Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Cherry Coconut Thumb Prints

Last night I baked up a storm, getting ready to send out a package of cookies and scones to sunny F-L-A while our temps here get colder and colder. It was warm in my kitchen last night, though, as batch after batch of cookies went in and out of my oven. There were cooling racks everywhere as the assembly line of goodies went on. I baked from 9 pm to about 1 am, and woke up to a kitchen that looked like a bomb went off! Oh well, the price I pay for creativity!

One of the cookies I made last night was a thumb print cookie - basically a sugar cookie dough, rolled in a ball, then rolled in egg white, then coconut, and finally indented in the middle (with the end of a wooden spoon actually, not my thumb) and filled with cherry preserves. This recipe can be customized to your own preferences - don't like coconut? Used finely chopped walnuts. Have a favorite jelly or jam? Use that. There's no one way to make this cookie. I just happen to love coconut and cherries!

This recipe begins with my favorite sugar cookie dough. I had pouches of sugar cookie mix in my pantry (for those quick projects with my grandsons) but for Christmas, I wanted something great, and that's Alton Brown's Sugar Cookie Recipe, the gold standard in my experience. The only real differences between Alton's recipe and what I do are that I add vanilla for a punch of flavor, and I do not refrigerate the dough. For rolled cookies, I find it rolls out beautifully just after mixing, and that works for me. Alton also suggests rolling out with a dusting of confectioners sugar - I use flour. That's where we differ.  But there's no rolling pin for this recipe - you only need your hands!

So, here's the recipe. It's beautiful, delicious, and fun to make - pretty much a perfect combination for a great cookie!

from Alton Brown's Sugar Cookie Recipe
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper (Always!!!)

Stir together:
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Set aside.

In mixing bowl, cream:
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar

1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (my addition)

Using your hands, roll dough into 1-inch diameter balls.

For coating and filling:
1 egg white, beaten with about a tablespoon of water to break it up
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes (or 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts)
A few tablespoons cherry preserves or  your favorite jam

Drop about 3 or 4 dough balls into egg white, coat evenly. With a fork, pick up and drop into coconut, rolling around until well coated. Place on parchment-lined cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart. Make a dent in the middle (about half-way down into the center) and fill each dent with about 1/4 teaspoon preserves or jam.

Bake until coconut is browning nicely, 10-11 minutes at least. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before removing to cooling rack. Cookies may seem soft in the center but they will firm up as they cool.



  1. Jeannie, I'll be making these this weekend!

    1. Very good decision Di! You will love the sugar cookie recipe, no matter what you make with it!