Coconut Shortbread Hearts

I am admittedly not a baker but I enjoy making cookies to share, especially around holidays. One of my favorite recipes is a coconut shortbread that I found awhile ago in Bon Appetit magazine from one of my favorite bakers, Elizabeth Faulkner.

The ingredients are simple but there are two that I use that I think make a difference. The first is Let's Do Organic unsweetened shredded coconut. I also use the Let's Do Organic coconut flakes when I make my favorite Olive Oil Granola.

The other ingredient is Hula Girl Coconut Sugar. I discovered it one year when I was visiting family on Maui and use it whenever I want to boost the coconut flavor of a recipe. In this recipe I add a little to the batter, replacing 1 tablespoon of white sugar with the coconut sugar, and I sprinkle a little over the tops of the cookies before they bake.

I use Dorie Greenspan's trick for rolling out cookie dough in a Ziplock bag. This recipe, divided evenly, fits perfectly into two one-gallon Ziplock bags. And if I decide not to cut out cookies, I can cut easily cut them into squares instead.

And since it's Valentine's Day, I had fun packaging these up to give away. All it took was a little parchment paper and baker's twine.

Happy Valentine's Day!

cookies, coconut, Elizabeth Faulkner
Yield: Makes 6½ dozen
Author: Elizabeth Faulkner
Coconut Shortbread Hearts

Coconut Shortbread Hearts

modified slightly from the original recipe in Bon Appetit
Prep time: 20 MinCook time: 18 MinInactive time: 20 MinTotal time: 58 Min


  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (about 3 ounces)
  • 1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 1¼ teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2⅔ cups all purpose flour
  • Additional coconut sugar for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Spread coconut on rimmed baking sheet. Bake until coconut is light golden, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Cool completely.
  2. Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugars in large bowl until well blended. Mix in salt and vanilla. Beat in flour in 2 additions. Stir in toasted coconut. Gather dough together; divide in half. Place each half into a one-gallon Ziplock bag. Flatten each half into an even thickness about ¼-inch, spreading the dough to the very edges and corners of the bags. Chill flat, at least 1 hour. DO AHEAD Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.
  3. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Carefully split open the Ziplock bags along the side seams. Using 1¾- to 2-inch (approximate size) cookie cutter, cut the dough into shapes. Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Gather dough scraps and reroll; cut out additional cookies. Repeat procedure with remaining dough disk until all of dough is used. Place pans in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes to cool and firm.
  4. Remove the pans from the refrigerator and lightly sprinkle coconut sugar over the tops of the cookies. Bake cookies until light golden, about 18 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. Cool on baking sheets 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks and cool completely. DO AHEAD Can be made ahead. Store airtight at room temperature up to 1 week (if they last that long).

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Nutritional information calculated using the Recipe Calculator on

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