This classic cookie gets a twist with the addition of coconut, making these Ina Garten thumbprint cookies the perfect little nests to showcase your favorite jam.
What is about the cookie that makes it the perfect dessert? From chocolate to vanilla, sandwiched or flat, shaped in balls, rectangles, circles or shapes… Cookies are just the right size to hold in your hand and enjoy bite by bite.
We have great debates in my house on which cookie is deemed our favorites. I seriously cannot resist a chocolate chip cookie. And my next favorite? From the Barefoot Contessa herself, it’s gotta be Ina Garten Coconut Jam Thumbprint Cookies.
Why you must try this recipe
The classic thumbprint cookie is a buttery sugar cookie where the center is pressed in with, you guessed it, your thumbprint. This little bowl inside of the cookie typically holds your favorite jam or jellies and even chocolate or candies.
But Ina Garten’s thumbprint cookie recipe is even more decadent. Not only is the base of the cookie a rich buttery cookie, that is honestly delicious on its own, but it is also rolled in shredded coconut.
The coconut is such a delicious addition to the cookie in flavor and it also gives the cookie some extra chew to it. My family loved the coconut in this cookie. I used both apricot and strawberry jam for their bright colors and well, those are my favorite jams!
These thumbprint cookies are perfect for the holidays, a special tea party, or whenever you want to enjoy a delicious cookie.
Ingredients you need
- Butter: I typically bake with extra virgin olive oil, but I certainly loved the flavor and texture of these butter based cookies. Use unsalted butter, but if you use salted, omit the salt in the recipe.
- Pantry staples: Granulated sugar, all purpose flour, vanilla extract and kosher salt.
- Egg: The egg is not baked into the cookie but is used as an egg wash to adhere the shredded coconut to the cookies.
- Shredded sweetened coconut: The cookies are not sugar cracking sweet so I didn’t mind the sweetened coconut. You can use unsweetened shredded coconut.
- Fruit jam: You can use any flavor jam you want. I used strawberry and apricot jam because of their bright colors and the delicious
1. In a medium sized bowl whisk together flour and salt. Set aside.
2. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth and fluffy. Add the sugar and cream until combined.
3. Mix in vanilla.
4. In batches, mix dry ingredients into wet until fully incorporated and dough starts to come together.
5. Dump on a floured board and roll together into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap or parchment paper and chill for 30 minutes.
6. In a small bowl whisk together water and egg to make the egg wash. Place coconut on a dish.
7. Pinch off approximately 1 ounce of dough, and roll into 1¼-inch balls. Dip each ball into egg wash then roll into shredded coconut.
8. Place the balls onto an ungreased baking sheet or a baking sheet lined with a silicon baking mat. The cookies will not spread much while baking, so you place cookies an inch apart on the baking sheet.
9. Press a light indentation into the top of each ball with your thumb. The cookies will crack as you do this. Just press the dough back into shape.
10. Drop 1 teaspoon of jam into the indentation of the cookies.
11. Bake at 350ºF for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the coconut is a golden brown.
12. Place cookies on a cooling rack to cool.
Recipe tips and FAQs
Just as more desserts, these cookies take a little extra time to assemble and make. But trust me, it’s worth it! And these cookies are a terrific way to show off homemade or store-bought jam.
Any kind jam will do, but definitely use a jam that is higher in quality. These delicious cookies deserve an equally delicious jam. I think the more variety of jams on your plate, the better: strawberry, peach, apple butter, cherry, and orange marmalade. Your little cookie nest will taste amazing.
And if your persnickity eater doesn’t like coconut? You can easily skip this step, too. I made this the first time for my daughter’s preschool and the parents were snatching the cookies of their kids’ plates!
They really are beautiful looking cookies, very colorful with the bright and happy jams and not to mention lip-smacking good!
You can store the cooled thumbprint cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.. You don’t want the cookies to stick together (because of the jam) so place layers of parchment paper in between the layers.
Place cookies on a baking sheets lined with parchment paper and freeze until firm. Once frozen, transfer the cookies to a freezer bag or other airtight container and freeze for up to 4 months.
More Ina Garten Recipes
Love Ina’s recipes like I do? Here are some of my favorite Barefoot Contessa recipes:
- Ina Garten Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
- Ina Garten Oatmeal Cookies with Raisin and Pecans
- Ina Garten Baked Shrimp Scampi
- Ina Garten Grilled Shrimp Kabob
- Ina Garten Chicken Caesar Club Sandwich
- Ina Garten Shrimp Bisque
- Ina Garten Creme Brulee
- ¾ lb unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 ½ cup all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 TBS water
- 7 oz shredded sweetened coconut
- ⅔ cup apricot jam, 1 teaspoon per cookie
- Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until combined.
- Mix in vanilla.
- In a separate bowl whisk together flour and salt.
- In batches, mix dry ingredients into wet until fully incorporated and dough starts to come together.
- Dump on a floured board and roll together into a flat disk.
- Wrap in plastic wrap or parchment paper and chill for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Pinch off approximately 1 ounce of dough, and roll into 1 ¼-inch balls.
- Dip each ball into egg wash made with 1 egg and 1 TBS water whisked together.
- After egg wash, roll dough-ball into shredded coconut.
- Place the balls onto an ungreased baking sheet and press a light indentation into the top of each ball with your thumb.
- Drop 1 teaspoon of jam into the indentation of the cookies.
- The cookies will not spread much while baking, so you place cookies an inch apart on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the coconut is a golden brown.
- Place cookies on a cooling rack to cool.
Add variety and sample different types of jams: orange marmalade, strawberry, blackberry, blueberry.
Serving Size:1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 198Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 43mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 1gSugar: 12gProtein: 2g
PS If you try this recipe, why not leave a star rating in the recipe card right below and/or a review in the comment section further down the page? I always appreciate your feedback.
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This post was originally published December 6, 2010. The pictures and content have recently been updated