Wednesday 12 December 2012

Lemon Coconut Thumbprint Cookies

This is a cookie I bake every December.  The bright citrus note makes a pleasant counterpoint to the chocolate and winter spices we taste so much of at this time of year.  

Like all thumbprint cookies, these ones begin with a stiff cookie dough that is formed into a ball.  A well is made in the center of each cookie to hold the filling.  

Unlike other thumbprint cookies, the filling in lemon coconut thumbprint cookies is not baked in the oven.  These cookies are filled with lemon curd, which is piped or spooned onto the cookies just before they are served.

I've used both homemade lemon curd and store bought in these cookies.  I like homemade best but, if I'm pressed for time, Robertson's lemon curd is very good indeed.

To make Lemon Coconut Thumbprint Cookies, you'll need:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • the zest of one lemon
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

Cream the butter and sugar together.

Beat the egg and add it to the butter/sugar mixture along with the lemon zest and lemon juice.  Stir until the ingredients are well mixed.

In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and coconut.

Add the flour mixture into the butter/sugar mixture and stir until all the flour is incorporated.  You'll have a stiff, slightly dry dough.

Form the dough into 1-inch balls and place them 2 inches apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Make a well in the center of each cookie.  (I use the handle of my wooden spoon for this.)

The dough may crack around the edges when you make the well.  Just press it back together with your fingers.

Bake the cookies on the center rack of a 350F oven for about 12 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the cooking time.

The finished cookies will not have taken on any colour, but they will be larger than when they went into the oven and the dough will have firmed up.

Transfer the cookies to a sheet of brown paper to cool. 

Store the cooled cookies in an airtight container.

If you wish to make them ahead, unfilled lemon coconut thumbprint cookies can be stored in the freezer.

Just before you serve your cookies, pipe or spoon a little lemon curd into the center of each one.

If you have filled lemon coconut thumbprint cookies left over, store them in a covered container in the fridge.

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