Coquito Cookies

November 22, 2021
2 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland. Prop Stylist: Alya Hameedi. Food Stylist: Anna Billingskog.
  • Prep time 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Cook time 35 minutes
  • makes 3 dozen cookies
Author Notes

Coquito is the quintessential Puerto Rican drink during the long holiday season. And by long, I mean long. Puerto Ricans often start celebrating the holidays before Thanksgiving hits and keep the party going well past Christmas into Three Kings’ Day on January 6. Speaking from experience, my family always had coquito in the house during the cold winter months, sharing this rich and decadent coconut-based rum drink with friends, family, and neighbors alike.

Similar to eggnog here in the States, coquito can be considered its tropical cousin, primarily made with various milks and creams (like coconut milk and sweetened condensed milk), warming spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, vanilla, and lots of good, spicy rum. Some Puerto Ricans add egg and some don’t. My family never made it with egg, which helps the coquito last longer in the fridge, especially useful when you're giving away bottles to others.

I wanted to re-create the same familiar flavors of coquito but in cookie form, amping up the humble sugar cookie with warming spices, coconut, and rum. This cookie was so much fun to make, and I loved sharing the batches with my neighbors and friends (I enjoy making large amounts of baked goods for the sole purpose of giving them away). It was like being able to make a big batch of coquito in solid form: I get nostalgia in each bite.
Reina Gascon-Lopez

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe was featured on our cook-along podcast Play Me a Recipe. Listen as Reina bakes her way through this holiday favorite recipe. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Cookies
  • 2 1/2 cups (300 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated whole or ground nutmeg
  • 2 sticks (1 cup/226 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 teaspoon rum extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • Icing
  • 1 1/2 cups (60 grams) sweetened coconut flakes, toasted, for garnish
  • 2 cups (120 grams) confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup water
  1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  2. In a large bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. While the butter and sugar are working, in a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut extract, rum extract, and vanilla. Slowly pour into the creamed butter and sugar mixture, beating until fully combined.
  4. To avoid making a mess, turn the mixer off and carefully add the dry ingredients into the bowl. Turn on at the lowest speed and beat until just combined, making sure no floury patches remain. The dough should appear sticky and tacky. Chill the dough for at least an hour in the fridge.
  5. Using a tablespoon or small measuring scoop, scoop and roll the cookie dough into balls about 1½ inches in diameter. If your dough is very soft, you may want to use wet hands to roll the balls. Place on the prepared baking sheets spaced 3 inches apart. If you don’t want to bake all of the cookies at once, simply freeze the rolled dough balls and portion them in a plastic freezer bag for another day. Thaw in the fridge overnight, then flatten and bake as you would with fresh dough.
  6. Using the bottom of a cup or mug, or just the palm of your hand, flatten each dough ball into a round, uniform shape about ½ inch thick. Repeat with the rest of the cookies.
  7. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the edges are light brown, rotating the pan halfway through. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and tap them on the counter a few times to release the cookies from the parchment paper.
  8. Let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets, then remove the cookies to place on wire baking racks to cool completely before glazing. Make sure to keep the parchment and place it underneath the wire rack for easy cleanup when it’s time to glaze and garnish the cookies.
  9. Make the icing: To toast the coconut flakes, place them in a dry large skillet or frying pan. Cook over medium heat until they’re a light golden brown color, 3 to 5 minutes, making sure to stir often to keep from burning them. Transfer to a plate to cool.
  10. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the sifted confectioners' sugar and water until it forms a thin, smooth glaze. Pour and spread a heaping teaspoon of glaze onto each cookie. Sprinkle each glazed cookie with some toasted coconut flakes. Enjoy!

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1 Review

Cris J. December 22, 2021
I made these today for our building staff and they all loved them! Even my coconut hating husband said they were great. Here are a few changes I made to oomph them up -- first, I couldn't find rum extract anywhere in Manhattan, so I used 2 tablespoons of strong white rum plus a little more flour. I also used a little extra cinnamon and nutmeg. For the icing, I found I needed much more powdered sugar to make a thicker icing -- I also added a little vanilla paste, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Next time, I'll use rum instead of water for the icing! Make sure to sprinkle/gently press the coconut right after icing the cookies, or the coconut won't stick. Oh, and keep an eye on that coconut as you brown it in the pan -- it could burn very easily (like pine nuts).