Coconut Shortbread Cookies with an Easy Cookie Glaze

Coconut Shortbread Cookies with Easy Cookie Glaze |
I am obsessed with all things coconut. Maybe it’s because of my Caribbean heritage… I’m fairly certain that I have coconut water running through my veins. I’ve heard that coconut water was used in place of blood transfusions back in the day, so it’s possible right? :)

This recipe is the first of three holiday treats that I photographed for my blog, and they all happen to be coconut-flavoured. I baked everything about 6 weeks apart, and didn’t realize that they were all made with shredded or desiccated coconut until today. Oh well!

Egg-free Coconut Shortbread Cookies with Easy Cookie Glaze |

So, these are the cookies that I made for the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. Coconut shortbread cookies. YUMMY! I chose them because I thought they would travel well (and no one has complained, so I think they arrived in one piece).

This was my first year taking part in the cookie swap, and it was a lot of fun! Kudos to Love & Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen for successfully planning and coordinating the event. That’s a lot of hard work! 

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap Label 2013

“The GREAT FOOD BLOGGER COOKIE SWAP brings together food bloggers from around the world in celebration of all things scrumptious. The premise is this: sign up. Receive the addresses of three other food bloggers. Send each of them one dozen delicious homemade cookies. Receive three different boxes of scrumptious cookies from other bloggers. Eat them all yourself (or, you know, share. If you want. No judgement either way.) Post your cookie recipe on your blog. See everyone else’s cookie recipes. Salivate. Get lots of great ideas for next year’s cookie swap. Rinse and repeat.” – from

I discovered this charitable fundraiser this year, and I’m so happy that I was able to take part. I paid $4 to register, and that money went directly to  COOKIES FOR KIDS’ CANCER, a national non-profit organization committed to funding new therapies used in the fight against pediatric cancer.

Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap Facebook Page Screen Shot

Between all the registrations, and contributions from brand sponsors, this fundraiser raised $13,778.40 for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. That’s pretty impressive! If you want to be notified about next year’s swap you can visit and sign up to receive notifications.

Coconut Shortbread Cookies with Easy Coconut Cookie Glaze |

Back to the cookies. You might be interested to know that both the cookie and the glaze are completely egg-free. I recently found out that I’m allergic to eggs, so I’m testing out recipes that don’t have them. This one is a winner!

These cookies are sweet, crunchy, and ever so slightly salty. The coconut flavour is very mild. It just adds a layer of flavour to the cookie, instead of overpowering it. The frosting is perfectly sweet, and becomes hard and shiny when it dries. It’s a great substitution for Royal Icing, in my opinion.

Cutting out the Coconut Shortbread Cookies |

These cookies weren’t terribly difficult to make, and that’s coming from someone who usually doesn’t enjoy baking. The hardest part was rolling the dough to the right thickness. Too thin, and the cookies burnt. Too fat, and they didn’t cook through. The picture shows the thickness that worked the best for me.

Preparing the Coconut Shortbread Cookies |

The original recipe recommends laying the cookies on parchment paper, and that is definitely a good tip. These cookies will be much easier to remove from the pan if you follow this step. Oh, and I was able to fit 12 cookies on each sheet pan.

Cooling the Coconut Shortbread Cookies |

Once the cookies are a very light golden colour, take them out of the oven. If you wait for them to be golden on top, they will be too dark on the bottom. As you can see from the picture above, the first batch came out too dark. The original recipe called for 20 minutes of cooking time, and that was far too long for my oven. Once I reduced the cooking time, the cookies turned out perfectly.

Preparing the Coconut Cookie Glaze |

The Coconut Cookie Glaze can be made really quickly, but the consistency is a bit tricky to judge. You don’t want it to be runny, or it won’t set properly. Just add the milk a little bit at a time, and you should be good to go. Even though the mixture is fairly sticky, it was easy to pipe onto the cookies. And all I used was a Ziploc Bag with the corner cut off!

Decorating the Coconut Shortbread Cookies witht the Coconut Cookie Glaze |

The Silver Dragees I used are completely optional, but I think they add a festive touch. I know that some people don’t like to eat them because they are hard on your teeth… and kids tend to think they are inedible metal balls! Anyhow, you can really decorate these any way you want. You could even use festive cookie cutters to make pretty bells, or trees, or snowflakes.

Crunchy Coconut Shortbread Cookies from

The finished product is best when eaten within a few days of baking, because they lose their crunchiness over time. That being said, I still enjoyed eating the leftover cookies a week later…

Coconut Shortbread Cookies & Easy Cookie Glaze

Yield: About 6 dozen cookies

These crunchy coconut cookies are sweet, salty, and totally addictive! The cookies and the cookie glaze are both egg-free.


