Mar 20
2011

Orange & Coconut Tea Cookie Recipe

Orange & Coconut Tea Cookie Recipe

Several years ago, my job (working with children with autism) took me from New York, where I was living at the time, to England every few months. Having done a fair bit of traveling in my younger years, and growing up in Canada where we are rather proud of our ties to the UK, I felt that I was fairly well-versed in English traditions. For one, I grew up drinking tea every day. In fact, I even had my own tea cup, adorned with Beatrix Potter bunnies, which I happily pulled out whenever a plate of cookies (or biscuits, as our English friends would call them) was placed on the table.

Despite my familiarity with English teatime, I had forgotten what a big deal it really is.  I was at my client’s home, working with the child and training the parents and a team of instructors.   We were rolling along nicely, making progress with our goals when the clock struck two and everything came to an abrupt halt. Out came the teapot and the china cups, out came the cookies, and the next half-hour was spent chatting over cups of piping hot tea. It was relaxing, it was tasty, and it was utterly delightful. Let me tell you, the English are on to something.

These petite cookies, which are adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Berry Tea Cookies, have a cake-y texture and are scented with fresh orange juice and zest. The coconut, while it lends a subtle background flavor, mostly contributes a pleasing texture whenever you happen to bite into a strand of the sweetened fruit.

The recipe:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Be sure that the racks are positioned so that the oven is divided in thirds. Prepare two baking sheets by lining them with parchment or silicone mats.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, ground ginger, salt and orange zest. Whisk together and set aside.

OrangeCoconutCookies1

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter on medium speed until fluffy and creamy. Add sugar and beat for an additional minute, scraping down the sides as necessary. Add egg and beat for 2 minutes. The mixture will be silky and smooth.

OrangeCoconutCookies2

Add milk, vanilla extract and orange juice. Beat briefly, just enough to combine the ingredients. Now, don’t panic – the mixture will look curdled. All is well.

Add the flour mixture a little bit at a time, mixing on low, until the ingredients are just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in shredded coconut.

Scoop out rounded teaspoons of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets.

OrangeCoconutCookies3

Bake the cookie for 10-12 minutes, switching the positions of the pans and turning them from back to front halfway through baking. The cookies will be done when the bottom edges are just starting to turn brown and the cookies are slightly firm when you touch them. The tops of the cookies will still be fairly pale.

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 1-2 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack. Serve when cool. Repeat with the remaining dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches.

OrangeCoconutCookiesLS

Other tea cookies to enjoy:

White on Rice Couple’s Orange Marmalade Cookies
Use Real Butter’s Chocolate-Dipped Orange Peel Cookies
Recipe Girl’s Iced Orange Cookies
Dianasaur Dishes’ Vanilla Orange Shortbread

Orange & Coconut Tea Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp orange zest
1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Be sure that the racks are positioned so that the oven is divided in thirds. Prepare two baking sheets by lining them with parchment or silicone mats.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, ground ginger, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter on medium speed until fluffy and creamy. Add sugar and beat for an additional minute, scraping down the sides as necessary. Add egg and beat for 2 minutes. The mixture will be silky and smooth.

Add milk, vanilla extract and orange juice. Beat briefly, just enough to combine the ingredients. The mixture will look curdled.

Add the flour mixture a little bit at a time, mixing on low, until the ingredients are just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in shredded coconut.

Scoop out rounded teaspoons of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets.

Bake the cookie for 10-12 minutes, switching the positions of the pans and turning them from back to front halfway through baking. The cookies will be done when the bottom edges are just starting to turn brown and the cookies are slightly firm when you touch them. The tops of the cookies will still be fairly pale.

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 1-2 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack. Serve when cool. Repeat with the remaining dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches.

Makes 45-50 cookies.

Printable recipe

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{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Vivienne March 20, 2011 at 10:28 pm

I love all of Dorie’s cookie recipes! This looks like a delicious and fragrant one!

If we all stop what we are doing at exactly 2pm and have a cuppa tea with cookies, it would make each day just that much sweeter :)

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2 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) March 21, 2011 at 8:47 am

Yes, I think it should be a tradition that is instituted immediately.

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3 claudia lamascolo/aka pegasuslegend March 21, 2011 at 2:46 am

Very nice, loving these simple flavors that make tea perfection as well… great presentation!

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4 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) March 21, 2011 at 8:47 am

Thank you, Claudia.

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5 Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen March 21, 2011 at 3:24 am

I think we should have tea time in the US too, a short break in the middle of the day to rest and renew our energy would be a very welcome ritual.

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6 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) March 21, 2011 at 8:46 am

I agree! It would make the afternoon so much easier.

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7 Katrina March 21, 2011 at 5:34 am

Mmmm these cookies look lovely! Great recipe. They look so light and fresh.

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8 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) March 21, 2011 at 8:48 am

They really do have a fresh flavor. A perfect light treat to hold off any irrational afternoon cravings.

