This recipe brought to you by…my husband’s family, who gave these spur-of-the-moment cookies their collective thumbs up at a recent birthday celebration. Apparently, me craving something coconut, but needing to use up some caramel as well, was fortuitous. And this, friends, is how blog posts are born-at least sometimes. I make something I think is pretty run-of-the-mill ordinary, and then someone says I should blog it. Then I argue that it isn’t blog worthy because it’s so, well, average, compared to all the fancy stuff everybody else is posting. Which brings me to a point most food bloggers only discuss with each other-insecurity & inferiority are quite often driving factors in what we post. We should focus on what we think our blog readers might like (I’m not always sure-that’s why your feedback is so important), then we see someone else blogging twelve-layer gluten-free/vegan/paleo cake and suddenly they’re on the cover of Bake From Scratch. Except, I don’t think most of my readers want to make a twelve-layer gluten-free/vegan/paleo cake. I know I don’t. Fancy-shmanzy-uber-healthy really isn’t my thing, as you can probably tell. A lot of times the stuff you see here is simply what I was hungry for at the moment (like coconut something) or whatever I have an abundance of that needs to be used up (like caramel) that was then presented to a third party (or birthday party, in this case, lol) who said, “Hey! I like this!” Then I show it to you, and hope you say the same thing.
These cookies are a variation of my triple-the-lemon sugar cookies. They stay soft and chewy (if you don’t overbake), and taste terrific with coconut flavoring and moist, shredded coconut in them. Find coconut flavoring next to the vanilla-it’s not as expensive as vanilla since it’s an artificial flavoring. Honestly, I can eat, well, far too many of these cookies just by themselves with no caramel whatsoever, so if you just want to make the cookies alone, I understand. However, the famjam insisted that I share them with the caramel filling, so caramel it is. Or you could do half as sandwich cookies, and half as plain sugar cookies. Send your extra caramel to my house and I’ll eat it with a spoon-I mean, I’ll dip fresh fruit in it. Yes, fruit.
If you possibly have time to make the caramel a few hours beforehand (or even the day before) and keep it refrigerated, there will be less leakage from the cookies. Although I spread the caramel with a spatula for the photos, putting it in a zipper baggie and squeezing it on the cookies makes things go pretty fast and it’s how I made quite a few for the party quickly. Put just a little caramel on each cookie half, but don’t spread it to the edges. Sprinkle a bit of coconut on one cookie half, then sandwich the two cookies together. No need to press on them-that caramel is excellent glue.
Store the cookies in a single layer at room temperature, or you can refrigerate them if you don’t mind cold cookies. Don’t put a tight fitting lid on the cookie container because the built-up moisture will cause the caramel to run out of the sides of the cookies. A little leakage is normal and should be expected, but if the caramel is pretty cold and thick when you spread it on the cookies, most of it should stay between the cookies. If you’re serving these for a special occasion, I recommend sandwiching the cookies not too far in advance of serving, maybe two or three hours at the most.
Bring these simple coconut cookies-with caramel or without-to your next family party. They might be a surprise hit!
Coconut Caramel Sandwich Cookies
- 2 ¾ c. flour
- ¾ tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. baking powder
- ½ c. butter, softened
- ½ c. cooking oil
- 1 c. sugar
- ½ c. powdered sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 ¼ tsp. coconut flavoring
- 2 ¼ c. shredded coconut, divided use
- 1 11 oz. package caramels, unwrapped
- ¼ c. milk
- additional sugar for rolling cookies
- Step 1 In a small bowl, combine caramels and milk. Microwave one minute, then stir. Continue microwaving and stirring until caramels have melted and mixture is smooth. Refrigerate until thoroughly cooled while you make the cookies. You can prepare the caramel ahead of time, even the day before. Thicker, chilled caramel will be less likely to run out between the cookies.
- Step 2 Preheat oven to 350°. Line cookie sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats.
- Step 3 Whisk together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
- Step 4 In a large mixing bowl beat butter for one minute. Beat in oil, sugar, and powdered sugar until well combined.
- Step 5 Beat in egg and coconut flavoring.
- Step 6 With a spoon, stir in flour mixture and 1 ¼ cups of the coconut.
- Step 7 Roll small balls (a little less than a tablespoonful) in additional sugar and place on cookie sheets.
- Step 8 Bake 9-10 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheets 5 minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.
- Step 9 To assemble sandwich cookies: spread (or place caramel in a zipper baggie with corner snipped off) a small bit of caramel in the center of one cookie. Sprinkle some of the remaining coconut on to the caramel. Spread a little caramel in the center of another cookie and place on top of the first cookie. Repeat with remaining cookies.
- Step 10 Cookies are best stored in a single layer, loosely covered (just cover with a piece of waxed paper or a paper towel). Tightly covered cookies will result in runny caramel. May store in refrigerator, if desired. You can sandwich just a portion of the cookies if you want to. Any remaining caramel can be stored in the refrigerator and used as a dessert topping or for dipping fruit (warm it up a little first).