    For the Cookies:
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut (about 3 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (add 1/2 tsp if grating whole nutmeg)
  • 3-5 tbsp virgin coconut oil, melted
  • white sugar, as needed
  • For the Glaze
  • 2 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons 2% milk
  • food colouring, optional


    To Make the Cookie Dough:
  1. Preheat your oven to 325°F.
  2. Spread the shredded coconut in one layer on a rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Bake in oven until the coconut is a very light golden colour, about 2 minutes. You may need to stir the coconut and return it to the oven for 1 more minute. Be careful, sweetened coconut can burn very quickly!
  4. Allow the shredded coconut to cool completely. This won't take long if you remove the coconut from the sheet pan.
  5. Use an electric mixer to cream butter and sugar in large bowl, beat until well blended.
  6. Mix in the salt and vanilla, then add the flour in 2 separate additions.Once these ingredients are combined, gently stir in the toasted coconut.
  7. Gather dough together; divide in half or quarters. Flatten each section of dough into disk, then wrap each in plastic and chill at least 1 hour.*
  8. To Cut Out & Bake the Cookies:
  9. When ready to bake the cookies, preheat your oven to 325°F and take 2 disks out of the fridge and allow them to soften at room temperature until slightly softened.
  10. Line 2 heavy-duty baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  11. Roll out one dough disk on lightly floured work surface to about 1/4-inch thickness.
  12. Using a 2-inch-diameter cookie cutter, cut dough into your desired shape. Transfer cookies to your prepared baking sheets, spacing about 1 inch apart.
  13. Brush the cut cookies with a light coating of coconut oil, and sprinkle with sugar.
  14. Gather the dough scraps into a disc and wrap it in plastic. Put this disc back into the fridge to stay cool.
  15. Place your second thawed disc onto the floured surface and repeat the cookie cutting process. Once you have used all the original dough disks, be sure to thaw out the scraps and repeat the procedure until all of dough is used.
  16. Bake the cookies until light golden, about 10 minutes. The bottoms will be darker than the tops of the cookies.
  17. Allow the cookies to cool on the sheet pan for a few minutes, then transfer them to a cookie rack. Allow the cookies to cool completely before frosting. You can store the cookies in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to 1 week.
  18. For the Glaze:
  19. In a bowl, whisk together the confectioners' sugar, corn syrup, coconut extract, and 1 tablespoon of milk. Add food colouring, if desired.
  20. Check the consistency of the glaze by spreading some onto a cookie with the back of a spoon or an offset spatula. If it doesn't settle smoothly and dry to a hard finish in about 1 minute, then you need to adjust the mixture.
  21. If you need to thin the mixture, add more milk 1/4 tsp at a time. If you have added too much milk, add a tiny amount of sugar until you get the consistency you need.
  22. Put a spoonful of glaze into a piping bag, or a sandwich-size Ziploc bag with the corner cut off, and have fun creating designs on your cookies. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth while you work, to help prevent the glaze from drying out.


*Make Dough In Advance: the dough can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Keep chilled until ready to use. Soften slightly at room temperature before rolling out.

Coconut Shortbread Cookie Adapted From:

Cookie Glaze Adapted From:

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Oh! Do you want to know which cookies I received? I was lucky to get the following:

Eggnog Cookies

Egg Nog Cookies from the Tasty Gardener

Dark Chocolate Gingerbread Crackles

Chocolate Gingerbread Crackles from Feasts For All Seasons

Gingerbread Tree Cookie

Orange Gingerbread Cookies from Bakers Beans

All three of these cookies were nice, so go ahead and check out the recipes! (Click on the pictures or blog titles)

I love the texture of this coconut shortbread cookie! Visit for the recipe.

I need to make another batch of these Coconut Shortbread cookies before Christmas. What is your go-to recipe for holiday cookies? Gingerbread? Sugar Cookies? Let me know in the comments!

Photo Credit Note: The action-shot photos (where you can see my hands) were shot by my brother Riaz.


This is not a sponsored post, however some links are Amazon affiliate links. 
Coconut Shortbread Cookie Adapted From:
Cookie Glaze Adapted From:


  1. says

    Hi Shareba – I was one of your recipients for these wonderful cookies! They were really, really good. Since my kids are not big coconut fans – I brought some to work and they were a huge hit there as well. I’ll be passing on the link. Merry Christmas!


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