Coconut to the Third Power Cookies

Date December 10, 2012

I love coconut with a love that’s normally reserved for small children and animals.
I blame two people.
First is Peter Paul, the man behind Mounds and Almond Joy.
Second is my mom, the woman who kept our home stocked with Mounds and Almond Joy.
No matter where she tried to hide them; in the freezer behind the bag of peas, in the cupboard behind the boxes of Jello, or in an old purse on the top shelf of her closet behind a stack of cardboard shoe boxes. Did she think she was dealing with an amateur? Please.
Almond Joy has nuts, Mounds don’t because…
sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t.

Born out of my unnatural love for coconut the first flavor adaption I ever made to Georganne’s Vanilla Variation were toasted coconut cookies, and while they were coco-mazing, I wanted to make them better which could only mean one thing . . . more coconut!

In this version I begin by taking sweetened shredded coconut and running it through the food processor for about twenty seconds until it’s coconut mulch. The only reason I do this is to minimize having shreds of coconut to contend with when cutting the dough into shapes.

After mulching the coconut I divide it evenly with one part being toasted and the other part going into the recipe as is. The toasted coconut adds an extra dimension of color and bite to the cookie along with a nice toasted flavor. The white coconut gives the cookie a nice soft chew and provides the sweet coconut taste.

The other source of coconut is from a small amount of canned cream of coconut. Cream of coconut comes in cans that can be labeled either sweetened or unsweetened. I use sweetened cream of coconut which is to coconut what sweetened condensed milk is to regular milk. It’s super-sweet and super-intense in coconut flavor. It’s often used in mixed drinks so chances are you’ll find a few cans wedged between the powdered margarita and daiquiri mix at your local grocery store. If you don’t want to bother with cream of coconut you can replace it with a little of LorAnn’s Coconut Emulsion. I just prefer the added richness and extra hit of real flavor that comes from the cream of coconut.
And here’s a tip in using the cream of coconut. Because the contents of the can will have separated be sure to stir them together until blended before pouring out the amount needed for the cookies. And then lick the spoon and enter into a moment of coconut bliss.

I love making snowflake cookies. Doodling a design is easy and it’s a great excuse to pull out all the glittery disco dust and sparkly sanding sugar.

Coconut to the Third Power Cookies

1 cup softened butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup cream of coconut or 1 – 1 1/2 teaspoon coconut emulsion
3/4 cup mulched toasted coconut
3/4 cup mulched sweetened coconut
*4 – 4  1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder

*If you replace the cream of coconut with emulsion cut back on the flour by about 1/4 to 1/3 cup flour to compensate for the lack of added liquid.

…..Preheat oven to 360 degrees.
1. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
2. Cream the butter and sugar together.
3. Add in the eggs, vanilla extract, and cream of coconut or coconut emulsion until well-blended.
4. Add in all the coconut and mix together.
5. Add in the dry ingredients one cup at a time until the dough is fully incorporated.
6. Roll out the dough on a lightly-floured surface to the desired thickness. Place the cut cookies onto a parchment or silpat-lined cookie sheet and bake on the center rack of the oven for 8-12 minutes. Baking time will be determined by the thickness and overall dimension of cookies.
7. Remove cookies from oven and allow to cool on baking sheet before moving to cooling rack.

* This recipe is adapted from Vanilla Variation by Georganne (LilaLoa)



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17 Responses to “Coconut to the Third Power Cookies”

  1. Penny Carsner said:

    These sound amazing!! I can't wait to try them.

  2. Paula said:

    I think toasting the coconut is a great idea. What a lovely and tasty dimension it must add to the sugar cookies.

  3. Christy G said:

    Anita, do you have an Indian grocery store near you? They sell itsy, bitsy bits of coconut. The package I use is frozen, or I would send some to you before I even finish typing this comment. But maybe there is a dry one, too? It would save you a step. I'll check for you. (And maybe just a little for me.)

    Also too, please stop. I haven't gotten to the cinna-bum yet and now you're posting this. There isn't enough time in the day for all the yummy-ness you share!

  4. anita said:

    Christy, Ohhhhh, is their coconut sweetened? I've used dry coconut in the past from the store that was itty bitty already but it wasn't sweetened and so didn't seem to impart as much flavor. And yes we have a nearby Indian store and yes I will be running an unplanned errand today for which I hold you fully responsible!

  5. holly said:

    These are beautiful. You are always so generous sharing your ideas and recipes… I LOVE IT.

  6. Mary Kay said:


  7. Tiffany said:

    These sound so yummy! What kind of extracts do you use in your icing to pair with this? I always use almond vanilla in my everyday icing but I wouldn't want to overpower the coconut taste.

  8. anita said:

    Tiffany, I typically use glaze lightly flavored with a little vanilla and almond extract. For the most part I keep the main flavor in the cookie and use the glaze primarily to add another layer of sweetness.

  9. Jan S. said:

    OMG!!! Almond Joy is my favorite of all favorite candy. I will have to make this…THANK YOU!!!

  10. Barbara said:

    Anita, you knocked this one out of the park! I ran out to get coconut and Coco Lopez today & am making the dough tonight. You are so right on using sweetened coconut. I tried using already toasted desiccated coconut before and it had NO flavor at all – what a disappointment. Your recipe promises to be awesomely coconutty. Hope your coconut variation works with NFSC since it's my old standby.

  11. anita said:

    Barbara, aaaaaaaaaaand. . . ??? How did they turn out? Did you love them or what? And yes, toasted desiccated coconut was the first kind I tried in the beginning because I thought the sweetened coconut would be too sweet. The result was that it was hard to tell there was any coconut in the cookie at all. Trial and error, trial and error 🙂

  12. Nicole (Life's said:

    I've been so curious as to the "Third Power" since you first mentioned these in your giveaway. A-ha! Now I get it, and of course, it's perfectly perfect, and perfect you. In a Mary Poppins-sort of way, with the "practically." 😉

  13. Georganne said:

    Anita — These sound DELICIOUS. I obviously have a thing for coconut as well considering all my icing is coconut flavored. And those snowflakes are so so pretty! I love the way you photograph them. And my absolute favorite is the one candy in the middle. It's perfect!

  14. Christy said:

    I'm sorry – no, the kind I had wasn't sweetened. When we use it in Indian food here – often – it's not sweet, sorry! Maybe you found something else?

  15. anita said:

    Christy, that's okay! I went to the Indian store that same day and was AMAZED at all the varieties of coconut there! It's also a great resource for buying cream of coconut for anyone who can't find it in a regular store or at Bev-Mo. But yep, their finely grated coconut is the dried unsweetened kind that for baking just doesn't seem to work.

  16. Leah said:

    I believe we may be sisters with different mothers! My mom was partial to hiding them in vintage "decorative" butternut coffee, jay's potato chip and lard tins. Sitting high on the old dough boy as decorations.

    I just can hardly wait to make these cookies! Racking my brain to figure out who else I can make cookies for.

    Coco Lopez comes in squeeze bottles (like mustard) where we live, and I am sure there is a bottle hiding behind the dill pickles! Since cream of coconut cake season has finished, this will be the perfect fit for the other 9 months of the year.

    Have you made these with the Georganne's chocolate cookie recipe? Let me begin twisting your arm……:)

  17. anita said:


    In a squeeze bottle? Oh, that sounds so dangerous, as in squeezing just a little on your finger on a regular basis! And cream of coconut cake….you. are. killing. me. I haven't made the coconut cookies with Georganne's chocolate recipe but without a doubt I know they would be ridiculously awesome. Many of the recipe flavors I try work great in either her chocolate or vanilla cookies.

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