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 filled with Lemon Coconut Thumbprint Cookies.
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.
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.
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.
Lemon Thumbprint Cookies – Simple and Elegant
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 lemon pie filling. Feel free to swap in homemade lemon curd if you prefer.
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.
Give each coconut cookie ball a 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.
How to Store Thumbprint Cookies
- To Store. Store leftover thumbprint cookies in an airtight container for up to four days.
More Delicious Lemon Desserts
- Lemon Poke Cake
- Best Lemon Bars
- Almond Flour Cake with Lemon
- Lemon Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
- Strawberry Lemon Cream Cheese Bars
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.
Lemon Coconut Thumbprint Cookies
- 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 canned lemon pie filling or homemade lemon curd
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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