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The Best Ever Coconut Cookies: Recipes for Chewy, Christmas, and More!

This post contains recipes for chewy coconut cookies, coconut milk cookies, and snowball cookies as well!

I have started using more coconut-based ingredients in my desserts. I love the sweet, nutty taste of coconut and I know that many of my clients do as well. This is why I have tried and tested out various recipes so that I can recommend the very best ones to you.

Here, you will find my three favorite recipes. I will walk you through each step of the preparing and baking process. I have also provided some useful tips for you to check out.

Let’s get baking!

The Best Homemade Coconut Cookies

Here are the top easy coconut cookies that you can whip up at any time at all!

Chewy Coconut Cookies

Ingredients 

Makes 3 dozen cookies

  • 1 ¼ cups of all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. of baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. of salt
  • ½ cup of butter
  • ½ cup of brown sugar
  • ½ cup of white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp. of vanilla extract
  • 1 ⅓ cups of flaked coconut

Method 

Step 1: Preheat the Oven

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C.)

Step 2: Make Flour

In a bowl, sift in the flour, baking soda, and salt.

Mix until well-combined.

Step 3: Cream Butter and Sugar

In a mixing bowl, add the white and brown sugar and butter.

Use a hand mixer to combine the sugar and butter until smooth.

Step 4: Mix in Egg and Vanilla

Add the egg and vanilla to the butter mix.

Beat in the ingredients until the mix has achieved a light and fluffy texture.

Step 5: Add Flour and Coconut

Slowly blend in the flour mix.

Once it has been thoroughly combined, mix in the coconut until evenly dispersed.

Step 6: Bake

Use a teaspoon to measure out onto the dough.

Make sure that each teaspoon of dough is about 3 inches apart from each other.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the cookies look golden brown.

Remove from oven and cool.

Coconut Milk Cookies

These cookies use coconut milk for that extra sweet and coconut-y taste.

Ingredients 

Makes 3 dozen cookies

  • 1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. of baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. of salt
  • ¾ cup of brown sugar
  • ½ cup of butter, room temperature
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla extract
  • ½ cup of coconut milk
  • ¼ cup of shredded coconut sweetened
  • ½ cup of shredded coconut sweetened

Method 

Step 1: Preheat Oven

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C.)

Step 2: Mix Dry Ingredients

In a mixing bowl, add flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.

Combine until evenly mixed.

Step 3: Cut in the Butter

Using a fork, cut the butter into the flour mix.

You should be left with a dough that resembles coarse meal.

Step 4: Mix in Liquid Ingredients and Coconut

Add in the egg yolks, coconut milk, and vanilla.

Combine well.

Add ¼ cup of shredded coconut and mix until evenly distributed.

Step 5: Bake

Each cookie dough mound should be about 2 teaspoons big.

Place them about 2 inches apart from each other.

Top each mound generously with the leftover shredded coconut.

Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown.

Let cool.

Snowball Christmas Coconut Cookies

These are the perfect holiday treat!

Ingredients 

Makes 2 dozen cookies

  • 1 cup of sweetened flaked coconut, separated
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ cups of confectioners' sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 6 tbs. of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla extract
  • 4 tsp. of milk

Method 

Step 1: Prepare the Coconut Flakes

Put ½ cup of coconut flakes into a food processor and grind.

Chop up the rest of the coconut flakes roughly.

Step 2: Combine Dry Ingredients

Add the ground coconut flakes, flour, ¼ cup of sugar, and salt to a food processor.

Process until blended.

Step 3: Combine Wet Ingredients

Add the butter and the vanilla to the mix.

Pulse until all the ingredients are well-combined.

Step 4: Heat the Oven

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C.)

Step 5: Bake

Roll the dough into one-inch balls.

Place the balls at least one-inch away from each other.

Bake for 15 minutes or until the cookies are tender, but firm.

Step 6: Make Glaze

In a bowl, combine one cup of sugar and milk.

Dip the cookies in the glaze and then top with chopped up coconut.

So, there you have it – your guide to the very best coconut cookie recipes. There is plenty of variety for you.

Plate of Coconut Cookies

Understanding Coconut Cookie Ingredients

As you can imagine, using the right ingredients is pretty important when making cookies. The components of your cookie can impact taste, texture, and more. So, it is important to know what you are dealing with.

So, here is what you need to know about some of the ingredients that you will be using in your recipes:

Shredded vs. Flaked Coconut

Now, your coconut cookie may call for shredded or flaked coconut. So, what are these and can you substitute one for the other?

Well, to begin with, flaked coconut comes in larger strips than shredded coconut. Also, coconut flakes in cookies retains more moisture and flavor. So, if you want to amp up the coconut flavor in your cookie, then flaked is the way to go.

On the other hand, if you enjoy a bit more crunch to your cookie, then use shredded coconut in cookies. This kind of coconut also works well if you are looking for something to top off your cookies with or even to roll your cookies in.  

Sweetened vs. Unsweetened Coconut

Shredded or flaked coconut – especially those that are used in desserts – are available in sweet and unsweetened form. While the difference in these is fairly obvious, you may be trying to figure out what would happen if you switched out one for the other.

If you are someone who doesn’t like too-sweet cookies, then using unsweetened coconut can help to cut down on the sugar in the treat. You should be aware that this kind of coconut does to have a bit more moisture to it, making the cookie a touch moister as well.  

Coconut Essence vs. Coconut Extract

If you want to enjoy a flavor of coconut in every bite of your cookie, then you will need to use a flavoring. However, you are going to have to choose between coconut essence and coconut extract. Which one should you select?

