I consider myself somewhat of a Christmas cookie connoisseur.
Shortbread and gingerbread. Chocolate snowflakes and chocolate chips. Macarons and macaroons. Cookies in the shape of stockings and cookies in the shape of States. Those cookies with the kisses in the middle of ’em. Sprinkled, frosted, and glazed.
I’ve had them all. And I love them all.
In fact, every year my wife bakes dozens of chewy ginger cookies, chocolate snowflake cookies, and frosted shortbread cookies cut into various wintry forms.
This year though, I figured I’d add something different to the holiday sweets rotation with something Filipino-inspired and Filipino-flavored. And besides, I needed to find a way to make a dent in that jar of purple jam sitting on my counter.
Behold, Toasted Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Rum & Ube Jam!
Ube and Cookies, together at last
These Filipinized cookies are really no different than the regular ol’ butter thumbprint cookies that inspired them. But subbing in coconut oil for butter, rolling the cookies in shredded coconut instead of sugar, and adding a dollop of homemade Rum & Ube jam do indeed make these cookies, well, different. Different in a very, very good way. The coconut oil lends a very rich, and I suppose tropical, flavor while the shredded coconut adds texture. And besides an earthy sweetness and kick of rum, the sweet purple yam jam lends that beautifully vibrant purple hue at the center of the cookie. Oh, and did I mention these cookies are completely vegan? No? Well, they are.
If you’re looking to get out of a Christmas cookie rut, these Toasted Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Rum & Ube Jam should do the trick.
- 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 ounces coconut oil by weight
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon rum
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- Ube Jam (storebought, or Homemade Rum & Ube Jam)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
- Combine the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl.
- In a large bowl, whip the coconut oil and the sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the egg and rum until just combined. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, slowly incorporate the dry ingredients in 2 batches, mixing just until combined.
- Divide the cookie dough into two separate balls. Roll each ball into a long cylinder shape about 1.5 inches in diameter. Wrap each cylinder in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- Place the shredded coconut in a shallow dish.
- Remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator and unwrap. Using a knife, slice the cookie dough cylinders into rounds that are about 1/2-inch thick. Press the rounds into the shredded coconut, making sure the coconut adheres to as much as the cookie as possible, then place the cookies onto the cookie sheets.
- Using your thumb, make an indentation about a 1/2-inch deep in the center of each cookie. Place a dollop of ube jam, about 1/2 teaspoon, in the center of each cookie. Sprinkle the tops of each cookie with more shredded coconut if desired.
- Bake the cookies until the edges are golden and the shredded coconut is toasted, about 15-18 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through baking. Remove from oven and cool cookies on the baking sheets. Serve.