P&Q: Coconut Butter Thins

For all your cookie questions, here it is.

72 thoughts on “P&Q: Coconut Butter Thins

  1. I love this recipe, which I made several weeks ago. Something about the putting the dough in the bag and rolling it out so precisely was ridiculously amusing. I used curry powder instead of coriander and pistachio in place of macadamia (macadamia always seems a waste of a nut to me) and it was spicy and lovely.

  2. Wondering if the coconut is essential for the texture of the cookie.

    No one here likes actual coconut, but we all like the flavor…weird, I know.

    I am wondering if I could use coconut flavoring or coconut milk???

  3. Hmm I might leave out the macadamia nuts. Not that we don’t like them. The cheapest I found was about $4 a bag. Wonder if I could use dried fruit? I have some dried mango to use. Also, what does coriander taste like? I need to sub that out and have no clue what would be a similar taste.

  4. WOW! I loooooove the idea of using curry in a cookie. But I also love coriander. Oh, what to try!
    I’m a little apprehensive about the bag rolling technique b/c last time I did it with the Brown Sugar Pecan Shortbread, I rolled it way too thin. Maybe I’ll pick up a pair of rolling pin guides for this one!

  5. Chocolatechic – I think you’d be OK without the coconut. it does add to the texture but they’d still be good without it. I felt that the lime flavor came through much more than the cooconut. Coconut flavoring would be interesting…this is a flexible recipe. I didn’t use coriander but I did add some cardamom.

  6. I don’t like coconut but it wasn’t really detectable in the taste. It seemed pretty important to the texture, though; I thought it added a great chewiness to the cookies. You could make it even less noticeable if you ran the coconut through the food processor or chopped it more finely, but honestly I couldn’t really tell it was in the cookies.

    I made these strictly by the book and the cookies were so delicious that I had to package them right up and put them in the freezer before I ate them all! I had trouble with some of them spreading, even when I chilled them before baking.

  7. These cookies were so delicious and perfect! The coriander adds a great dimension to the cookie. We loved them. Make sure when you are rolling the dough out in the bag not roll them out too thin. The correct thickness is not the same size as the bag. Thinner cookies do not hold their shape as well as thicker ones. They are still tasty, but won’t look as nice.

  8. Pinkstripes: did you roll yours thicker than 1/4 inch? I think mine are that thickness, but they stretched the entire width of the bag (gallon size). That technique is fantastic, I must say… perfectly straight edges.

  9. Forgot to say that I used orange zest and pecan in my first batch – then succumbed and bought some mac nuts. :)
    We’ll see what they both taste like – they’re in the fridge tucked into the ziplocs!

  10. mike, mine didn’t fill all dimensions of the bag. I rolled it the full width of the bag, which is 10.5″ but only 9″ the other direction, which was not all the way to the zipper. It came out to 1/4″.

  11. I have a feeling a baking 1/4 inch is not a literal 1/4 inch. Probably more inbetween a 1/4 of an inch and a 1/3 of an inch.

  12. I followed the recipe exactly and thought that these were amazing. For anyone worried about the coconut: I gave the cookies to my two older kids (two of the pickiest humans alive) and told them they were butter cookies (I didn’t mention the coconut or nuts; I know, kind of sneaky and deceitful, but there are entire books written about sneaky and deceitful methods for getting kids to eat!). They did not notice either the coconut or the nuts and LOVED the cookies.

  13. Nancy – thanks! I guess I rolled mine full width and full height (or to the zipper)… maybe I can re-roll, if they’re not thick enough. It would surely be a baking faux pas to have butter thins that were too thin. :)

  14. caitlin–i would say that mine “somewhat enlarged” in the oven. not really any crazy spreading though, and they still held shape. i popped my cut cookies into the freezer on the baking tray for about an hour before baking.

  15. One trick I learned way back was to get a dowel rod from the hardware store (you can wash it well and/or keep them far enough away from the cookies if you’re worried about food safety) in your desired cookie thickness. Cut it in half. Then, when you’re rolling out cookies, lay one piece of dowel on either side of your dough before rolling out, close enough together that the ends of your rolling pins rest on the dowels, and then roll away.

