You’ll want to add these Toasted Coconut Shortbread Wedges to your holiday baking list! They’re simple and buttery with a toasty coconut flavor and pretty sugar sparkle.
Coconut tends to be a rather polarizing topic in our family. Some families can’t talk about religion at the dinner table. We can’t talk about coconut. The love/hate divide is strong around our table, with about half of us singing coconut’s praises and the other half fake gagging every time it’s mentioned.
Of course, yours truly is on the right side of this argument, which is obviously to be totally in love with coconut. Coconut is the best! I love it in Chocolate Snowball Cake. I love it in Coconut Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies. I love it in Pecan Coconut Cream Cheese Pie. I even love it in my morning oatmeal. (Make it with full fat coconut milk and lots of shredded coconut. SOOOO GOOD!).
Needless to say, I never need convincing to make a new coconut recipe. I spotted these beauties in an issue of Better Homes and Garden’s magazine three years ago, and the page instantly got torn out and added to my Big Ol’ Binder of Magazine Recipes.
Here’s the problem with the Big Ol’ Binder (let’s just call it BOB for short). After going through the work of tearing out the recipes, putting them in plastic sleeves, and carefully organizing them by category, I tend to forget about them…FOR YEARS. It’s a weird habit of mine, but eventually, on a day when I’m feeling especially uninspired, I remember I’ve got BOB, and off to the trusy binder I go.
On my last gander through the forgotten pages of BOB, these Toasty Coconut Wedges jumped out at me, just like they did all those years ago. I yanked the page from the binder and left it on my kitchen counter, which is a faaaairly good way to guarantee they will actually get made at some point.
On a night too long after, baking fever hit, and the little guy and I whipped these up. This was a great recipe to make with him, as the ingredients and process were fairly simple, and he LOVES working the blender. The recipe is basically a shortbread where some of the flour is replaced with a blended mixture of toasted coconut and oats. It’s got all the same buttery, crumbly goodness of traditional shortbread, but with the added taste of coconut. That’s clearly a win in my book.
I never think to make anything other than cheesecake in my springform pan, but it’s perfect for shortbreads. The lovely shape makes nice thick wedges that look super fancy when sliced up. And the simple sparkly sprinkles around the edges make these festive enough to add to any holiday party tray. Luckily, my little one seems to be just as big a coconut fiend as his momma, as evidenced by the multiple times I had to rescue him off the kitchen counter after a failed mission to apprehend coconut shortbread bars.
Toasted Coconut Shortbread Wedges
Fragrant toasted coconut and oatmeal give this buttery shortbread its unique flavor.
- 1 1/2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
- 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon coconut extract (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sweetened coconut
- 2 Tablespoons old fashioned rolled oats
- 2 Tablespoons coarse colored sugars of your choice (I used red and white)
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Grease a 9 inch springform pan with butter or shortening. Set aside.
Spread the 1 1/2 cups coconut out on a baking sheet. Place in the oven and toast, stirring every 3 minutes, until the coconut is beginning to turn a golden color. This will take about 10-12 minutes. Add a cup of oats to the pan and stir. Return to the oven and continue to bake another 6-8 minutes, stirring once, until the mixture is very fragrant and coconut is evenly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes, then place the mixture in a blender and pulse just until it's the consistency of coarse flour.
Meanwhile, place the butter, sugars, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until smooth and lighter in color, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract and coconut extract, if using. Beat in the coconut/oat mixture then add the flour and continue to beat on low speed until the mixture is combined. If the dough is very dry or crumbly, you can add water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until it comes together. Usually I don't need to add any water at all.
Press the mixture into the prepared pan. To make this easier, you can place a piece of wax paper over the dough and use your fingers to press and smooth the dough evenly in the pan. Remove the wax paper. Sprinkle the additional 1/3 cup coconut and 2 Tablespoons oats over the dough, leaving a 1 inch rim around the edges. Sprinkle the edges with sugar and press in gently with your fingers. Use a butter knife to score the dough in quarters (only cut about 2/3 of the way down). Score each quarter into thirds.
Place the pan in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the dough is browned and the center is nearly set. Let cool for 5-10 minutes then cut wedges along scored lines and allow to cool until barely warm. Remove springform ring, slice wedges, and serve, or wrap in saran wrap and store in a cool, dry place for up to 5 days.
Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens