Brunch / Dessert

Coconut Thumb Print Cookies


Book Group will take it’s annual water taxi ride to Cushing Island this afternoon. We gather on Sarah’s porch to trade anecdotes, and hear a little poetry, or island gossip before lunch.  These ladies have been willing taste-testers over the years, so even though Sarah ordered us not to bring a thing, she relented when I begged to bake something.  Her caveat: V E R Y small cookies.

I love the exotic flavor combination of this variation on shortbread.  A little taste of something really decadent is all one needs to be satisfied, so make the effort to use good quality butter and jam.

COCONUT THUMB PRINT COOKIES – makes about 2 dozen 1/2 ounce cookies



4 oz. good quality unsalted butter, room temperature

1/3 cup (2.75 oz.) granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup (6 oz.) GF flour mix (yours, ours, or Trader Joe’s)

1/3 cup (1.15 oz.) almond flour (remember, you can grind your own in a coffee mill)

1/2 teaspoon xantham gum

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 egg beaten (for coating the dough before dipping in coconut)

2-3 ounces sweetened flaked coconut

1/4 cup, maybe a little more, of a favorite jam – thicker jams work better


1.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper – you might need 2 depending on the size of the sheets.

2. Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add the vanilla extract and beat to incorporate.

3. Measure the flours, xantham gum, and salt into a small bowl and whisk to blend.

4.  Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and combine well.

5.  Measure the dough into half ounce portions, roll into balls and evenly space on one or more baking sheets.  Chill for 30 minutes.

6.  While you wait for the dough to cool, beat the egg until well blended, measure the coconut into a bowl, preheat the oven, and select your jam.  This will leave time to call a friend, write a note….

7.  Remove the chilled dough balls from the refrigerator, dip in the egg wash and then into the coconut and place, evenly spaced, back on to the cookie sheet.  Using the end of your thumb, press down into the dough balls to create indentations for the jam. It might require the use of the other hand to hold the dough to prevent slight cracking at the edge of the indentation.

8.  Fill each indentation with 1/4 teaspoon of jam.  Resist the inclination to use more – don’t want overflow.

9.  Bake at 350 F for 15-20 minutes or until the cookies and coconut are lightly browned.

Everyone will enjoy these pretty cookies!


6 thoughts on “Coconut Thumb Print Cookies

    • Xantham Gum acts as a binder and helps create the sense of elasticity that comes from the gluten in wheat flour. These are especially “short” cookies; xantham gum helps with the (structure.)

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