Happy 2019 to you!! I wish you nothing but health, happiness and amazing recipes in the year to come. I’m going to help with that last one- don’t you worry. You may think the holiday gift-giving season is over, and for you, it may be; but for some of us, we’re still in the midst of it. Three King’s Day is still nigh, and those of us who celebrate epiphany are still in need of gifts to leave our friends and family. That’s why I love these Coconut-Raspberry Thumbprints. Wrapping these edible treats in a cute food bag, and sealing them with a bow, always makes the recipient smile!
A Twist on My Signature
I used to own a small pastry business called Taste & See Pastry Shoppe. My signature cookie was a Coconut-Guava Thumbprint that was to die for. It was an unexpected flavor in a very familiar form. These cookies are a spin on my signature dessert. I’m replacing the guava jelly (which isn’t easy to locate) with raspberry, but I’m still clinging to the coconut flakes that surround the cookie. This is a very straightforward dough which can be made in advance and frozen into little balls if you want.
One of the things that needs to be done prior to using the coconut in this cookie dough is to mince the flakes using a food processor, or a blender. Sweetened coconut flakes, as they come, are terribly long; so, you need to chop them down in order for them to work in this recipe. You can’t substitute dessicated, unsweetened coconut in the recipe, either, because they won’t work with the sugar ratio. Just pulse the full quantity of coconut flakes in the food processor until you have small pieces (about a quarter of an inch long).
Make the Cookie Dough
In separate, smaller prep bowls, separate the egg yolks from the whites. Beat the egg whites until frothy, then set them aside for later. Likewise, beat the egg yolks together with the vanilla extract until smooth.
In a large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the room temperature butter and two sugars together, on high, until fluffy- this usually takes about seven minutes.
Pour the egg-vanilla mixture into the butter and beat, on high, for an additional three minutes. Scrape down the bowl often to ensure you have a properly mixed batter.
Stir a half-cup of the coconut flakes into the flour mixture you blended earlier. Reserve the remaining coconut for later. Slowly add the flour mix to the butter mixture. I usually add it in three parts. Beat on low after each addition, and be sure to scrape down the bowl following each mix.
Chill, then Roll, then Coat
After you’ve mixed the cookie dough, form it into a disc. Wrap the disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate it to get that butter to firm up again.This makes rolling and forming a lot less messy. Chill the dough for thirty minutes, or up to two days. You can also freeze the dough at this point- for up to six months- but I need these for gifts, remember?
After the dough has chilled, use a knife or a bench scraper, to divide the dough into forty-eight equal pieces. Aim for balls of dough that are the size of walnuts.
Roll each piece of dough between the palms of your hands to form them into ball. Dip the ball into the egg whites you whipped earlier.
Allow the excess egg whites to drip back into the bowl, then dip the cookie ball into the bowl of coconut flakes. Press the coconut flakes into the ball of dough, gently, to make sure the flakes adhere well. Then place the cookies onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Once your pan is filled, use your thumb, or the back of a half-teaspoon to create an indentation in the center of each cookie. Make sure you make the dent fairly deep so the jam won’t bake up and over the cookie. Spoons like to get stuck sometimes, so you’ll have to twist the spoon to the left, or right, to pull it back out.
Fill the indentation with raspberry jam and bake the cookies in your preheated oven for fifteen to eighteen minutes.
Gift Them, or Enjoy Them Yourself
Once the cookies are finished baking, remove the pan from the oven and allow them to cool, on the pan, for five minutes before transferring the cookies to a cooling rack.
Once they’re completely cooled, you can wrap them in a nice cellophane treat bag, box them in a gift-box, or put them in your cookie jar.
These Coconut-Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies are best eaten two days after baking. Enjoy them year ’round, though. Just pin the recipe for easy reference!
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Coconut-Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 large eggs, whites separated from yolks
- 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut flakes, pulsed in a blender until minced, divided
- 1/2 cup raspberry jam (not preserves)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Use a whisk to combine the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and ground cinnamon in mixing bowl.
- Beat the egg whites until frothy, then set them aside for later. Combine the egg yolks together with the vanilla extract and beat together until smooth. Set this aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and both of the sugars, using a hand mixer, until light and fluffy- about 7 minutes.
- Add the egg-vanilla mixture to the butter and beat, on high, for an additional 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl often with a rubber spatula.
- Stir a 1/2 cup of the coconut flakes into the flour mixture, then add the flour mix to the butter mixture in three parts, mixing on low after each addition. Scrape down the bowl after blending and just before adding the next portion of flour.
- Once mixed, form the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, the refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
- After the dough has chilled, divide it into 48 equal pieces (about the size of a walnut). Roll each piece of dough between the palms of your hands to form them into ball.
- Dip the ball into the egg whites you whisked earlier. Allow the excess egg white to drip back into the bowl, then dip the cookie ball into the bowl of coconut flakes. Press the coconut flakes into the ball of dough, gently, to make sure the flakes adhere well. Place the cookies onto the prepare sheet pan.
- Once your pan is filled, use your thumb, or the back of a half-teaspoon to create an indentation in the center of each cookie. Fill the indentation with a 1/2 teaspoon of the raspberry jam, then bake the cookies for 15-18 minutes.
- Once the cookies are done baking, remove the pan from the oven and allow them to cool, on the pan, for 5 minutes before transferring the cookies to a cooling rack.
- These Coconut-Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies are best eaten two days after baking.
- The dough may be frozen after forming into a disc, then stored for up to 6 months.