Frosted Lemon Coconut Cookies

The last time I was at the grocery store, I ambitiously bought an entire bag of lemons. “I always think of ways to use lemons and I never have any,” I thought. “I’ll easily tear through this bag of at least a dozen lemons in less than a week.”

Well, a week later, I was staring at the still unopened bag of lemons trying to decide how on earth to use them, because no random recipes or drinks calling for lemon juice or zest or slices or any other variation had dropped into my head at all. (*Note, this was before yesterday’s pasta in a lemon blush sauce!)

And then out of nowhere I got the craving for cookies. (It’s dinner time. DINNER time. And suddenly my mind seems to be overwhelmed by the insatiable desire for SWEETS.) And then… it just came to me. Lemon Cookies. Sweetened with coconut. And frosted. Yes, absolutely, frosted with sweet lemon coconut icing. Bam.

Finished Text

So yes, I am unashamed to say that on the night of the creation of these fabulous little beauties, I had cookies for dinner. And milk. And then a few more cookies.

Don’t judge me.

Finished 1

Anyhow… as per just about every cookie recipe in existence, start by preheating the oven (350 degrees), lining two baking sheets with parchment paper, and combining your dry ingredients. For these, it’s 2 cups of flour, 1 tsp baking POWDER, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp baking SODA. The distinction is important.

Dry

In a stand mixer (because now you have one, ever since you read the butterscotch chocolate chip cookie recipe, right?) cream together a stick and a half of butter, 4 ounces cream cheese (which is just 1/2 of an 8 ounce block), and a cup and a half of sugar.

MAKE OR BREAK TIP: Remember, it’s important that the butter and cream cheese are soft, NOT melted! 20 seconds in the microwave should be good enough to soften the butter and cream cheese, if they aren’t already room temperature. Cream them together with the sugar by starting on “stir” for 10-15 seconds, and then kicking it up to a medium speed for 2-3 minutes.

Cream Butter and Sugar

To this, add in one egg and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Combine these on a medium speed, then add the zest and juice of half a lemon and 3/4 cup coconut flakes and keep the mixer on medium until everything is incorporated.

MAKE OR BREAK TIP: The easiest and most efficient way to zest any citrus fruit is with a zester (mine is by Microplane and they aren’t that pricey), but you can also use a regular cheese grater or even a vegetable peeler. Remember to only just take the color off. Once you get to the faded white-ish part (the pith), the flavor becomes bitter.

After you’ve added all your flavor components, then, little by little, add your reserved dry ingredients until the mixture has formed into a dough. It’ll be pretty stiff once it gets close to the end; you might need to stop the stand mixer and do the rest with a spoon.

Dough

Drop by rounded spoonfuls (or use an awesome one ounce scooper) onto your prepared baking sheets and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Once they’re done, let them cool completely and then store them until you’re ready to frost them.

Cookies on tray

The frosting might be the most delicious part of this cookie, for real. I’m not normally a fan of iced cookies, but this really makes these go from “good” to “fabulous.”  And it’s SO easy. Just cream together half a stick of butter, 4 ounces of cream cheese (again, 1/2 of an 8 ounce block), and 1 tsp of vanilla extract, and then add one and 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, 1/2 of a cup at a time. Once it’s combined, kick the mixer up to a medium high speed and let it whip up for a minute or two, then add the zest and juice of half a lemon and 1/4 cup of coconut flakes. Mix until just combined and then it’s done!

Icing

Scrape this out into a smaller bowl and then use an icing knife to frost each cookie. Yes, you could just use a table knife, but I like the control I get from an icing knife.

Put the cookies in a single layer on a baking sheet and refrigerate them for about a half hour to set the icing, and then store them in an airtight container. Truthfully, I really think these are best when they are cold from the fridge, so feel free to store them there!

Finished 2

These are definitely not your average cookie – they’ll go fast!

Full Recipe:

Frosted Lemon Coconut Cookies

Yield: About 50 cookies

Ingredients:

For the cookies:

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda

12 tablespoons (1.5 sticks) of butter, room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 & 1/2 cups white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
Zest & juice of 1/2 lemon
3/4 cup coconut flakes

For the frosting:

4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1& 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Zest & juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup coconut flakes

Process:

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2) Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Set aside.

3) In a stand mixer, cream together butter, cream cheese, and white sugar.

4) Add in egg and vanilla. Mix on medium speed to combine, and then add lemon zest/juice and coconut flakes. Mix until just combined.

5) Slowly mix in dry ingredients, with mixer set to “stir,” until everything is combined and a dough has formed.

6) Scoop one-ounce balls of dough onto prepared baking sheets and bake for 12 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown. Cool completely on wire cooling racks.

7) For the frosting, cream together butter, cream cheese and vanilla. Add powdered sugar 1/2 of a cup at a time until combined, and then mix on medium-high for 2 minutes. Mix in lemon zest/juice and coconut flakes until just combined.

8) Once cookies have cooled completely, frost each one and place them in a single layer on a baking sheet.

9) Put frosted cookies in the refrigerator for about a half hour to set the icing. Once the icing is set, store them in an airtight container.

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