Lemon Coconut Thumbprint Cookies

I’m not sure what prompted the Easter Bunny to decide it was no longer appropriate to hide eggs in our yard, but he must have corroborated with my Grammy—the year he stopped was the year we walked into Easter dinner to find our baskets already filled and waiting at the table. I was relieved. As a (then) 16-year-old, clearly I still needed my annual supply of Cadbury eggs.

Lemon Coconut Thumbprint Cookies. Easy recipe that uses lemon pie filling for the center

Although my sisters and I eventually outgrew the prefilled Easter baskets too (harsh realities of our 20s), I certainly believe that, at any age, everyone deserves a little springtime treat. In celebration of a new season and the return of sunshine, let’s fill our baskets and pile our plates with bright Lemon Coconut Thumbprint Cookies.

A fresh twist on classic jam thumbprint cookies, which in my family are rolled in crushed walnuts and filled with strawberry jam, Lemon Thumbprint Cookies take the same lightly crispy, buttery shortbread and give it the springtime citrus treatment.

Buttery Lemon Coconut Thumbprint Cookies.

The thumbprint cookie dough is a demonstration of beautiful cookie simplicity. It’s only five ingredients, yet results in a richly flavored, melt-in-your mouth shortbread cookie base that’s the ideal vehicle for luscious lemon and sassy coconut. Rather than fuss with making lemon curd from scratch, I used Lucky Leaf Premium Lemon Pie Filling, which contains no high fructose corn syrup, has a lovely texture when baked, and best of all, leaves me time to spend in the spring sunshine, instead of at my stove.

Buttery Thumbprint Cookies with easy lemon filling

Coconut, lemon’s tropical sidekick, is the perfect halo to surround our thumbprint cookies. Roll the dough into cute little cookie balls, dip in egg wash to ensure maximum coconut clinge-age, then set the coconut balls on a baking sheet.

Buttery Lemon Thumbprint Cookies rolled in coconut

Give each coconut cookie ball and Pillsbury Doughboy tummy poke to create a small indent, then fill with a baby spoonful of the lemon pie filling. It feels a little artistic, with the added reward of being delicious and edible.

In the oven, the shredded coconut toasts into a golden, lightly crunchy shell around the buttery cookie, and the lemon filling sets to a bright, glossy burst of citrus at the center. Every bite is like a fresh pop of spring.

Although I don’t think the Easter Bunny will be stopping by this Sunday, I’m more than content with Lemon Coconut Thumbprint Cookies as my spring treat spread.

Buttery Lemon Coconut Thumbprint Cookies. Delicious and easy!

Although, if he wants to leave me a bag of the dark chocolate Cadbury Mini Eggs, I won’t refuse. Maybe I should dig my Easter basket out of the basement, just in case.

Thank you everyone so much for your kind anniversary wishes, and for being such fantastic sports about my little April Fool’s Day post. You are what makes this corner of the internet so special to me!

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Lemon Coconut Thumbprint Cookies

Soft and buttery thumbprint cookies rolled in toasted coconut with bright lemon filling.


Yield: 16 cookies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour

  • 1 egg white

  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut

  • 1/4 cup Lucky Leaf Premium Lemon Pie Filling



Directions:


  1. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed, until just combined. Beat in the almond extract and salt. With the mixer running on low, slowly add in the flour, mixing just until the dough begins to come together. Transfer to a lightly floured surface, then press and roll into a flat disk. Wrap with plastic and place in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.

  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, beat together the egg with 1 tablespoon water to create an egg wash. Sprinkle the coconut into a shallow bowl.

  3. Once the dough has chilled, roll it into 1 1/4-inch balls. Dip each ball into the egg wash, then roll it in the coconut flakes. Arrange the balls on ungreased baking sheets. With the top of your finger (a tube of lip balm works well also), press a light indentation into the top of each cookie. Drop a scant 1/2 teaspoon of lemon filling into each indentation. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the cookie edges are set and the coconut is golden. Transfer to a baking sheet and let cool.




Store leftover thumbprint cookies in an airtight container for up to four days.


All images and text ©/Well Plated.

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More bright lemon treats to say hello to spring:

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About Erin Clarke

I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, lover of bourbon, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN...

23 comments

  1. Thumbprint cookies always make me think I’m eating so dainty. I feel like a lady. Lemon and coconut always are reminiscent of Easter…..gotta have that coconut. But these cookies would be perfect for a ladies brunch, Mother’s Day or a Wedding Shower. I thought I was too old to be planning those but apparently not! But you’re never too old for an Easter basket (Easter egg hunt, yes, Easter egg basket no.)

  2. Thumbprints are amazing! I really fell in love with them last Christmas. I can’t wait to try the lemon coconut version! :)

  3. Love lemon and these little cookies. Thank you Erin and Happy Easter.

  4. Those cookies look SO delicious! Lemon and coconut go so well together, so I’m sure these taste amazing!! Pinned :)

  5. Why do we have to outgrow baskets of candy? Seems so unfair.
    These look amazing. Love the lemon in the middle. Little cookie baskets!

  6. Erin – I could eat a dozen of these lemon-coconut thumbprints! Fantastic combo!

  7. In our family, we still get Easter baskets (although now I have to share with my fiance!), and thumbprint cookies only really happen at Christmas. Ours are chocolate cookies, rolled in egg white and pecans, then filled with frosting and topped with an M&M. I think it’s high time we liberate them from Christmas cookie status and make these year round :)

  8. LENT is over today!!! I can FINALLY eat desserts again! Yay!!! Wishing I had these guys in front of me, because they encompass all the things I’ve missed about dessert. Plus, they’re pretty, and I like pretty things. :)

  9. These look fantastic – so bright and cheery! I certainly wouldn’t complain if the Easter bunny brought me a basket of these :)

  10. Oh how I love thumbprint cookies! They hold a special place in my heart! These look so perfect for Spring!

    Bright and happy!

  11. There’s nothing better than lemon and coconut! Love these thumbprint cookies, they look increible.

  12. Milisa Armstrong Reply

    These are the perfect Easter cookies! Love!!!

  13. Love treats with lemon curd :)

  14. These are delicious, Erin!  And so easy!  The crunch of the coconut and that pop of lemon, yum!  (I did use KAF white ww flour and unsweetened coconut tho. But no lip balm tools were deployed, just my thumb! ;) )  THANK YOU for another keeper!  Happy healthy Easter wishes from NC!

  15. Erin, I am also a firm believer that, at any age, everyone deserves a little springtime treat. I LOVE these lemon coconut thumbprint cookies!!! These are perfection!!! Wishing you a very happy EASTER and more Cadbury eggs and any egg, bunny shaped chocolates you can get! :) 

  16. These cookies are awesome! Great combinations of flavors! 

  17. I am trying to think when I finally didn’t get an Easter basket. I think I was in my 20’s also.
    Waaaaa.
    Laughing. However these cookies are even better for those of us who are both lemon and coconut fiends. I often make thumb print cookies, but this is a wonderful version of them. I pinned it!!!!

  18. You’re right, who could refuse dark chocolate Cadbury Mini Eggs? But then again, if I had to chose between Cadbury eggs or these cookies … it’d be a tough call. I love chocolate, but WOW! These cookies are great.

  19. Erin, These cookies look delicious! I wanted to let you know that they will be in a Christmas Cookie Roundup on my blog this week with a linkback to your site for the recipe. Happy Holidays! Joan-MyCookieClinic

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