Coconut coconut coconut.......this is driving me nuts. I think I'm falling in love with coconut. I am really amazed at the versatility of this great nut. I had known that coconut was widely used in southern part of India but being from the north my knowledge of coconut usage was very limited. I only knew that it could be used for pooja, coconut oil for oiling hair & ofcourse I used to make the famous Coconut barfi & I always had a hard time grating the dry whole coconut. On moving to the US I saw this nut being used in varied ways.......coconut milk for soups , shredded coconut for cake decoration, powdered coconut as cup cake topping, coconut icecream, coconut water as thirst quencher ........I think I should stop the list is endless. During my last 2 visits to India My sister brought me coconut cookies from a local bakery & they were so good that ever since my return I had been thinking of how to make those delicious cookies & finally I saw "Ina Garten of Barefoot Contessa" bake" Jam thumbprint shortbread cookies "in one of her shows. She rolled the cookies in shredded coconut & the name "thumbprint" comes from the thumb impression made on the cookies which is later filled with jam.......hence the name Jam thumbprint. I could hardly wait for the show to be over & I was in the Kitchen knowing this is something I wanted to try.......at the same time I was thinking hard on how to make the cookies eggless & more coconutty.....so I modified the recipe a little & here is my version of these delectable coconut cookies that have become a permanent part of my snack pantry now...........I have added coconut powder to the dough & some baking soda as well . Also instead of the eggwash that the original recipe called for I have dipped the dough balls in milk to make an eggless version.
Ingredients: This will make around 25-30 cookies
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4th tsp baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 1/3rd cup coconut powder/ 1/2 cup more for rolling in the cookie balls
- 1 stick of butter / 4 oz/ 120 gms ( at room temperature)
- 1/3rd cup confectioners sugar ( the cookies are very lightly sweet , the amount of sugar can be increased acc. to taste)
- 1/4th tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup of milk
- 2 tablespoons of any fruit jam ( i used raspberry jam)
- Mix the 1st 4 ingredients together , flour, soda, salt & 1/3rd cup of coconut powder , keep aside
- In the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment whisk butter & sugar together until light & fluffy. Mix in the vanilla extract & mix till well blended.
- Start adding the dry ingredients mixing until just well blended , the dough will be very soft.
- Transfer the dough to a work surface ....roll into a ball , cover with cling wrap & refrigerate for atleast 15 mins .
- Now take out the dough & cut it into 25-30 equal parts ( can be done with a knife), roll each part into a small ball .
- Take half cup of milk in a bowl & the remaining 1/2 cup of coconut powder in another bowl .
- Dip each ball of dough in the milk & then roll it in the coconut powder, make an impression with your thumb in the centre of each ball & place them on a well greased baking tray. ( this time I made the impression with a 1/4 measuring teaspoon as my thumb starts hurting by the time all the cookies are done)
- With the help of a tea spoon or the tip of a knife place a small amount of jam in the centre of each cookie ( can also be done with a piping bag )
- Preheat oven to 350 F & bake for 12-15 mins until cookies are golden at the top.
- Transfer to a cooling rack & let cool completely before storing them.
I cannot wait for them to cool completely & generally grab a couple just out of the oven.......ha ha