My son loves coconut cake and I used to make it for his birthday dinner as he was growing up. Now that he is in college during his birthday, it’s a little tough to send a fluffy, iced, two-tier coconut cake through the mail. So I defaulted to coconut cookies with marmalade icing in a care package, hoping it would satisfy the celebratory coconut cake yearning.
Always on the lookout for ways to use HeathGlen’s jams and marmalades, I decided to ice the coconut cookies with the citrus marmalades we make: Meyer Lemon marmalade, Lime & Green Tea Marmalade, Grapefruit Campari Marmalade, and Blood Orange Marmalade. 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. Lime is a classic pairing with coconut, but all of the citrus marmalade icings worked really well, adding a range of color and citrus backgrounds.
Recipe for Coconut Cookies with Marmalade Icing:
Ingredients for Cookies:
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut, divided into two 1/2 cups
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, (3/4 stick), softened to room temp.
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 2 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temp.
- 2 Tbsp oil, I use grapeseed but vegetable oil will work
- 1 egg, large
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- extra coconut for topping
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.
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).
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.
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.
Citrus Marmalade Icing:
- 3 Tbsp citrus marmalade
- 1/2 c. powdered sugar
- 1 tsp citrus zest (optional)
- 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).
- 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 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.
My favorite glaze was the Blood Orange, but my son really liked the Meyer Lemon. Wasn’t quite the showpiece as the two-tiered coconut birthday cake, but as the farmer said in the movie Babe…”that’ll do”.