Say hello to summer in cookie form! These sweet, buttery toasted coconut sugar cookies are full of tropical flavor with that soft, chewy texture everyone loves. You won't find a more perfect summer cookie.
With summer here, you need a delicious but easy and portable dessert for all your backyard barbecuing needs -- something that can hold up to the hottest temperatures without refrigeration. No fussy preparation is required, and serving is as simple as grab and go for a casual evening.
Enter these toasted coconut sugar cookies. Not only do these little treats check all the aforementioned boxes, but they're also bakery-style sugar cookies as opposed to those puffier, more cake-like sugar cookies used for extra fancy decorating. And let's be honest. That's the best kind of sugar cookie.
Bakery-style sugar cookies have a tender, chewy bite with a crinkly top and buttery, moist base. Those more decorative sugar cookies tend to have a drier, almost crumbly texture. Plus, the toasted coconut adds even more chewiness. If you're all about a chewy texture, these cookies were made for you.
How to Toast Coconut
I like to toast coconut on the stove in a skillet, and the process couldn't be simpler. We toss a bunch of coconut into a nonstick skillet and cook over medium heat. Every so often, we give the skillet a shake to keep the coconut from burning.
After several minutes, our coconut will brown like so and turn fragrant. Now we're ready to move on to the rest of our cookie recipe.
The rest of this recipe is similar to making your typical drop cookies. Unless you're a cookie rookie, this process should feel familiar.
We start by stirring together our flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and setting that aside. In a large mixing bowl, we beat together softened butter and sugar until it's light and fluffy like so.
I use my stand Kitchenaid mixer for this step. Three to four minutes of beating the sugar and butter on speed four works well for me. A hand mixer also works -- just make sure you give this step a few minutes of beating to incorporate enough air into the mixture.
From here, we add in vanilla extract and coconut extract for an extra dose of tropical flavor as well as freshly squeezed lemon juice. While I love the brightness the lemon juice adds, the acidity also activates the baking soda, so don't skip this ingredient thinking it's just for an extra flavor boost.
Now we beat in our eggs one at a time. We want to add in our eggs one at a time to prevent overbeating, so don't just throw them in all at once thinking it doesn't matter.
Now we stir in a little of our flour mixture at a time. Once that's all incorporated, we add our toasted coconut, and we're ready to refrigerate our dough and then bake.
Why Refrigerate Cookie Dough?
Before baking, we need to refrigerate this cookie dough for at least an hour. Yes, I realize this might be annoying, but if we don't refrigerate the dough, the cookies will overspread in the oven. The butter in the dough needs some time to firm back up before it hits that hot environment.
So go enjoy a little Netflix time, come back in an hour and the cookie dough will be ready for baking, which just takes nine minutes per batch. When the toasted coconut sugar cookies come out of the oven, they may look slightly underbaked, but that just means you did it correctly. This ensures our cookies stay perfectly soft and chewy after cooling.
Beer and cookies are one of my favorite pairings, and I love an imperial stout with these toasted coconut sugar cookies. The inherent sweetness from the high alcohol content makes it perfect for all sorts of desserts, and coconut is a delicious match to that roasted malt.
For wine, an oaked chardonnay is a fun match. Oak barrels often impart a coconut flavor, and the buttery chardonnay fits perfectly with our cookie dough base. A riesling is another delicious option.
When you need the perfect summer treat, I hope you try these toasted coconut sugar cookies. Please let me know how you enjoyed this recipe in the comment section and don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter. You can also catch me on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.
Can't Get Enough Cookies?
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Toasted Coconut Sugar Cookies
- Stand or hand mixer
- Mixing bowl
- Large baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Wire racks
- 1 ⅓ cups sweetened shredded coconut
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup salted butter softened
- 1 ½ cups granulated white sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- Additional granulated sugar or turbinado sugar for dusting optional
- In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the coconut until it begins to brown and turn fragrant. Stir every so often to prevent burning. Set aside.
- Stir together flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Cream together the softened butter with sugar until light and fluffy.
- Scrape the creamed butter off the side of the bowl. Add one egg with the lemon juice and extracts. Beat just until combined. Repeat with the second egg. Once both eggs are combined, scrape the dough off the side of the bowl again.
- Add a spoonful or two of the flour mixture at a time and stir until incorporated. Repeat until all the flour mixture is combined into the dough. Stir in toasted coconut.
- Chill the cookie dough in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
- Heat oven to 375 degrees. On a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, form the dough into approximately golf ball-size dough balls.
- Bake for nine minutes. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for a couple minutes and then move to a wire rack to cool completely. If desired, dust with additional granulated sugar or turbinado sugar while still warm. Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!
- For full tips, please see blog post.
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.