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9 Heather (Heather's Dish) March 21, 2011 at 6:07 am

i love tea cookies, and to be honest i’ve never tried orange and coconut together! it sounds perfect.

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10 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) March 21, 2011 at 8:46 am

I was a bit nervous about the combination at first, but figured if lime and coconut work well, then why not orange and coconut. Luckily, I was right.

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11 dana March 21, 2011 at 8:37 am

Not only is it a great recipe w/lovely pictures, you really made me feel like I was sitting there w/you! Love it

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12 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) March 21, 2011 at 8:45 am

Thanks so much, Dana. I really appreciate that.

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13 Jenny Flake March 21, 2011 at 8:49 am

These look so good Dara!!

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14 Belinda @zomppa March 21, 2011 at 9:01 am

I grew up with afternoon tea, too ( a little later than 2….), and you’re right, I think I need to take a real tea break – not a break checking email in the PM. These tea cookies are wonderful!

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15 Maria March 21, 2011 at 9:02 am

These look heavenly!

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16 doughmesstic March 21, 2011 at 9:07 am

When I was in Kenya for a few weeks, we had tea everyday…it was wonderful. These cookies would have been amazing. I may give these a shot and reintroduce tea time to the house!

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17 Penny March 21, 2011 at 9:23 am

I have just discovered your blog and I can already tell it will be a favorite. Thanks so much for sharing your “yummy” talents! I look forward to making these little gems!

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18 Parsley Sage March 21, 2011 at 9:40 am

These look lovely! Thank you for sharing. I only wish England’s overseas territories had the ‘tea time’ tradition as well!

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19 Barbara | VinoLuciStyle March 21, 2011 at 10:42 am

I love the idea of afternoon tea…I doubt I will ever realize it but in the meantime I love the idea of this flavor combination; they sound wonderful and perfect for a springtime treat.

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20 Tracy March 21, 2011 at 10:43 am

These cookies look lovely and so do your photos! I’d love to start having tea time at our house!

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21 Natasha March 21, 2011 at 11:11 am

These look delicious! I think we should have kept the tradition of having tea time in the afternoon, it would be a nice little break !

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22 Kathy Gori March 21, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Oh my! These look too too tempting!

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23 Jennifer (Savor) March 21, 2011 at 12:57 pm

I am convinced on the cookies but I may still have my coffee in my other hand.

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24 Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. March 21, 2011 at 1:22 pm

These look amazing! So bummed I missed you last week. Maybe I’ll see you this summer

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25 Wenderly March 21, 2011 at 1:49 pm

I agree the the English are indeed onto something! Maybe we should all make a pact to do the same here?

These cookies look scrumptious by way!

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26 Lauren from Lauren's Latest March 21, 2011 at 3:02 pm

I love coconut with citrus! Well, coconut with anything is right up my alley.

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27 Shaina March 21, 2011 at 5:41 pm

I’d love to come over for tea! We really need to have tea time here in the U.S. I’m all for it.

Also, I had no idea you used to work with kids with autism. I did that for years before I left my job to work from home and subsequently stay home with my kids.

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28 Drick March 21, 2011 at 5:52 pm

so many customs make a point to savor time during the day for just such a thing, too bad we live in such a hurried lifestyle……I agree, the orange and coconut sound ever so pleasant just as the tea time

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29 fooddreamer March 21, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Tea time strikes me as so romantic and quaint, something out of Enid Blighton or Jane Austen. I didn’t grow up drinking much tea, I was a coffee girl from the age 14 on, but I adore high tea. Your cookies look like the perfect accompaniment to a cuppa.

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30 susan from food blogga March 21, 2011 at 6:52 pm

These are positively delightful treats. I wish I had one to nibble on with my cuppa tea right now.

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31 Laurie @SimplyScratch March 21, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Orange + Coconut = My New Favorite Cookie! :)

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32 Kimby March 21, 2011 at 7:53 pm

Ask me about High Tea at Harrod’s … :) Your photographs capture the delight of “tea time!”

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33 Guava March 21, 2011 at 8:11 pm

Dara – Afternoon tea -how civilized. You make me want to pull out the teapot and bake these darling and delicious-looking cookies! And I will be doing just that.

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34 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) March 22, 2011 at 12:53 pm

Guava, I hope you enjoy them.

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35 Marla March 21, 2011 at 8:43 pm

I am with you. Joining the team to bring teatime stateside. I think people would be much happier if they had this ritual to look forward to each day. Especially with these cookies. I have a similar muffin concept I will be rocking in the next week or so….xo

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36 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) March 22, 2011 at 12:53 pm

Looking forward to seeing your muffins!

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37 Nancy@acommunaltable March 21, 2011 at 9:40 pm

When my boys were younger I always had afternoon tea – was a welcome break in the routine!! Sadly, with carpooling and sports the practice has fallen by the wayside – but I think it’s “high” time to bring it back – especially with such tasty cookies!!

