12 Days of Cookies: #9 Toasted Coconut Sables


I was hoping to find another slice and bake cookies for this collection. Something that could be made in advance and stored in the freezer or fridge until you were ready to bake. Because, let’s face it, this is a crazy time of year and we don’t always get to bake when we want to. Cook’s Illustrated seems to be the king of slice and bake cookie recipes and when I saw this recipe for Toasted Coconut Cables, I fell in love. Yes, I fell in love even before I tried them. They seemed easy to make, could be made in advance and were full of toasted coconut. I really do not enjoy sweetened shredded coconut, but when you toast it—entirely different story. It is transformed.

This recipe includes a technique I had been interested in trying for some time. You include a hardboiled egg yolk in the cookie dough. It keeps the texture of these butter cookies just right by eliminating some of the moisture from the egg. It works well and these were very delicate and crumbly. A really lovely cookie.

Day 9?! More tomorrow!

Toasted Coconut Sables

1 large egg
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter , softened
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (2 3/4 ounces)
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (7 1/2 ounces)
1/3 cup finely chopped toasted sweetened coconut
1 teaspoon large egg white , lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water
1/3 cup finely chopped untoasted sweetened coconut

Place egg in small saucepan, cover with 1 inch water, and bring to boil over high heat. Remove pan from heat, cover, and let sit 10 minutes. Meanwhile, fill small bowl with ice water. Using slotted spoon, transfer egg to ice water and let stand 5 minutes. Crack egg and peel shell. Separate yolk from white; discard white. Press yolk through fine-mesh strainer into small bowl.

In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter, granulated sugar, salt, and cooked egg yolk on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl and beater with rubber spatula as needed. Turn mixer to low, add vanilla, and mix until incorporated. Stop mixer; add flour and toasted sweetened coconut and mix on low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds. Using rubber spatula, press dough into cohesive mass.

Divide dough in half; roll each piece into log about 6 inches long and 1 3/4 inches in diameter. Wrap each log in 12-inch square of parchment paper and twist ends to seal and firmly compact dough into tight cylinder (see illustrations below). Chill until firm, about 1 hour.

Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350°. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Using chef’s knife, slice dough into ¼-inch-thick rounds, rotating dough so that it won’t become misshapen from weight of knife. Place cookies 1 inch apart on baking sheets. Using pastry brush, gently brush cookies with egg white mixture and sprinkle evenly with untoasted sweetened coconut.

Bake until centers of cookies are pale golden brown with edges slightly darker than centers, about 15 minutes, rotating baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through baking. Cool cookies on baking sheet 5 minutes; using thin metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature. Store cooled cookies between sheets of parchment paper in airtight container for up to 1 week.


Previously on the 12 Days of Cookies:

#1 Marlow & Sons Shortbread

#2 Dorie Greenspan’s Linzer Sables

#3 Apricot Bow Ties

#4 101 Cookbooks Sparkling Ginger Chip Cookies

#5 Almond-Anise Cookies

#6 Lebkuchen

#7 The Wednesday Chef’s Cardamom Cookies

#8 Mexican Chocolate Cookies

14 comments to “12 Days of Cookies: #9 Toasted Coconut Sables”

  1. if i am allergic to eggs, can i replace it with soy eggs?

  2. Serious about the toasting transforming the coconut. I think that gloppy stuff is seriously repulsive, but those toasty shreds you created were amazing. I would’ve eaten a bowlful.

  3. Hard-boiled egg yolk in a cookie – who’d have thunk it? I wonder how that changes the chemistry of what happens in the dough. Anyone know?

  4. Man…..this is some list so far. I got linked to this blog through another one. Happy I came here at the right time. Cant wait to start baking this list. Funny since I was just looking up some cookie recipes after having taken part in a cookie baking contest. I had made saffron cardamom shortbread with fruit and nuts. Thanks for this event.

  5. Hi Jean. I doubt it, but I don’t have any experience cooking with soy eggs. Anybody else?

  6. Bryan, you did eat a bowlful.

  7. Hi Lesbo-Kitchen, the reason the egg is hard-boiled is that you are trying to eliminate moisture from the cookies so they have a sandy texture. It works!

  8. I made these today for a party and they turned out great! I bought unsweetened coconut and toasted it myself with a little suger mixed in, worked perfectly. I think from now on I’m going to start storing rolls of the dough in my freezer :)

  9. Hi Tim, I understand the part about eliminating moisture. The thing I don’t get is how the protein in a cooked egg yolk contributes texturally or otherwise to the cookie. Would you do just as well to leave the egg yolk out?

  10. Is the yolk supposed to be dry and crumbly? I can’t peel the white from the yolk if I cook the egg only 10 minutes because it’s not cooked-through (still a tad runny), and, the yolk is gelatinous at best, not crumbly.

  11. Yes, Pam. The egg should be hard-boiled, so the yolk crumbles when passed through strainer. Not sure why this isn’t working for you. If you have a method you prefer for hard boiling eggs, feel free to use it.

  12. How does this sable’s texture compare, say with Dorie Greenspan’s sable recipe please?

  13. Hi Cynthia- I don’t know, I haven’t tried Dorie’s. Maybe someone else will be able to compare? My guess is that it isn’t very different.

  14. I had tried hers previously that use icing sugar for a tender sandy crumb. I should have made them both instead of asking, but instead sought a short cut to insight. *confession* Thank you Tim, for getting back to me so promptly and for creating this bountiful site. =)

What do you think?