Citrus jams, marmalades, and lemon curds are bright flavors that make excellent icing (or a glaze) for crispy cookies and bars. I tested a recipe for coconut cookies with a range of citrus jams (lemon, lime, orange, and grapefruit). Lime infused icing was the clear winner and is a classic paired with coconut flavors, as in the recipe before.
Cookies that Ship well for Care Packages
My son loves coconut cake and I used to make it every year for his birthday dinner as he was growing up. When he went to college I couldn’t figure out how to get a fluffy, iced, two-tier coconut cake through the mail. So I defaulted to coconut cookies in a care package, hoping it would satisfy the celebratory coconut cake yearning.
Thinking the delicate flavor of the coconut cookies might be overwhelmed by something like a buttercream frosting, I decided to use a thin citrus-based icing. They were delicious, and remain something I can ship to him now as an adult in a different state!
It wasn’t quite the showpiece as was the two-tiered coconut birthday cake, but the flavors were there and….as the farmer said in the movie Babe…”that’ll do”.
Which Citrus Pairs Best with Coconut
Lime is the classic pairing with coconut so that is what I started with. I did test it with lemon, orange & grapefruit also, and there wasn’t a citrus icing that didn’t work, truth be told.
So, pick your favorite citrus and make these delicious cookies for those special care packages.
Recipe for Coconut Citrus Cookies
Coconut Cookies with Citrus Icing
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut divided into two 1/2 cups
- 2 ¼ cups flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter (3/4 stick), softened to room temp.
- 1 ¼ cups sugar
- 2 oz. cream cheese softened to room temp.
- 2 Tbsp oil I use grapeseed oil, but use your preferred oil
- 1 egg large
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- extra coconut for topping
FOR THE ICING:
- 3 Tbsp citrus jam or marmalade
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp citrus zest
- DIRECTIONS FOR COOKIES
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or lightly oil the baking sheet), and sprinkle 1 cup of coconut evenly over the sheet (1/2 cup of coconut is for using later as topping). Bake 5-8 minutes, turning a few times with a spatula, until lightly browned. Watch carefully, as different ovens have different temperature variations.1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- In a medium bowl, using a wire whisk, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and 1/2 cup of the browned coconut (only use 1/2 cup of the coconut here).2 1/4 cups flour, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt
- In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar, cream cheese, and oil until thoroughly combined. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until just combined.6 Tbsp unsalted butter, 1 1/4 cups sugar, 2 oz. cream cheese, 2 Tbsp oil, 1 egg, 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Slowly add in the flour mixture, a half cup at a time so as not to fly all over the place. Mix each time until flour is well-combined.
- Form the dough into 1″ balls and place on the baking sheet. Make sure the baking sheet has cooled down from toasting the coconut. If it is still warm, turn the baking sheet over and run cold water on the underside so cookie dough will not spread on a warm sheet. Slightly flatten the cookie balls with your hand
- Bake about 14 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack to cool before icing and topping with remaining coconut.extra coconut for topping
FOR THE ICING
- While the cookies are cooling, mix together all of the ingredients for the marmalade glaze. You can use a hand mixer or stand mixer for this, or alternatively, sift the powdered sugar and mix together with a spoon (just make sure to get all the clumps out).3 Tbsp citrus jam or marmalade, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1 tsp citrus zest
- If the glaze is not thick enough, add extra powdered sugar, 1/8 cup at a time until it is the consistency you like.
- Spread glaze on the semi-cooled cookies with a pastry brush or butter knife, and sprinkle with the extra toasted coconut.
- Store in an airtight container for 3-5 days.