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Toasted Coconut Washboard Cookies

These sweet Toasted Coconut Washboard Cookies are crisp on the outside, tender in the center, and dipped in white chocolate and coconut flakes for a year-round dessert.

toasted coconut washboard cookies on a wire rack

Buttery Coconut Washboard Cookies

These coconut-dusted shortbread cookies get their name from their shape. The cookies are decorated like miniature washboards, which makes them as adorable as they are delicious. They’re flavored with shredded coconut, cinnamon, and a touch of almond extract.

These tender and buttery coconut cookies are a great dessert for entertaining any time of year. They have a tropical twist for summer, but the warming cinnamon and vanilla flavors make them fit in just as well at Christmas.

ingredients for white chocoaltee coconut cookies with flour, sugar, vanilla and almond extract

What You’ll Need

You don’t need any special ingredients for these Toasted Coconut Washboard Cookies! Here’s what you need:

  • Shredded coconut. Use sweetened coconut to boost the sweet flavor of your treats.
  • Allpurpose flour. I like King Arthur flour.
  • Baking powder. This leavens the cookies while they bake for their light texture.
  • Cinnamon. For a touch of warming spice.
  • Butter. Use unsalted, softened butter for the cookie dough.
  • Brown sugar. Use well-packed light brown sugar for the right caramel flavor and color.
  • Egg. To bind the dough and lighten the texture.
  • Vanilla and almond extracts. For a sweet and nutty flavor.
  • White chocolate. For dipping your cookies and adhering the toasted coconut!
close up on coconut white chocolate cookies on a yellow plate

How to Make Toasted Coconut Washboard Cookies

You’ll need a baking sheet, a mixing bowl, and an electric mixer to bring these simple coconut-white chocolate cookies together.

Prepare for baking: Start by preheating the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner.

Toast the coconut: Spread the coconut out on a lined baking sheet. Toast for 8 to 10 minutes, until it’s golden brown.

toasted coconut on a baking sheet

Combine the dry ingredients: In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. I like to use a whisk to help the dry ingredients mix thoroughly.

Make the cookie dough: In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend together the softened butter and brown sugar until light in color. Add the egg and both extracts and continue to blend until you have a uniform texture. Lower the speed and slowly add the dry ingredients to the mixer. Stir until just combined. You can leave a few streaks of flour, as the dough will get mixed more in the next step.

mixing bowl with coconut cookie dough

Add the coconut: Reserve 1/2 cup of the toasted coconut for decorating the cookies. Fold the rest into the cookie dough.

Roll and shape the cookies: Divide the cookie dough in half and shape each half into a thick rectangle. Roll one half between two sheets of wax or parchment paper into a 1/4-inch thick rectangle. Use a sharp knife to cut the dough into 9 roughly equal rectangles. Use a fork to make lines down each cookie for the washboard design.

nine washboard cookies on a rimmed baking sheet

Bake: Bake the cookies on the prepared baking sheet for 12 to 15 minutes, until the edges turn golden brown. Cool for about 5 minutes on the baking sheet set on a wire rack. Then transfer all of the cookies to the wire rack to cool completely.

Decorate the coconut washboards: While the cookies cool, melt the white chocolate until totally smooth. When the cookies are cool, brush each cookie with white chocolate on one end. Then sprinkle with the reserved toasted coconut. Finally, let the washboard cookies cool until the chocolate is hardened.

toasted coconut and white chocolate shortbread cookies on a wire rack

Tips for Success

Here are a few pointers to make these cookies like a pro:

  • Measure accurately. Use a kitchen scale to measure by weight if possible.
  • Keep a close eye on the coconut while toasting to avoid burning!
  • If you like, you can swap the white chocolate for dark or milk chocolate.
  • When mixing the cookie dough, avoid overworking the dough, which can make your cookies tough instead of tender.
  • If your cookie dough is too warm to shape, put it in the fridge for 10 minutes to firm up.
  • Using parchment paper on your baking sheet makes clean-up easier and helps keep your cookies from sticking.
coconut washboard cookies on a yellow plate

How to Store Leftovers

Store leftover coconut washboard cookies in an airtight container on the counter for up to one week.

Can I Freeze Coconut Cookies?

Yes. You can keep these cookies in an airtight container in the freezer for up to three months. Before serving, defrost the cookies for a few hours on the counter.

Toasted Coconut Washboards

Yield 18 cookies
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Buttery and soft toasted coconut and white chocolate washboard cookies are perfectly crisp on the outside with a tender center.

close up on coconut white chocolate cookies on a yellow plate

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (170g) sweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 ounces (57g) white chocolate, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
  2. Spread the coconut in a single layer on a lined, rimmed baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the coconut is golden brown. Set aside to cool.
  3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
  4. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla, and almond extract, and mix well.
  5. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until combined.
  6. Set aside 1/2 cup of the toasted coconut. Stir the remaining coconut into the cookie dough.
  7. Divide the dough into two portions, and use your hands to shape each into a rectangle.
  8. Place one portion of the dough between two sheets of wax paper. Roll the dough into a 1/4-inch thick rectangle roughly 7 & 1/2 x 12 inches.
  9. Remove the top sheet of wax paper. Cut the dough into 9 rectangles measuring 2 & 1/2 x 4 inches.
  10. Draw the tines of a fork down each cookie lengthwise to make parallel lines.
  11. Repeat steps 8-10 with the other half of the dough.
  12. Place the cut cookies on the prepared pans. Bake, one pan at a time, 12 to 15 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned.
  13. Cool the cookies on the pans on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Then transfer the cookies from the pans to a wire rack to cool completely.
  14. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave or a double boiler. Stir until smooth. Set aside to cool and thicken slightly (about 10 minutes).
  15. Use a small spatula or a pastry brush to cover about 1 inch of one end of each cookie.
  16. Sprinkle the remaining coconut on top of the white chocolate.
  17. Leave the cookies at room temperature for about an hour to let the white chocolate set. Alternately, refrigerate the cookies for about 15 minutes.

Notes

Recipe slightly adapted from Big Fat Cookies.

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    10 Comments on “Toasted Coconut Washboard Cookies”

  1. These cookies look amazing! How could you not love coconut?
    Thanks for stopping by my site and leaving comments!

  2. Over the years, and many, many baked goods later, I’ve come to the very unscientific conclusion that people either really love or really hate coconut. I guess that means more for us coconut lovers!

  3. Thanks, Brilynn, for the comments and for stopping by.

    Mary, my hypothesis is the same as yours. Quinn always says it’s the texture he doesn’t like, but I just don’t get it.

  4. I love/adore coconut, he hates it. I have found an asian grocery store that sells coconut so finely shredded, it ressembles ground almonds, that way I can use it in cookies and cakes and he does not mind the “texture” thing (I don’t get it either). These cookies look delicious! thanks for posting the recipe.

  5. they look so good! i am squarely in the pro coconut camp myself. =) but i do kno a whole lot of folks who are not. darn them. where are those taste testers when you need them! hahaha…

  6. I love coconut and these look very tasty!

  7. Yum! I love your description of the rolling out!

  8. Looks fantastic – especially those gorgeous toasted flakes of coconut!

  9. These are really beautiful. The look a bit like cake. The chocolate and coconut would be wonderful.

  10. Think I will definately have to try these out!

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