Coconut Shortbread w/ Vanilla Bean Salted Caramel and ………… a Tea Party!

   …………..~You are cordially invited to a Tea Party~…………..

I decided to have a tea party ……………  in lieu of a pity party …………a much better choice, don’t you think? You see, I’m really missing my daughter today – she lives all the way across the wide blue ocean…… in London ……… yes, as in England! So I decided to fix a “proper pot of tea” along with these delicious shortbread cookies (quite British) and have a party (or pah-ty as they would say in her corner of the world) ……….. in her honor!  I’d love for you to join me, at least virtually, in a celebration dedicated to all of our family members near and far!………… I miss you Cait!

I saw a recipe in Martha Stewart Living for Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Salted Caramel, then I saw another one for Coconut Pecan Shortbread Cookies with Caramel Filling, …………… hmmm ………… these two recipes got me going. I got a few ideas of my own –  next thing I knew, these cookies were evolving! I think you’ll enjoy them; the cookie itself is crispy, buttery, coconut-y and not too sweet, the topping is caramely along with being sweet and salty. There’s a touch of chocolate which is ……….. well, it’s just the créme de la créme! And if you’re missing someone today, the way I am, these might be “just what the doctor ordered”!

One more thing – the salted caramel; unbelievably easy! Just run to the store, buy a bag of caramels, throw them in a pot with a bit of cream and if you’re feeling a bit extravagant, like I was today, add vanilla bean – voila! That’s it!


Coconut Shortbread w/ Vanilla Bean Salted Caramel

½ cup shredded coconut
½ cup pecans
1 cup butter, room temperature
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out dough
½ teaspoon salt
44 small soft caramel candies (12 ounces), such as Kraft
5 tablespoons heavy cream
1 vanila bean, halved and seeds scraped out
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
sea salt, with large flakes, such as Maldon

1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper. Place coconut and pecans on a baking sheet, and toast until both are golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes, stirring halfway through. Cool, then transfer to a the bowl of a food processor and process until finely chopped.

2. With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add vanilla extract, flour, and salt; beat to combine. Stir in coconut and pecans.

3. Form the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Transfer to refrigerator, and chill for 30 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough 1/4″ thick. Using a fluted pastry cutter, cut out as many rounds as possible. Re-roll dough as needed Place the rounds, spaced 1″ apart, on the prepared baking sheets. Make indentations in the middle of each cookie by gently pressing with a bottle cap (I used the top of a Worcestershire bottle).

4. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through baking time, if needed. Remove cookies from oven and immediately reinforce center indentation by pressing again with bottle cap. Transfer cookies to a wire rack, and let cool completely.

5. Place caramels and heavy cream in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the caramels are melted and mixture is smooth, 4 to 6 minutes. Add vanilla beans. Spoon caramel into indentations in cookies, then drizzle back and forth across cookie with additional caramel.

6. Place chocolate chips in a small heavy duty zip lock bag. Place in microwave for 2 minutes on power level 5 (or 50 percent power). If chocolate is not melted after the 2 minutes, return to microwave for 10 second intervals until chocolate is completely melted. Snip off one lower corner of the bag (just an tiny snip) and drizzle chocolate back and forth over cookies (I did some with small dots of chocolate also). Sprinkle with sea salt while caramel and chocolate are still damp. Allow to dry overnight (or place in refrigerator for one hour) then store in an airtight container.

This actually makes a lot more caramel sauce than you will need for the cookies. It would also be a delicious sauce for ice cream or other desserts.

Adapted from Martha Stewart Living

36 thoughts on “Coconut Shortbread w/ Vanilla Bean Salted Caramel and ………… a Tea Party!”

  • Hey Shortbread Sister,
    Those cookies should help lift your spirits–at least for a little while. Yummy!

  • Chris, you are so talented. Those look beautiful and I bet they taste it too. I can’t wait to try.

    It’s so hard to have family far away. Thank goodness you have your blog to share 🙂

  • Ginny, I really should be ashamed of myself, I have nothing to complain about, as I am so blessed to get to see my daughter 4 or 5 times a year – they come home twice a year and I head to London 2-3 times a year. But you’re right, there is nothing like skin and real hugs!

