Coconut Thumbprint Strawberry Lava Cookies

Nutty for Coconuts

The adventures in baking continue. Today I wanted to make something to take to Easter Dinner. Something fun and springy. Having not planned ahead, of course, I don’t have any food colouring, or sprinkles. But I do have coconut, jam and a whole hoard of chocolate!

Coconut Thumbprint Strawberry Lava Cookies


(Inspired by the Easter snow fall and desire for something that looks and tastes like spring!)


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature.
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cut all purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp. water + splash vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • Your choice of Jam/jelly/chocolate kisses/chocolate chips …


  1. Beat butter and sugar until creamy (I have a hand blender, which makes a lovely mess but does the job.
  2. Add vanilla to butter/sugar cream and beat until combined
  3. Sift flour salt together in a separate bowl
  4. Gradually add the flour/salt to the creamed butter/sugar. I switch to a wooden spoon for this part, because I am nervous about over mixing. If you have a baking blender, you could do it with the paddle attachment on low. Either way, beat until all comes together.
  5. Cover bowl and chill in fridge for about an hour
  6. After hour is up (or you have had some lunch, tea and at least cleared the baking space if not done the dishes…), preheat oven to 350F and remove dough from fridge
  7. Line baking sheets with parchment paper
  1. For Thumbprint Cookies; In a small bowl beat the eggs, water and splash of vanilla, measure coconut into another bowl
  2. Using a small melon baller or your hands, scoop dough into hand, roll into a ball (I started wetting my finger tips with the egg mix first to moisten my hands and the dough, as I found it stiff and crumbly
  3. Drop rolled cookie in egg and then press and roll in coconut to coat
  4. Place on baking sheet, with about a fingers width between
  5. If you intend to make Thumbprint cookies, press an indentation in each rolled cookie with either fingertip or base of a teaspoon
  6. I would say don’t put filling in until the cookies are baked and cooling, but that is up to you *If you want to fill before baking, fill with about a ¼ tsp of jam or jelly, or drop a couple of chocolate chips, or 1/3 of a chocolate kiss, into the indentation. If you are not intending to fill until after, just bake as is. I vote wait because I always end up with a mess, as you can see! If you want to avoid a mess, aka jam lava on your tray, make sure your indentations are deep enough.
  7. Bake 16 – 18 minutes, until coconut is browned
  8. Cool 2 minutes then move to a cooling rack. If you want to fill the indentations after baking, cool about half a minute, then very gently press chocolate into indentation, or drop jelly. The cookies will be warm enough that the chocolate or jelly will melt nicely into the indentation.
  9. Leave on backing tray for another minute, then move to cooling rack.

Some notes.

*I found after taking the dough from the fridge, that it was pretty crumbly when I was forming it into balls. So I decided to dip my fingers into the egg mix before rounding each cookie for the 2nd tray. But when I tasted from either tray, there wasn’t a difference. They weren’t too crumbly, except for the couple of larger cookies I did without pressing.

*The chocolate melted just fine when I pressed it into the cookies after baking. Only, be really gentle, that was when one of the cookies crumbled. (To prep the chocolate I just chopped each chocolate kiss into 3 parts. I like using kisses because we always seem to have them around. And they are soft, so they melt nicely into the indentations.)

* The ones I did with jam, I had dropped the jam before baking. I got quite a few with jam running down the side, but I think my indentations were not very big, because I was nervous about crumbling them, so the jam spilled a bit over.

* I ended up with 2 large trays of cookies, but I left a lot of space between. This might not be necessary as they did not spread too much, although the spilling forth of jam took up the extra space between 😀 About ¾ of the way through dropping my 2nd tray, I decided to just dump the rest of the coconut from the dipping bowl into the dough. I wet my hands with the egg dip and kneaded what was left. Then I just made a couple of rows of coconut ball cookies, not too big. They are really good too, so if you don’t want to do the thumbprints, you can still have really great cookies! I would still press these down a bit.

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The verdict is that coconut thumbprint cookies are not all that complicated, and personally I think are really tasty. Once they are on the plate and in the mouth, a bit of jammy run off isn’t that big of a deal. According to the wise ElfBoy, he would prefer I made chocolate chip. We will see what kind of reception they get at the family dinner later. I hope everyone likes their Coconut Thumbprint Strawberry Lava Cookies!