Variation on a TMH Favorite: Coconut Sesame Sugar Cookies

The idea for this was not my own.  I can’t give attribution because I don’t know who came up with it–or where I came across the idea, but creating a love triangle between the sugar cookie, coconut and sesame seemed like a really good idea when I saw it.

Sugar cookies, like love triangles, come in all shapes and sizes (well, except love triangles are only one shape…technically).  Some are soft.  Some are chewy.  Some are crunchy (I’m talking about the cookies now…not love triangles).

For this recipe, I decided to use my favorite no-fail cut-out cookie recipe as the base.  When it comes to texture, this version is buttery and tender but with enough structure to hold its shape.

I played with several finishes: coconut, coconut and sesame, coconut, sesame and sanding sugar.  Plain.

The best by far in my opinion was the sanding sugar version.

Coconut Sesame Sugar Cookies

makes about 30 thick cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 C sugar
  • 2 sticks (1/2 lb) unsalted butter at room temp
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, at room temp
  • 2 C all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 C finely ground and then toasted coconut (I used the food processor here.  I bet you could sub-in actual coconut flour, just make sure to toast it first)
  • 1 C toasted sesame seeds (I used regular because that’s what I had, but these would be really pretty with black sesame seeds or a combination)
  • Sanding sugar for topping

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt and baking powder.  Whisk-in coconut.
  2. Cream together sugar and butter until light and fluffy (I prefer to use a standing mixer for this recipe, but can be done with a hand mixer), about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add in egg and vanilla, beat another 2 minutes.
  4. Dump dry ingredients into butter and egg mixture, mix on low until well combined.  Add-in sesame seeds and mix until incorporated.
  5. Divide dough in half.  One at a time, roll out each half between two pieces of parchment paper.  Allow to chill in fridge for at least an hour, even better over night.
  6. When you are ready to bake, preheat over to 350 degrees.  Line baking sheets with parchment.
  7. Pour sanding sugar into a shallow dish wide enough so that you drop your entire cut-out cookie into it face-down.
  8. Cut cookies into desired shapes.  Re-roll leftover dough and pop into the fridge to chill or cut-out.  I like to cut out all the dough and allow cut cookies to chill for another hour but you don’t need to.
  9. One by one, place each cut-out cookie face down into sanding sugar. Push gently to get sanding sugar to stick to the entire surface of the cut out.
  10. Bake two sheets at a time for 10-12 minutes (depending on how thickly you rolled-out the dough) or until the edges of the cookies are light gold.  Rotate baking sheets halfway through.
  11. Allow to cool on a rack.  These will freeze really well in double-bagged ziplocks.