Summertime at the beach never tasted so good! Even if you’re just hanging out in the backyard dreaming of the beach, here’s a cookie to transport you there in one bite. Each little cookie bursts with coconut flavor, and to make them pina colada sandwich cookies, I added pineapple cream filling.
They’re made with a cookie press using disks from our Beach & Nautical disk set. With some food coloring added to the dough and some candy eyes I brought these little cuties to life! With it being summer break, I enlisted my teenagers’ help, which made the making of this batch- and this blog- twice as much fun. When we got done experimenting with just the right recipe, and found just the right flavor, my pineapple-and-coconut loving son was so impressed (no pun intended!), that he asked, “Mom… what have you done?!” as he devoured all the extra cookies.
At first I was just going to do the three sea creatures- the seahorse, dolphin, and crab, but halfway through I thought, “How can I make coconut cookies without palm trees? Duh!” So I added those, a couple of anchors, and sailboats.
Here’s how I did it. Let’s get started!
Gather your ingredients and disks.
(*NOTE: As of our 2019 Re-Opening our new disks are made of a solid white material, but the designs are exactly the same, and press identically.)
Now I say this in every post, but it’s necessary for new readers! The key to great spritz cookies (cookie press cookies) is the dough. It has a particular consistency that when made right, presses smoothly, quickly and easily.
Impress!™ Coconut Spritz Cookies:
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened (not melted)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 Tablespoon coconut extract
1/2 Tablespoon vanilla extract
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400°F. Cream the butter VERY well. I often use the “whip” setting on my mixer and act like I’m making frosting. It makes for a better-textured cookie and easier pressing.
Add the sugar and cream it very well again. Add the coconut and vanilla extracts and egg; beat well. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add it slowly to the butter mixture, just until the flour is mixed in. DO NOT over-mix! Spritz dough should be soft but not sticky. It has an almost crumbly texture that does not stick to your fingers.
Coloring the dough should always be done with gel food coloring, as liquid changes the dough consistency too much. Cut in the gel coloring with a knife or fork.
Now use your hands to knead the coloring in. Sure, your hands will get a little stained, but if you wash them quickly it comes right off. You can use a spoon to mix it in, but I’ve always found hand kneading faster and easier. My daughter’s showing you how to use your knuckles to press in and twist to knead the color in.
For these cookies we made 5 colors.
Load your cookie press with dough, packing it in with the back of a spoon to remove any air pockets as you go. Choose your disk and press onto un-greased cookie sheets. Spritz cookies cannot stick to a greased sheet! If you have any trouble with your cookies sticking, make sure your cookie sheets aren’t too warm. Cool the sheets if necessary.
Don’t worry if the first few cookies come out misshapen. Even the most experienced pressers experience that. Sometimes it takes a few cookies to build up a consistent pressure in the barrel for the cookies to come out uniformly. Just throw the bad ones back in the dough bowl to be re-pressed. Keep a steady pressing rhythm for best results.
If you’re going to use the pineapple cream filling to make sandwich cookies, flip each disk over and press the shapes in both directions! Try to press sets of cookies with similar sizes. When you make the sandwiches, the top cookie will be right-side up when sandwiched, but the bottom cookie (or back cookie if you present them standing up) will be upside-down.
A note on the dolphins: I pressed some of them and then gently pulled the tails to elongate them into a longer look. I wound up with some that looked just like the disk and others looking like they were in various stages of swimming or leaping from the water! Go ahead and experiment, and have some fun making them extra cute and playful. See photos below for examples.
Bake for 6 to 9 minutes or until the edges just begin to brown. All ovens are different, so check often. Allow the cookie to cool for just a minute or two, but not too long or the cookies could break when removed, and cool on a wire rack.
Coconut cookies are done! If you want to make sandwich cookies, start matching up your shapes and sizes.
Now make the pineapple cream filling:
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
2 Cups Powdered Sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon pineapple juice- I simply used the juice in canned pineapple and let the kids eat the pineapple! As you mix, if it is getting a bit runny, hold back a little juice.
Refrigerate the filling for a bit if you’d like it thicker to work with, or if it’s a hot day like it was here in Colorado! (Although after a month of nothing but flooding rain back in May, I was very happy for a hot, sunny day!)
Spread the filling onto the cookies using a knife or even your fingers. My son preferred doing it by hand. 🙂 The trick was getting him to not eat it all.
When the sandwich cookies are all assembled, if you want, add small candy eyes for fun. Use a little icing as “glue” to hold candy eyes in place or simply make black icing dots for eyes. I used small candy eyes from The Baker’s Kitchen™ (link below). Using tweezers can make it easier to place the eyes.
Before we’re done I need to show you how to make the Palm Tree cookies look like they do in my pictures. You could always just color the dough green and add a little brown icing for a trunk, or color them brown and add a little green icing for the palm fronds. Me? I like a challenge and enjoy making multi-colored spritz cookies! It doesn’t always turn out perfectly, but they’re almost always pretty darn cool looking.
To make the trees, use brown and green colored dough. Lay the Palm Tree Disk on your surface. Flatten out a piece of green dough and stand it up on the disk, wrapping it so that it covers only the palm fronds openings. Roll a small cylinder of brown dough and place it upright on the disk, inside of the green dough, covering only the tree trunk section.
Place the dough in the press barrel. It’s OK not to fill the entire barrel. It is much easier to control if you use small amounts at a time.
Press the trees onto your cookie sheet and hopefully they’ll come out looking fairly palm-tree-like. I was happy enough with mine.
Have a wonderful summer and as always…
Disk Designer/Co-Owner at Impress! Bakeware, LLC
“Get creative with your cookie press!”
Follow us on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/impressbakeware/
The Beach & Nautical Disk set:
The candy eyes I used here can be found at: http://www.thebakerskitchen.net/3/16-in-Candy-Eyes-Assorted-Colors—1000-Count-Pack.aspx