    You never have to worry about whether you’re too thin or to thick, the dowels will keep it at exactly the right thickness.

    I think I settled on 3/16″ as my favorite sugar cookie thickness (half way between 1/8″ and 1/4″), but you can pick what suits you best.

    I blogged about it (one of my first posts!) here: http://daisylanecakes.blogspot.com/2008/04/no-cookie-cutter-no-problem.html.

    Hope that helps!

  16. Thank you Jacque for the great trick on using the dowel rods for rolling out the dough. I checked out your blog since I am a visual learner..it was very detailed and I get it! Im going by Home Depot today so I will pick up a couple. Thanks again for the great tip!!

  17. So…this recipe is basically the same as the Brown Sugar Pecan Shortbread cookies. I had an awful time with those last year. I cut our 1/4 of the butter to see if that helps with the spreading problem. I also pulverized my coconut in the food processor. I’m anxious to see how these turn out. The dough is amazing.

  18. I really shouldn’t make these b/c I need to get rid of all our flour and stuff for Passover, but they just sound too good to resist! After my dismal failure with the Brown Sugar Pecan cookies, I have to try again. I found rolling pin guides so hopefully I won’t go too thin this time around.

  19. Dorie wasn’t kidding when she said to leave 2″ between the cookies on the sheet. I didn’t listen and I was sorry! Mine puffed and spread quite a bit. They didn’t look so good but they tasted wonderful!

  20. It seems to me that if they go into the oven with a thickness of 1/4-inch, and they come out as wafery, lacy “Coconut Butter THINS”, then they’re supposed to spread, right?

  21. Bridget – I think the book says that too.. although I thought (for some reason) these were more like shortbread? I haven’t baked mine yet – s I’ll find out!

  22. Ok, I keep forgetting to ask this – but what exactly are these supposed to look like? Like a shortbread square (with holes from fork tines)? I don’t suppose anyone took a photo yet. :)

    Curious minds want to know!

  23. Some of mine turned out like shortbread squares and others spread a LOT. I couldn’t figure out why; didn’t seem to relate to chilling the dough. The non-spread ones were prettier to me and I liked that they were softer in the middle. I served them to book group tonight and even the avowed coconut-hater in our group could not taste the coconut (and he was trying) – he liked them! Mostly favorable reactions from my tasters.

  24. Mine were very shortbread like and not lacey at all. I rolled them to fill a gallon-sized zipper bag. I am so interested to see these cookies that spread and became lacey.

    I used sesame seeds rather than macadamias and they were really good.

  25. Well, now I’m worried. My Canadian 3.7 liter bag filled makes a 1/2 inch thick dough. I think I should roll it out some more when I remove the bag because I want that lacy look.
    Here’s hoping!

  26. I assumed that they would look like shortbread, my batch spread into thin wafery rounds (I even froze the squares before baking — this worked for the shortbread, but not in this case). Regardless of how they should look, these cookies were absolutely DELICIOUS!

  27. Looks like we are all having the ‘spreading’ problem which leads me to believe its not such a problem afterall…its probably they way they should be, “thin”. My fork holes didnt show up after cooking? I thought they looked fine, rustic, but fine! Oh..and they taste AWESOME!

  28. I really appreciate all of the suggestions and advice. I have typically looked at the ideas you have shared AFTER I have baked. Silly me! I am going to bake them this afternoon and am hoping for shortbread-like Lorna Doones. We’ll see. Do you think it is possible to roll them out without enclosing them in the plastic bag?

  29. Courtney, I totally agree with you!! I think they are supposed to spread a bit so that they become coconut “thins”. Although they are not pretty and perfect looking these are really delicious!! I’m having trouble stopping myself from eating them all!

  30. Cynthia, it is a really sticky dough, so rolling right on the counter would probably cause issues, but as Steph suggests parchment or even waxed paper would work. I would roll it between two sheets of paper so you have the same effect as using a plastic bag.

