Christmas isn’t Christmas without shortbread, and while everyone seems to have a favourite shortbread recipe or two, there’s always room for one more! Toasted Coconut Whipped Shortbread pairs an easy whipped shortbread cookie recipe with the wonderful taste of golden, toasted coconut, making this a must-bake cookie this holiday season!
You must be a lover of coconut if you’re going to enjoy these Toasted Coconut Whipped Shortbread cookies. Not only does it have that toasted coconut you see on the top of the cookies, but the cookies themselves were also made with some of that same toasted coconut as well as coconut extract. That’s a lot of coconut flavour!
These cookies do not need to be reserved for Christmastime. They’re great any time of year, and they’re a great cookie to serve for dessert, especially with a hot cup of tea or coffee on a cold, blustery winter day! I can only think of one person who doesn’t like coconut, (Margaret!) so the odds that there’s going to be someone at your table who doesn’t love this cake is very slim!
Toasted Coconut Whipped Shortbread cookies are light and airy and will stay that way for a few days. Whipped shortbread tends to be light and crumbly, which is the best texture for shortbread, and this one will most certainly not disappoint!
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COCONUT AND CHRISTMAS BAKING
Every time I run a Christmas baking series, I have to find a way to incorporate a recipe that is absolutely laden with coconut flavour! I love coconut in any form, but when it comes to baking, nothing reminds me so much of my mom as a cookie made with coconut!
Most of the coconut recipes that you see here at Lord Byron’s Kitchen were inspired by my mom. I really do think that I get my love of coconut from her! Although, unlike mom, I don’t bake with coconut regularly. I tend to save it for special occasions, where she would bake with it almost weekly. If she were still with us, I’m sure she would love one of these whipped shortbread cookies with a glass of Newfoundland Purity Raspberry Syrup! The Newfoundlanders reading this will totally understand!
For years I have been baking with coconut. But, it was only a few years ago that I learned that the best way to get the most coconut flavour from shredded baking coconut is to toast it first. It’s so easy to do and I do it now without fail! Remember last year’s Toasted Coconut Biscotti? Or the Toasted Coconut Bundt Cake?
MOM’S COCONUT FAVOURITES!
I can’t help but think of my mom when working with coconut. She absolutely loved it! It was 5 years on November 17th since mom passed, so making these Toasted Coconut Whipped Shortbread cookies are certainly triggering a lot of fond memories today. When I was young, I never baked or cooked with her. But, back in the late 90s, my sister and I shared an apartment together. Mom spent many evenings there with us while we stocked the freezer with some of her holiday favourites.
Just in case you’re wondering, some of her favourites were these Marshmallow Coconut Balls and these Jumbo Marshmallow Balls. Yes, she loved marshmallows too! Another one of her favourites where Traditional Newfoundland Snowballs. But, that’s no surprise at all. Everyone – and, I mean everyone! – loves those!! The same can be said for these Chocolate Coconut Balls.
But, without any doubt or reservation, I can honestly say that one of her favourite holiday cookies to prepare was Jello balls. In fact, when I shared her recipe here at Lord Byron’s Kitchen, I called them Mom’s Christmas Jello Balls. So, as you can see, Dear Reader, I get my love of coconut from her. As I’m writing this, I’m smiling to myself thinking about how delighted she would be if she could read this. She loved to share her recipes; in fact, I have fond memories of her scribbles in a collection of notebooks. Which reminds me, I have to steal those from my sister!
LORD BYRON’S 24 COOKIES OF CHRISTMAS – VOLUME 5
I’m so excited about this year’s cookie countdown! This is the fifth consecutive year; can you believe that? Each of the previous years has included 24 cookies and this year will not be any different. I’ll share a new Christmas cookie recipe each and every single day for the next 24 days – even on Saturday and Sunday!
You might be asking yourself, how many Christmas cookie recipes could one possibly have or need? Well, I say you can never have too much of a good thing. And, I love having lots of choices. Who wants to bake the same holiday cookies year after year?
So, welcome, Dear Reader, to Volume 5 of Lord Byron’s 24 Cookies of Christmas! Fresh off of my 12 Edible Wreaths of Christmas and my 12 Bars and Squares of Christmas series, I’m ready to plow through the next 24 days with you!
You really don’t want to miss one of these recipes, so if you have not yet subscribed to Lord Byron’s Kitchen, I encourage you to do so. That way, a new recipe will be emailed to you every day. You won’t have to bother to come looking for it! Like in previous holiday baking countdowns, I like to mix up the recipes in the series so that there is something for everyone. Are you ready!!??
Looking For More Christmas Confections?
Lord Byron’s Kitchen has more than enough to satisfy your sweet tooth! Click on the links below to see a countdown series of holiday recipes from that category!
INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO PREPARE THIS RECIPE
The following is a list of the ingredients needed to prepare this recipe. For exact amounts and measurements, refer to the printable recipe card located near the bottom of this post.
- Butter – Make sure your butter is at room temperature! To be perfectly honest, I have made these with both salted and unsalted butter and there’s no difference in taste or appearance once all is said and done. Use what you have on hand.
- Cornstarch – When added to cake, cookie and shortbread recipes, cornstarch helps create a crumbly and tender dessert-like texture.
- Flour – No need for anything special. Just use regular all-purpose flour. I have not tried this recipe with any other type of flour.
- Confectioner’s Sugar – This superfine sugar is sometimes called powdered sugar. It is used in frostings quite often. When dusted lightly onto cakes and cookies, it adds just a touch of sweetness, but more importantly, it looks very visually appealing!