Coconut extract offers a stronger, more authentic coconut flavor. The taste also tends to be more stable in the cookie. As a result, you don’t really have to use as much to get the same flavor. Coconut essence, however, is more of an imitation of the original flavor. In some instances, this can impart a slightly lackluster flavor. 

Now, coconut extract can be rather expensive. So, if you don’t want to invest, look for a high-quality coconut essence brand instead. If you would rather do without an overwhelming coconut flavor in your cookie, swap this out for vanilla extract or essence.

Coconut Milk

One of these recipes calls for coconut milk. For the purpose of flavor and moisture, make sure to use full-fat cooking coconut milk in the recipe. If you want to add a little bit more oomph to the cookie, coconut cream will also do.

Related Reading
Paradise In Your Kitchen: Lowdown on the Best Coconut Milk Brands
A Guide to Finding The Best Canned Coconut Milk

The Top Tips for Making Coconut Cookies

Here are the top tips to following when trying out fresh coconut cookies recipes:

Follow Instructions for Room Temperature Ingredients

In many cookie recipes, you will find instructions for “room temperature” butter or eggs. Other recipes will urge you to use “softened” butter. Now, there's a good chance that you don’t quite understand what these terms mean. Or, you may think that you can ignore them.

When a recipe specifies room temperature, they typically talk about ingredients that may be kept in the refrigerator to cool. These have to be taken out of the refrigerator and allowed to reach ambient temperature before they are used in your recipe.

So, why bother with this process? Well, there are some ingredients like butter and eggs that mix together better when they are at room temperature. This produces a more velvety batter and thicker, tastier cookies.

Now, when it comes to room temperature butter, there is always the chance of letting your butter sit out for too long. When this happens it becomes too soft and can mess up your cookies. They will come out rather flat and lacking in texture.

As a rule of thumb, press down on your butter to make sure that it is ready. You finger should create a slight indentation in the butter but shouldn’t go all the way in. You can also look at the sheen. If the butter looks too shiny, it means that it has melted too much.

Invest in an Oven Thermometer

The key to perfectly baked cookies is to bake the cookies at the right temperature for the right period of time. Now, you may think that simply setting the temperature on your oven is creating the right internal temperature. However, that isn't necessarily the case.

In some cases the inside of the oven may be too hot and in others, it may be too cold. This means that you may end up under or over-baking your cookies. To prevent this from happening, you should get yourself an oven thermometer.

Then, before you are ready to bake your cookies, you can use this to check the internal temperature. If it is fine, you can proceed as needed. Otherwise, you will need to adjust the temperature. 

Freshly Baked Cookies

Pay Attention to Baking Times

Most people accidentally over-bake their cookies. Since cookies are quite a bit smaller than many other baked goods, they will traditionally only need to be baked for around 8 minutes or so. Sometimes, the baking times may be a bit less or more than this.

The problem is that when you take the cookies out at this point, they may seem a bit underdone or droop as you attempt to scoop them up. Thus, it is only natural to assume that the cookies need to bake for longer. However, this isn't the case at all.

It is only by baking cookies up until this point that they remain chewy. Otherwise, they will harden and become unappetizing. So, always follow the instructions when it comes to the baking times. As long as your oven’s internal temperature is as needed, the cookies will bake to perfection.

If you have accidentally over-baked the cookies, transfer them to a wire rack immediately and allow them to cool.

Line the Baking Sheet

Getting cookies off the cookie sheet – even when they are baked well – can be tricky. More often than not, you may find yourself dealing with broken or cracked cookies. Or, fragments of the cookies may remain stuck to the sheet.

To prevent this from happening, line the sheet with parchment paper. This way, you can easily slide the cookies off of tray when they are done.

Don’t Scoop Cookies Out Onto a Hot Sheet

If you have just taken a batch of cookies out of the oven, don’t start scooping out the dough for the next batch immediately. Rather, wait for the cookie sheet to cool down or run it under the tap until the heat has dispersed.

See, when you place cookie dough on a hot cookie sheet, they begin to spread. This can ruin both the texture and the taste of the cookies. Not to mention, it can throw your baking times off as well. So, be mindful of this before doling out the cookie dough.

Related Reading
Food for Your Mood: A Guide to 50 Delicious Coconut Recipes

Coconut Cookies vs. Coconut Flour Cookies

Let’s duke out the difference between coconut cookies and coconut flour cookies. Although they may appear to be the one and the same, this isn't the case at all.

See, coconut cookies contain some form of coconut – coconut pieces, coconut essence, etc. Coconut flour cookies, on the other hand, are made (at least partially) from coconut flour. Coconut cookies are traditionally made with all-purpose flour or some kind of wheat flour.

Now, coconut flour is made from dried and ground coconut meat. It is gluten-free and a low-carb ingredient. The flour also contains more fiber than all-purpose flour. In fact, many people choose it as a healthier alternative to processed flour.

However, coconut flour doesn’t always have a strong taste of coconut. This means that coconut flour cookies don’t really taste like coconut unless they contain other coconut-based ingredients. As such, you can find plenty of variation – just check out our post on coconut flour recipes to find these.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure to check out our Pinterest page. We have tons of other recipes and coconut-related articles for you to check out.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Riya Borah
Nutritionist Educator | Riya Borah is a nutritionist educator and her job involves guiding people towards a healthier lifestyle. Growing up in India, Riya was aware of just how much coconut was used on a daily basis. This encouraged her to research the properties of this versatile drupe. It opened her eyes to both the limitation and possibilities of coconut. Her aim is to now educate as many people as possible about the best ways to utilize coconut in their own lives.
An Important Disclaimer
The information on this page should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. Consult a doctor if you wish to consume any kind of tea regularly for the purpose of treating any condition or illness.
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