The first time I published this recipe was back in December 2016, for Christmas. Since then, it has been my go-to sugar cookie recipe. Therefore, with Valentine’s Day nearing, I thought I could update it with a few new photos and republish it. I still struggle with making the icing look perfect, but they taste so good that I made peace with them looking the way they are.
To make it fun and festive, in both Christmas and Valentine’s day versions, I used some store-bought sugar sprinkles, but they are optional. The best part of these cookies is that you can change them up easily using different cookie cutters. For these heart-shaped cookies, I used this Wilton Nesting Heart Cutter Set (affiliate link). Come Easter, I plan on using cute bunny and flower cookie cutters. As you can see, like any other sugar cookie recipe, the sky is the limit.
These cookies almost didn’t make it to the blog, because I was stressed out about the glazing part. When it comes to tedious things like that I do not consider myself to be a patient person. However, when I first made this recipe and tasted one of these cookies, I knew I had to get over it and just give it a try.
These naturally-sweetened, coconut sugar cookies had to be published here. Truth be told, even though I always admired those perfectly glazed holiday cookies that I kept seeing in magazines and throughout the social media, I have never tried doing it myself.
Sadly, I made it a huge deal in my mind and stressed out over it, later to find out that it was for no reason. If you are able to relate, let me tell you, it is much easier than you think. You will mess up with the first couple of cookies and your hands will shake, but then you will get the hang of it.
Plus, in the end, if it is not perfect, who cares??! All that matters is that they taste so SO good. I know it is easier said than done, but I promise these cookies are worth the try.
Baking With Coconut Sugar:
This was my first time baking with coconut sugar. In the past, I was told that if it is not used correctly you might end up with baked goods that were bitter. However, I was pretty sure that this recipe would not disappoint, as it is from the cookbook, Naturally Sweet by America’s Test Kitchen. My experience with their recipes has always been good. As usual, this one did not disappoint either. The coconut sugar, with its similar taste to brown sugar, provided just the right amount of sweetness that I would like in a sugar cookie. Plus, it gave the cookie a caramel-like taste that I thought was so enjoyable.
As you will see in the recipe below, you need to use a spice grinder to grind the coconut sugar. I recommend not skipping this step, as it is crucial to have fine coconut sugar for ideal results. Also, if you are wondering, I used Trader Joe’s brand organic coconut sugar in this recipe.
The Temperature of the Oven:
The original recipe suggested baking them at 375-Fahrenheit degrees. However, in my trials of baking a total of 4 batches of these cookies, I found that baking at 375 degrees burnt cookies in the 8-minute mark, while 350 degrees baked them perfectly until the end of the full 10 minutes that they suggested baking.
Here I want to mention that I do have a thermometer in my oven and I made sure that it was 350 degrees the whole time. Still, in my years of baking, I learned that temperature is one of those things that might change based on other factors. If you decide to stick to the original recipe and bake them in 375 degrees, keep an eye on them after the 8-minute mark.
If you ask me, I prefer this glaze to the usual powder sugar glaze. Again, the caramel-like flavors of coconut sugar land so well on these holiday cookies. Without the glaze, you might think that they are not sweet enough, but after they are decorated, they have just the right amount of sweetness making it just as tasty as the sugar cookies that are made with granulated sugar. If not, better.
Like I mentioned at the beginning, I thought that the decorating part would be difficult. However, with the help of this Wilton 1 Round Decorating Tip and after a couple of tries using a few easy patterns, I was able to wing it. They were not perfect, but I thought they were acceptable. If you have done this before and your hands are steadier than mine, you should have no problems creating perfect decorations.
Finally, since it is the holidays I used snowflake cookie cutters, but this cookie dough is one that would work for any occasion throughout the year. Simply change your cookie cutters to change it up. Either way, I hope you will give this recipe a try during this holiday season and share them with your family and friends.
Other Healthy Cookie Reciper You Might Like:
Other Coconut Sugar Recipes You Might Like
- Spelt Flour Brownies
- Easy Pumpkin Bread
- Almond Flour Banana Bread
- Almond Flour Carrot Cake
- Need more inspiration? Check out all our naturally sweetened recipes
Coconut Sugar Cookies
To make the Cookies:
- 1/3 cup plus ¼ cup coconut sugar 2 2/3 ounces
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour 12 ½ ounces
- 1/8 teaspoon table salt
- 16 tablespoons unsalted butter, 8 ounces, cut into 1 tablespoon pieces – at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons cream cheese softened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
To make the Glaze:
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons coconut sugar 3 ounces
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon milk plus more if needed
- 1/8 teaspoon table salt
- Working in two batches, grind coconut sugar in a spice grinder until it is powdery and fine.
- Place coconut sugar, flour, salt in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix for a minute in low speed.
- Add in the butter 1 piece at a time and mix until pea-size pieces remain, for a minute or so. Add in the cream cheese and vanilla extract and mix until dough begins to form large clumps, 30 seconds.
- Transfer the dough onto a clean work surface. Knead until it comes together. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Make a 4-inch disk from each piece, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the disks until firm, at least 1 hour up to 3 days.
- When ready to roll, take one of the disks out and let it soften on the kitchen counter. This takes about 20 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Roll first disk into 1/8-inch thick round in between 2 pieces of parchment sheets. Slide the dough (with the parchment sheets) onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Repeat the same process with the second disk.
- Remove the top parchment sheet and cut the dough using cookie cutters. Dough scraps can be patted together, chilled and rerolled once.
- Place the cut cookies onto the prepared baking sheet making sure to space them ¾ inch apart from one another.
- Bake, one sheet at a time, until lightly puffed for 5 minutes. It will be slightly underdone. At this stage, if your cookies are puffed, hold the sheet firmly with two hands and rap pan flat against the open oven door 3-4 times. Rotate pan and continue to bake for 4-5 minutes longer or until they turn lightly golden brown on the edges. Let cookies cool on the baking sheet.
- Continue with the second batch of cookies.
To make the glaze:
- Working in 2 batches, grind coconut sugar in spice grinder until powdery. Place it in a bowl along with the coconut sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, 1 tablespoon milk and salt. Whisk in coconut sugar mixture until smooth, adding more milk (1 tablespoon at a time) as need until the glaze is thin enough to drizzle. Decorate cookies as desired*.
2- The original recipe suggested that the oven temperature to be 375 F degrees. My cookies were baked much quicker and slightly burned at that temperature. Therefore I changed the temperature to 350 F degrees. Please read the blog post for more information on this.
3- Make sure that cookies are fully cooled before decorating them.
This recipe is adapted (with minor changes) from America’s Test Kitchen’s Naturally Sweet Cookbook.
This recipe was originally published in 2016, but updated with new photos in February 2018.