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!

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

Yield: 16 cookies
Prep Time:
20 mins
Soft and buttery thumbprint cookies rolled in toasted coconut with bright lemon filling.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter — (1 stick) at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup all purpose flour — plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup Lucky Leaf Premium Lemon Pie Filling

Instructions

  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.

Recipe Notes

Store leftover thumbprint cookies in an airtight container for up to four days.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Easy Cookie Recipe, Lemon Coconut Thumbprint Cookies

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More bright lemon treats to say hello to spring:

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