WARNING! These Lemon Coconut Cookies are seriously yummy butter-based cookies that are utterly addictive. Thankfully, the recipe only makes about 20 cookies and, since they are best enjoyed with friends and family, you won’t likely do too much damage to your waistline. But, I make no promises on that score.
These cookies make for a very welcome change from chocolate chip or oatmeal cookies and are a great answer to the question of what to serve for dessert after an Indian or Thai dinner. They can even be made in two steps – make the dough one day, bake the next if time is an issue!
Preheat oven to 325F.
Grease two cookie sheets and line them with parchment paper to ease clean up.
1 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut + 4 tablespoons (for decoration with the glaze)
When oven has come to heat, sprinkle the coconut on one cookie sheet and toast for 10 minutes or until starting to turn slightly golden. It will be fragrant. Do NOT let get too dark. Toasting the coconut enhances the flavour. Let the toasted coconut cool completely before adding to the cookie dough.
In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream for two minutes or until light and creamy:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
Beat in gradually:
½ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Grated zest of 2 lemons (2-2 ½ teaspoons)
Continue to blend until the mixture is totally homogenous. Sift flour in and mix gently until just blended:
2 cups cake and pastry flour
Add the cooled toasted coconut, reserving 4 Tablespoons for the glaze & decoration. If the dough is very soft, refrigerate the dough for 15-30 minutes before shaping the cookies.
Using a ¼ cup measuring cup to scoop the dough, roll the dough into 1.5’’ balls and place on the baking sheet at least 2’’ apart. Wet the bottom of a glass, dip it in granulated sugar, then use the glass to flatten the cookies slightly.
Bake 10 minutes. Switch the top cookie sheet with the bottom one and turn each so the side facing the front of the oven is now at the back. This will help the cookies to bake more evenly. Return the cookies to the oven and bake a further 10-15 minutes, until the edges of the cookies are just starting to turn golden.
Cool the cookies on the cookie sheets for 5 minutes. Then transfer to a wire rack and, when the cookie sheet is completely cool, put the next batch of cookies in the oven to bake.
While the cookies are baking, make the glaze.
3-4 tablespoons lemon juice
Cut a large piece of wax paper or parchment paper and place the rack of cookies on the wax paper, so that any dribbles are easy to clean up. The mixture should be runny enough that you can drizzle it from a spoon over the cookies. Sprinkle each cookie with a little bit of toasted coconut reserved from the start of the recipe.
These are good on their own, as part of an assortment of cookies and as an accompaniment to raspberry sorbet.
This recipe was adapted slightly from one in Bonnie Stern’s cookbook, Desserts.