  31. this isn’t the most well-mannered dough you’re ever going to work with, but I’m so glad that most of you have liked the cookies you’ve baked.

    i’m sorry i didn’t get a chance to read thru this thread sooner because I would have said that while adding macadamia nuts completes the tropical flavor combo that’s going on in the cookies and adds crunch, you can leave them out. i left them out a few weeks ago because i needed nut-free cookies and they were fine.

  32. “Thin” is correct. I couldn’t keep mine from spreading for the life of me – but I guess we’re not making traditional shortbread. :)
    They’re VERY delicious though! And it IS funny, some spread more than the others.

    I did find this tidbit of info on the net (that I didn’t know about):
    The best way is to have cookies go from freezer to preheated oven. But if you find you still have too much spread:

    1. Change your butter: decrease the amount by 10-25% or use a butter lower in butterfat.
    2. Careful of creaming your butter too much in the mixing. Room temperature, not too soft is really important here

  33. These were wonderful cookies. I used lemon instead of lime and they were amazing. I also made some without the coconut and nuts for my kids. Those were good but not near as good as the coconut ones.

  34. Mine stayed square-ish shaped and did spread quite a bit. The edges turned lacy and were a little thinner than the centers. I used the macadamia nuts and the coconut and love the combo. Especially since my macadamias were roasted and salted which gave the recipe I nice little salty crunch factor.

  35. Oh man. Reading all these comments, I’m now wishing I’d started my recipes with this one. They sound delicious. I’m thinking I might make them anyway this weekend just for the fun of it. (Yeah, cause I need more cookies around the house! :) ).

  36. I’m finally getting around to reading this thread – mine didn’t spread a whole lot, and I had sort of forgotten Dorie’s “lacy” description anyway. I LOVED these – I’ll be making these again in larger quantities! See you all tomorrow!

  37. My butter had just barely gotten up to room temp by the time I had made these, and they spread just a little (not too much) which works well with mike’s info!

    I just joined TWD on St. Patrick’s Day, and so far the recipies have been really wonderful. I made half of these cookies with almond extract and that was really delicious too!

  38. Nancy, were the cookies that spread the ones on the border of the pan? That’s what happened to mine when I made th brown sugar pecan shortbread a long time ago. Plus, with my uneven oven and pan that does not seem to conduct heat evenly, it caused the ones one the outside to spread like crazy. Or, do you think some cookies have more butter than other, since we’re not supposed to overmix?

  39. Steph, those are very good questions. I was wondering about the under-mixing theory myself, so that could be it. As for the edges vs. center of the pan, I can’t honestly say. I baked these about 5 weeks ago and can’t remember what they looked like on the pan. My notes reflect that I rotated the pans halfway through, and that the oven temperature was 315 degrees (I usually bake at a slightly lower oven temperature. One of my notes says that the spreading “seemed pretty random, really.” Although some spread, none got lacy.

  40. Pingback: Tuesdays with Dorie: Coconut Butter Thins « my famous recipe

  41. Nancy – same here! I did notice that baking a single sheet in the middle of the oven helped. Cookies baked on the upper rack, then moved down to the lower rack spread more than ones started on the lower rack…. or maybe I was just hallucinogenic. I gave up after multiple batches, trying to discover the secret, and trying to create a specific shape (and keeping it after they baked). I’m so over these and onto a pie now. :)

    I’ve seen some blogs now that have nice, square cookies – bravo!

  42. I waited until the last minute to bake these and whipped them up last night. I patted the dough into a 10 inch springform and after baking cut them into wedges.

    These cookies are amazing! They are probably my favorite TWD cookie we’ve tried so far, I love them :)

  43. I baked these up last week for a friends coffee time. I loved them but I’m not sure my results were what they were supposed to be. I did experience spreading (my oven ended up hotter than the 325 degrees) and browned a bit around the edges. They have a wonderfully butter taste, with the coconut playing more a background note than solo. I thought there were a delightful coffe/tea cookie.

  44. Pingback: Chocoholic Anonymous » Blog Archive » TWD: Coconut Butter Thins

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