for our annual holiday brunch and cookie exchange, and I’ve come to find that it is this event that makes me feel the warm holiday cheer, the one that makes Christmas more “real.” While the rain poured outside, we stayed cozy inside and laughed over our brunch, savoring cookies with memories of this tradition we have all come to treasure. There were Jean’s dolmas, Lisa’s empanadas, Azmina’s pasta salad, Patty’s shrimp cocktail, Lisa’s cauliflower soup, and my Citrus and Avocado Salad with Quick-Pickled Fennel. It was a feast!
Some of us still write our blogs, and some have since stepped away, but it is this bond and love for food (and cookies!) that have brought us together. Even our own families look forward to this yearly tradition, and who wouldn’t, when we come home bearing boxes of cookies!
For this year’s cookie, I hemmed and hawed, waiting for inspiration to strike, and it came in the form of coconut. The craving came from left field, but I ran with it and baked Coconut Shortbread Cookies, with a nod from a base sable cookie dough that yields a light, buttery cookie. With a dip in a coconut glaze and an extra sprinkling of fine coconut, my cookies happily joined everyone’s cookies on the tray, all baked with love and ready to bring Christmas cheer.
HOW TO MAKE COCONUT SHORTBREAD COOKIES
If you’re a coconut lover like me, these cookies won’t disappoint. Finely shredded coconut is layered throughout this cookie, from the sablé shortbread cookie dough to the coconut glaze and an extra sprinkling of coconut on top! If you can’t find fine macaroon coconut, give your shredded coconut a few blitzes in a food processor to get the finer texture that makes these cookies delicate and beautifully shaped. Here’s how to make the cookies:
- Combine the granulated sugar, powdered sugar, salt and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl to be used with a hand mixer.
- Add the egg yolk and coconut extract and mix until it is just incorporated.
- Add the flour and mix until just combined. Slowly stir in the coconut with – do not over mix. Roll out the dough and chill for 3 hours in the refrigerator.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Use a 2-inch round or fluted cookie cutter and cut out the cookies. Place on a lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart
- Bake the cookies one tray at a time for 8-10 minutes, or until just lightly golden on the bottom. Cool completely and glaze the cookies. Enjoy!
LOVE THESE COCONUT COOKIES? MORE COOKIE RECIPES TO TRY
Coconut Shortbread Cookies
For the cookie:
- Combine the granulated sugar, powdered sugar, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl to be used with a hand mixer. Add the butter and beat on low speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until the butter mixture is creamy.
- Add the egg yolk and coconut extract and mix until it is just incorporated. Add the flour and mix until just combined. Slowly stir in the coconut with - do not over mix.
- Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 2 equal parts. Form each part into a ball and flatten into a disk between two sheets of parchment paper.
- Roll each disk to an even layer 1/4 inch thick while between the parchment paper. Stack the sheets of dough and chill in the refrigerator for 3 hours or overnight. Alternatively, you can chill the dough for 1 hour in the freezer.
- When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the center of the oven.
- Working with one rolled out sheet of cookie dough at a time, use a 2-inch round or fluted cookie cutter and cut out the cookies. Place on a lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Re-roll and chill any remaining scraps of dough, and continue cutting out cookies. Repeat for all the dough; you will have enough for about 36 cookies.
- Bake the cookies one tray at a time for 8-10 minutes, or until just lightly golden on the bottom. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the tray before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- While the cookies are cooling, make the icing. Mix the confectioner’s sugar, almond milk, and coconut extract in a wide bowl until smooth. If you feel that the glaze is too thick, add more milk in sparing drops, a few at a time, until the glaze is thick enough to coat a cookie but thin enough for excess to drip away.
- Dip the top half of the cookie into the glaze and hold it over the bowl to allow the excess to drip, giving the cookie a twirl to allow the glaze to slide off. Sprinkle the glazed half with coconut and place on a cookie rack to dry.
SHORTBREAD COOKIE TIPS
- Rolling the dough: Rolling the dough out before chilling not only makes it easier to roll out the dough but helps prevent any dough cracking from working with cold dough.
- Make ahead: The layers of dough can also be frozen so that the cookies can be baked at a later time. You can cut and bake directly from the freezer.
- Storage: Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature
- Coconut in this recipe: If you can't find fine macaroon coconut, give your shredded coconut a few blitzes in a food processor to get the finer texture that makes these cookies delicate and beautifully shaped.