Lemon Coconut Cookies are an elegant, melt-in-your mouth treat combining the tartness of fresh citrus with the sweetness of coconut.
The night before Easter, I was on the hunt for a new cookie recipe. I had already made sugar cookies and a French toast casserole (recipe for that coming soon), but I wanted to make one more item to contribute to Easter brunch with my in-laws. When I stumbled across this recipe for Lemon Coconut Cottontail Cookies from Bridget of Bake at 350, the search was over. All of Bridget's recipes have turned out perfectly for me, especially her recipe and technique for royal icing. And this lemon coconut cookie recipe sounded like a real winner. The cookies had lemon and coconut both in the dough, as well as on top of the cookies. You've probably already noticed that I bake with coconut quite frequently, as evidenced by all these coconut recipes. I suppose you could say I'm a fan of coconut.
I was originally intending to make the recipe exactly as written. But there was just one problem. It was 11:00 at night, and I was not my usual bright-eyed, bushy-tailed self. I didn't read the recipe carefully enough and as a result, I accidentally added three times the amount of cornstarch. Oh boy. It happens, right? I decided to just continue with the cookies and hope for the best. Guess what? The end result was fantastic. The cookies came out of the oven with a soft, buttery, melt-in-your mouth texture. The citrus flavor was bright and vibrant, perfectly balancing the sweetness of the coconut. These were a big hit at Easter, and I can also imagine them being perfect for Mother's Day.
Just a few tips if you try this recipe: Before adding the shredded coconut to the cookie dough, I pulsed it in a mini processor for about one minute. I was aiming for a smooth dough texture, so I thought small flecks of coconut would work well. Also, I'd recommend using a fresh bag of coconut to keep your cookies as moist as possible. You certainly don't want dried out coconut on these lovely cookies!
Lemon Coconut Cookies
Cook Time: 13-14 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
For the Cookies:
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- Zest from 1 lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut, pulsed in the food processor for 1 minute
For the Glaze:
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 cup shredded coconut
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two standard cookie sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper.
2. Sift flour, cornstarch, and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, use a handheld mixer on low-medium speed to cream together butter and sugar. Once combined, add in egg, lemon zest, lemon extract, and vanilla extract.
4. Turn mixer to low speed. Add dry mixture in two separate additions, and continue mixing until well combined. Using a wooden spoon, stir in coconut.
5. Form 1 tablespoon of cookie dough into a ball and place on prepared cookie sheets (can also use tablespoon measure). 15 or 16 cookie dough balls can be placed on each cookie sheet. Repeat until all dough has been used.
6. Bake for approximately 13-14 minutes. Cookies will still be light in color and will not brown at the edges. Centers will appear slightly underdone, but will continue to cook as the cookies cool. Allow to cool for 3-5 minutes on the cookie sheets, then move to cooling racks.
7. While cookies are cooling on racks, mix together powdered sugar, lemon juice, and milk in a small bowl. Place shredded coconut in another small bowl. Once cookies are completely cool, dip tops and sides into the prepared glaze, then sprinkle lightly with shredded coconut (alternatively, you can also "roll' the tops of the cookies in the bowl of coconut, which I found to be a little quicker). Return cookies to cooling racks and allow glaze to harden. If not serving immediately, store cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Yield: 30-32 cookies
Thanks for reading, friends!