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38 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) March 22, 2011 at 12:52 pm

I hear you, Nancy. Teatime can become difficult when it’s squeezed between kids’ activities. I hope you find the chance to do it again.

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39 Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen March 21, 2011 at 9:42 pm

What a yummy little treat! I have to have a snack at 2 to 3 o’clock everyday so I am with you on having tea everyday!

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40 Darla @ Bakingdom March 22, 2011 at 7:01 am

I love anything with orange in it, so I can’t wait to try these! Especially with some hot tea!

My husband and I both love tea. We have tea every day, although not at any given time, but I’m inspired to set aside a tea time now. Oh how I long to go to England and have real tea time!!

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41 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) March 22, 2011 at 12:52 pm

It’s wonderful to have a special teatime to look forward to – a break in the day that no one can interrupt.

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42 Sprinkled With Flour March 22, 2011 at 8:16 am

I grew up in Wales, so i’m no stranger to having a tea break. Even though I live in the U.S now, I still have a box of PG Tips in my pantry for tea time each day. I don’t have any girls, so i’m seriously considering starting tea time with my 4 year old son:) Who says boys can’t drink tea? :) These tea cookies sound like just the thing to get him on board though!

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43 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) March 22, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Teatime can be enjoyed by boys and girls. I say “go for it”.

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44 Lana @ Never Enough Thyme March 22, 2011 at 8:24 am

I think afternoon tea is a most civilized notion. We enjoyed tea in the afternoons on a recent trip to Ireland and after we returned I missed those moments of down-time. Maybe when I retire I’ll have tea time each day!

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45 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) March 22, 2011 at 12:50 pm

It really is a lovely tradition.

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46 Kulsum at JourneyKitchen March 22, 2011 at 10:01 am

I love afternoon tea time exactly for this – to enjoy everything else that comes with it. As an Indian we love Chai Time :-) And all savory finger food that comes with it but I love to bite into sweet little things just like this one. Love it and love the picture!

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47 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) March 22, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Kulsum, typically I like to stick with a cup of my favorite or Earl Grey or green tea. However, when I decide to shake it up, Chai is the way I go. We will have to get together and have tea someday.

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48 Linda Makiej March 22, 2011 at 11:19 am

This looks just wonderful!!

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49 carolinaheartstrings March 22, 2011 at 11:52 am

I love tea time and those cookies look perfect.

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50 Joy March 22, 2011 at 12:23 pm

Those are adorable.

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51 Allie March 22, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Oh goodness these look delicious! I want to eat these now. Btw, as a native Bostonian, we do love our tea time with our cookies, digestives or crackers on hand. I have no idea why but when working at a small town library, they would seriously have us take a tea break together for 30 minutes and then the library could resume again. I like these traditions and let me say, reading the last few Bon Appetit’s articles on Dorie Greenspan, that lady is a cookie genius. Great post!

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52 Aggie March 22, 2011 at 4:43 pm

I’m loving these little cookies! The flavor combo sounds so delicious. How wonderful that you have had the opportunity for travel like that, it’s so nice to learn from other cultures isn’t it? I hope your trend catches on because I would enjoy it for sure! :)

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53 Maris (InGoodTaste) March 22, 2011 at 5:28 pm

What an interesting combination of flavors! I can’t wait to make these cookies.

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54 Megan March 22, 2011 at 8:48 pm

I love tea time and these little biscuits look delightful. I wish everything around here stopped at 2 and the china would come out. Maybe someday!

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55 Elizabeth March 23, 2011 at 7:26 am

These look absolutely beautiful! Tea time is a fantastic idea–I hate the 2 o’clock doldrums.

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56 Robyn | Add a Pinch March 24, 2011 at 7:43 am

I’m all for this tradition! I’m with ya!

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57 A Canadian Foodie March 27, 2011 at 7:45 am

The vase of rosemary said it all, to me. Yum. and then yum again. Have you ever thought about putting a little chopped up rosemary in these cookies? It would be brilliant if I don’t say so myself. :) And, you worked with children with autism. Fascinating. Are you in education? How did I miss that!
:)
Valerie

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58 Shelby March 29, 2011 at 5:52 pm

I don’t think I have ever shared that my DIL also works with autistic children. I think it is wonderful what you do! The cookies look fabulous and I know Grumpy would love them….they are soft!

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59 sippitysup April 4, 2011 at 7:03 pm

I am sure these cookies will help make teatime more popular. GREG

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60 Rose Gold April 9, 2011 at 3:40 am

Orange and coconut together really sounds weird. I can’t even imagine the taste. LOL. I think I should really try this one. It looks yummy but I don’t know what it really tastes.

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61 Piano Schoenhut April 11, 2011 at 12:18 am

I’ve just tried your recipe yesterday and it really tastes good. My kids are in definitely in love with your tea cookies. I also brought some of the cookies for my grandma and she loves it too.

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