- Coconut Extract – If you don’t have coconut extract on hand, you can use vanilla. The coconut flavour will not be as intense, but it will still be present.
- Toasted Coconut
THE BEST TYPE OF COCONUT TO USE
When it comes to coconut to bake with, there are two kinds – sweetened and unsweetened. Those two types can be found in different levels of fineness and coarseness. It’s important to use unsweetened coconut for this recipe. Otherwise, with the addition of the sugar, these Toasted Coconut Whipped Shortbread will be too sweet to eat!
You’ll want to use an unsweetened medium coconut. The size of the grated coconut won’t make a difference to the taste, but it certainly will make a difference when you try to roll the cookie dough into balls. The longer shreds of coconut will make the task a bit messier and you might not get nice uniform balls. Since we eat with our eyes first, take caution when purchasing your coconut and keep that in mind.
HOW TO TOAST COCONUT
Toasting coconut is easier than frying an egg! I use that comparison because when my daughter was learning to cook, she was so excited when was able to master the perfect over-easy egg.
When toasting coconut, all you need is a skillet, a whisk, and some patience. Place the coconut into the skillet and turn the heat to medium. Do not for one minute think that you can walk away from the skillet to do something else. And, don’t ever think that you can stop moving the coconut around the pan. It will burn. And, it will burn fast!
Use a stainless steel skillet; not one of those non-stick types. And use a metal whisk or wooden spoon. Continuously – and, I mean continuously! – move the coconut around the skillet. Slowly, but eventually, you’ll notice that the coconut is losing that bright white colour. It will fade into an off-white until finally, it begins to turn a nice golden, yellowish-brown colour.
Turn off the heat and get the coconut out of the hot skillet. The residual heat will continue to brown the coconut and you don’t want that to happen. Transfer the coconut to a wide, shallow bowl so that it can spread out. This will stop the toasting and you’ll be left with the most delicious coconut ever!
HOW TO MAKE TOASTED COCONUT WHIPPED SHORTBREAD
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside. Add the butter to a bowl and beat until light and fluffy – about 3 minutes. Add the flour, cornstarch, confectioner’s sugar, and coconut extract. Blend together until fully incorporated – about 2 minutes. Lastly, add half a cup of the toasted coconut and beat to just incorporate.
Portion about 1 tablespoon of the dough (I used a small ice-cream type scoop to get even amounts of dough for each cookie.) Roll the dough into small balls and place them on the lined baking sheet. Leave a good 2 inches of space between each ball. Next, dip a fork into the confectioner’s sugar to keep the dough from sticking to the fork, and push the fork down onto the ball to flatten the ball to 1/2 inch or so.
Top the dough with a sprinkling of the remaining toasted coconut. Bake for 14 minutes. Remove from oven. Allow the cookies to cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to continue cooling.
Lord Byron’s Annual Christmas Cookie Series
Did you know that Lord Byron’s Kitchen has been sharing a 24 Cookies of Christmas Series for the past several years? Click on the links below to see all of the recipes from each series on one page!
STORING, PACKAGING, & FREEZING
When it comes to most cookies, they taste best at room temperature, but they don’t hold up well to being left out on your countertop for long periods of time. Cookies will stay fresh in a cookie jar or food-safe container with a lid for 3-5 days if left to sit on your kitchen countertop. You can store them in a food-safe container in your fridge. When you want one, two, or half a dozen, take them out of the container and place them in a single layer on a plate. Let them sit at room temperature for 5 minutes and they’re ready!
If you plan to freeze your Toasted Coconut Whipped Shortbread cookies, you certainly can! Once completely cooled, pile them into a clean, food-safe container. The container must be freezer friendly! You’ll want to ensure a very tight-fitting lid too. I use these quite often when freezing baked goods. I like to place a sheet of plastic wrap over the top of the container before pushing the lid on. This helps to create a better seal. The goal is to keep all of that freshness locked in!
You can freeze these cookies for up to three months. If you plan to give previously frozen cookies as a gift, I would lay them out on a wire cooling rack to thaw completely. If packaging, wait until the condensation has evaporated. Once thawed, pile into cellophane bags and tie with a ribbon, or stack in a cookie tin/box.
If I have not answered all of your questions in the text above, don’t hesitate to reach out to me! You can contact me by sending me a message in the comments section further down the page. I will try my best to answer as soon as possible! You might reach me even faster by following me on Facebook and sending me a private message. Scroll down to follow me and never miss another recipe!
Finally, as I stated previously, every day I will be posting a new recipe. If you miss one, don’t fret. You can find my entire collection of Christmas Recipes right here! There are over 200 Christmas recipes and counting. There’s something for everyone! Cheers!
Do You Like This Recipe?
You should consider trying these other delicious recipes too!
Toasted Coconut Whipped Shortbread
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup corn starch
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
- 1 cup toasted coconut
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
- Add the butter to a bowl and beat until light and fluffy – about 3 minutes.
- Add the flour, corn starch, confectioner's sugar, and coconut extract. Blend together until fully incorporated – about 2 minutes.
- Add in half a cup of the cooled, toasted coconut. Beat until just incorporated into the dough.
- Portion about 1 tablespoon of the dough (I used a small ice-cream type scoop to get even amounts of dough for each cookie.)
- Roll the dough into small balls and place on the lined baking sheet. Leave a good 2 inches of space between each ball.
- Next, dip a fork into confectioner’s sugar to keep the dough from sticking to the fork, and push the fork down onto the ball to flatten the ball to 1/2 inch or so.
- Top the cookies with a little sprinkling of the remaining toasted coconut.
- Bake for 14 minutes. Remove from oven. Allow to cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to continue cooling.
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