  • You have taken shortbread to a WHOLE new level!! your picture and setting are SO beautiful – really special post:)
    Mary x

  • What a divinely decadent tea party!!! Please pass me second and third helpings…so good. This is sad about your daughter, how often do you get to see each other? What about the computer camera or Skype, too? Still not the same as hugs…

  • OMG!! These cookies are gorgeous. And salted caramel is everywhere now, I think its high time I tasted it! Love these cookies, will try them soon.Cookies are my favorite kind of after dinner desserts, you don’t end up eating as many calories a piece of cake or pie, and once you make batch they last at least for a week. So I am on a cookie baking mood these days 🙂

  • You’ve made a beautiful virtual tea to share with your daughter. It is hard when they are away from home. I still have separation anxiety and my girls have been gone from home longer than I care to admit.I hope you have a great weekend. Blessings…Mary

  • I find that making favorite recipes reduces homesickness or loneliness I get at times. My kids’ birthdays or holidays in the US when I know they’re all having a lot of fun – without me.

    These cookies are so pretty!

  • My daughter, son-in-law and three grandchildren live in my same town which is such a blessing, I know!
    Your tea party is lovely and the cookies are making me swoon;-) I feel for you missing your daughter, the virtual tea party is a wonderful way to connect;-)

  • Patti, Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment, I appreciate that so much! And thanks for your kind words about the blog – I enjoy cooking so much and realize it is a gift from the good Lord, nothing I have the rights to, so I feel like it would be wrong not to share it with others.
    Oh, and no problem with pinning recipes to Pinterest – I think Pinterest is a fabulous creation, such a great way to keep things organized!

  • First of all, you have the most awesome blog. I only discovered it about 3 weeks ago, and I don’t even know how I got here, but I am so glad I did. Your recipes are fabulous to the hilt!! I am constantly “pinning” them to my Pinterest page. (I hope that is okay with you…I’ve recently heard about bloggers who are not happy about having their stuff pinned, equating it to stealing from them. So let me know if it’s a problem, and I will remove the pins.)

    Also, I am beyond close to my daughter (22 years old), and we do tons together, so I can only imagine how difficult it is to have your sweet girl on a whole other continent.


  • These remind me of a Samoas clone I tried last year. They were delish! Beautiful pics, as usual.

  • Wow, these cookies have it all and they are so pretty too! I know how hard it is to have a dear daughter who lives far away. We keep in touch every day and I’m so grateful for that, but there is nothing like being able to see her often. I know a cup of afternoon tea and a cookie will cheer me up.

  • What a lovely post! It really belongs in “Victoria” magazine! I’m so glad you found a way to cheer yourself – and the rest of us – up!

  • Oh come on!!!! Look at those cookies, I cant believe how professional perfect they look!!!
    I love them Chris, have a wonderful weekend!

  • Thanks for inviting me to the tea party – I had a cup of coffee but I’m going to make some tea in honor of Caite and your girlies. I do know what that is like to miss your daughter – I remember when NY was a million miles away. Thanks for sharing the cookies and your feelings with us.
    I have so many sweet reminders of Caite around my house – they all can be used at a tea party.
    love, regina

  • hi chris, they look splendid!! i would probably lick off the caramel first and i’m very sure that your daughter would love to eat this too!! beautiful presentation!

  • I’m so sorry you’re missing your daughter and that she lives so far away. I am so glad that you got to see your grandchildren though. I never did get to meet my grandmother (she was in Belgium).

    Oh, those cookies look amazing. I love shortbread above all other kinds and caramel even more. I’ll just take mine without the chocolate drizzle. 🙂

  • I saw a recipe yesterday for coconut shortbread and thought of you with your shortbread recipe. I thought they sounded great. I love short read cookies and coconut so these sound like the perfect marriage. yours look especially pretty drizzled with the caramel.

  • I am putting these on my to make list. Your presentation is exquisite! Three of our five children are out of state and my heart knows the feeling of missing them. Even though they are in the states to my heart, they are far away.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *