Can it be Christmas cookie time yet??? Please? All the stores already have their Christmas decorations out, so I’ve decided that means I’m allowed to start making lots of cookies. I’ve been making these for years, and my friends know that I affectionately call these “little balls of love” as I make them and dance around the kitchen (that’s not a joke. It’s probably for the best that I don’t post a video of me making these). The cookies are soft and buttery, and are pressed with sweet toasted coconut on the outsides and filled with a small dollop of jam. They’re easily one of my favorite cookies of all time. Here’s how to make them:
Yields 3 dozen cookies
1.5 cups unsalted butter (3 sticks), at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
17.5 oz all purpose flour (3.5 cups), sifted
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
7 oz sweetened flaked coconut
assorted jams of your choice
With an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until they are blended. Add the vanilla. Set aside.
Whisk the salt into the flour to combine. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Once the flour disappears, stop mixing, and lay out a big piece of plastic wrap on your counter. Dump the dough out onto the plastic wrap, and use the plastic to shape it into a disk. Wrap it up and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Don’t skip this step, you need the butter to harden up so the cookies don’t spread flat in the oven.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the coconut in a shallow bowl or plate.
Roll the dough into small balls about an inch thick each (if you care to weigh them, I make mine 1oz a piece). Note that the dough may seem crumbly at first, but if you use the warmth of your hand to shape them, the crumbliness goes away. Roll the balls in the egg wash:
Then roll them around in the coconut, to coat.
Place the cookie on your baking sheet, then use your thumb to push an indentation into the cookie (ahhh, now you see why it’s called jam thumbprint cookies).
Repeat with all the dough, then dollop 1/2 tsp amounts of jam into each indentation. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the coconut is golden brown and toasty.
Let the cookies cool completely on a wire rack. These aren’t the kind of cookies that taste good when they’re hot. Once they’re cool, enjoy!!!
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten.