Classic Holiday Thumbprint Cookies

We love all cookies at our house, especially those that are part of a holiday tradition. These are a simple recipe that taste like they are very complicated. They’re the perfect whipped shortbread cookie that isn’t overly sweet, but is filled with jam and rolled in pecans and delicious coconut. As the cookie bakes the coconut and pecans become toasted.  Delish!  Our favorite filling is plum jam, but other great options would be strawberry, blackberry or raspberry.  This recipe can also easily be doubled.  Any way you make them, they will be fabulous! ~Kathy

½ c. butter, softened

½ c. shortening

½ c. brown sugar, firmly packed

3 egg yolks

1 ½ tsp. vanilla

¼ tsp. salt

2 c. flour

¾ c. coconut

½ c. finely chopped pecans

½ c. plum jam, stirred smooth

Heat oven to 350˚ F.

Beat butter, shortening and brown sugar in large bowl with mixer on high speed until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, vanilla and salt. Mix on medium until combined.  Add flour and mix just until blended.

Mix coconut and pecans on a plate. Roll dough into 1” balls. Roll in coconut and pecans to coat. Place on cookie sheet. Using your knuckle or fingertip, make an indentation in the center of each cookie.

Bake for 8 minutes and remove from oven. Press indentations carefully again if needed. Spoon ½ teaspoon jam onto the center of each cookie. Bake an additional 3 to 5 minutes or until the cookie is just slightly browned.  Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.  

Coconut Lime Bars

At my house, it’s definitely not close to being spring.  I absolutely love the intermountain west, but this has been a LOOOONG winter.  There is NO sign of green grass here.  Seriously, we are still completely covered in snow!!!  I start to crave warmer days and “summer food”.  So until the snow is gone, these Coconut Lime bars are helping fill my need for warmth. Travel through food when necessary, I say!   You can eat these bars as soon as they are done, but I highly recommend letting them chill several hours before devouring!  ~Kathy

Ingredients for Bars:

  • 1 stick butter, softened (8 oz)
  • 1 1/3 c. light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. lime zest
  • 2 1/8 c. flour
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 3/4 c. coconut toasted
  • 3 oz. white baking chocolate, finely chopped

Ingredients for Frosting:

  • 1 pkg. cream cheese, softened (8 oz)
  • ¾ c. powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tsp. lime zest
  • 4 oz. white baking chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
  • ½ c. toasted coconut

Preheat oven to 350°.   Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish.  

Start by making sure butter is extremely soft, just shy of melting.  Mix together softened butter and brown sugar in a large bowl.  Add in eggs, one at a time. Stir in vanilla and lime zest.  

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt.   Add to butter mixture and mix, just until combined.  Gently fold in coconut and white chocolate.

Spread the batter into prepared pan.  Bake for 19-23 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

For the frosting, beat the softened cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth.  Add in powdered sugar and lime juice.  Mix in zest and cooled melted white chocolate, combine well.   Spread over cooled bars and top with toasted coconut.   Chill 4 hours or overnight before serving.

Coconut Pecan Meringue Melts

Erin used to make these all the time at Dad’s request.  These are his favorite cookie. My favorite memory of them, however, is from a camping trip. We normally went to the lake in the summertime for our family vacation, but this time it was in October down at Pine Creek Lake in SE Oklahoma.  I was very serious about fishing, so I’d get up crazy early to get ready to go some days while the other girls were still sleeping. They would go too, but I just couldn’t wait to get up and be ready—if you know how much I like my sleep, you’ll know just how much I love to fish.

It’s possible we’d sneak a couple (several) with our coffee those cold fall mornings before we’d take the boat out to fish. I very clearly remember watching the sun coming up while standing outside (it was too cold to sit down on the concrete picnic bench) on a very chilly morning, just Dad and me, eating these cookies, drinking piping hot coffee (yes, my love of coffee goes way back), and listening to the sounds of the morning. The mist coming up off the water in the early morning is a sight everyone should see.

As you might guess from the name, these cookies do indeed melt in your mouth, and they are absolutely incredible if you make sure to let them brown up juuuust a bit.  That’s what gives them their slightly toasted flavor that takes them from the pretty darn great to heavenly – especially with a steaming cup of coffee.  ~Robin




Heat oven to 325°F.

Line a baking sheet with brown wrapping paper (can be found at any craft store) OR a brown paper grocery bag cut to the size of the baking sheet (non-printed side up—you don’t want a grocery logo on your cookies).

Beat egg whites just until they’re frothy.  Gradually beat in the sugar. Continue to beat with mixer until it forms very stiff peaks when you raise the beaters out of the mixture. Will have a glossy appearance as well.

Gently fold in salt, vanilla, coconut, and pecans.

Drop heaping teaspoons of dough 2” apart on the paper.

Bake about 20 minutes or until set and lightly browned.

Immediately upon removal from the oven, carefully remove the paper (with the cookies still on it) from the hot pan and set it aside.

Place a clean wet dish towel on the hot baking sheet; then return the paper with the cookies onto the towel so the wet towel lies between the baking sheet and the paper.  Allow to sit for one minute.

The steam created by the hot pan will loosen the cookies so you can easily remove them from the paper with a turner.

Coconut Sour Cream Cake


This is the perfect coconut cake. It’s decorated in the photo for Easter, but it really is so fabulous and moist, it’s perfect for any occasion, any time of year!


  • 1 white or vanilla cake mix (and necessary ingredients according to package)
  • 16 oz. sour cream
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 4 c. flaked coconut
  • 2 c. cool-whip, thawed
  • Green food coloring (optional)*


Combine sour cream, sugar, and coconut. Stir well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 ½ hours (this allows the sugar to dissolve).

Make cake according to directions on box. Bake in two 9” cake pans. Allow to cool on wire rack. Slice each cake horizontally in half.

Reserve 1 1/2 cups of coconut mixture. Spread each cut layer of cake with the remaining coconut mixture (you will have some left over).

Gently mix Cool-whip into reserved coconut mixture. Spread on top and sides of cake. Cover cake in cake stand or under an inverted large bowl. Best if chilled for 8 hours before serving.

To dye coconut green, if desired, place about ½ cup of coconut in a small bowl. Add a few drops of green food coloring and stir.