Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Kaya

I tweaked these cookies from my favorite thumbprint cookie recipe. The idea came to me when I did the macarons for the Daring Baker’s challenge, I have lots of leftover kaya, I used it as centers/filling for these cookies.

These are really good cookies, one of my tweaks that I’m really proud of, I also make this with dulce de leche center and it was a hit, I got lots of orders for it last Christmas season. I’m sharing my recipe with you…

In case you’re wondering what kaya is, kaya is a yummylicious Malaysian coconut and egg jam. It is very similar to our very own coconut jam in the Philippines but kaya is creamier and richer and I have to admit much yummier.

It’s the egg yolks that makes the difference which can be scary to some people as egg yolks have high cholesterol content; I was overwhelmed too by the amount (of yolks) in the recipe but it’s the reason why I made it in the first place..I had extra yolks that I didn’t want to go to waste and I’m glad I did it because it lead me to this delicious cookie recipe 🙂

High cholesterol or not, remember: too much of anything is not good…eat these cookies with moderation


If you don’t have time to make kaya, you can substitute dulce de leche, store-bought or homemade (better).

tweaked from Good Housekeeping Perfect Desserts

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter ( or margarine), softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoon fresh milk
dessicated coconut for dredging

1/2 cup kaya or dulce de leche

Here’s how:
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Combine flour, baking powder and salt on a wax paper ( for easier pouring ). In a large boel with mixer at high medium speed, beat sugar and butter until creamy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat until well blended. Reduce speed to ,low; beat in flour mixture just unitl blended.
Drop about a rounded measuring tablespoon of dough into the dessicated coconut, roll until dough is evenly coated with coconuts, place onto ungreased baking sheet and bake 6 minuts. Remove cookie sheet from the oven. Working quickly, with greased rounded measuring teaspoon or large watermelon baller, gentkly press a small indentation in the center of each cookie, making sure not to press all the way through. Fill each indentation wwith rounded 1/2 teaspoon of kaya or dulce de leche.

Return cookies to oven and bake 12-14 minutes longer or until edeges are browned. Transfe cookies to a wire rack to cool. Serve with tea or coffee!

KAYA ( Malaysian Coconut and Egg Jam)

2 cups coconut milk
5 egg yolks
1 2/3 cups brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt/coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon clear pandan essence

I cooked 2 cups of pure coconut milk with the yolks , 1 2/3 cup brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pandan essence until it’s thick. To test for doneness, it should fall off relutantly from the spoon or if it coats the back of a spoon, you know it’s ready. It’s up to you how you want your kaya consistency; cook it a bit longer if you want it really thick. Cool completely before using. Store excess in a jar and keep in the fridge for about two weeks.


♥ Thanks for reading and have a nice day!! 🙂 ♥

18 Responses to "Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Kaya"

  1. divine g.   June 8, 2011 at 11:08 am

    I love kaya! ill definitely try this!

  2. priscilla poh   March 4, 2011 at 12:57 am

    Hello dear

    Cud u kindly advise the 3 tablespoons milk is referring to milk in liquid form or powder milk?

    Thank you.

    • Olive   March 4, 2011 at 1:48 am

      that’s liquid milk.. thanks for asking, I will update my post for clarity.
      thanks again, Priscilla! 🙂

  3. tasteofbeirut   April 18, 2010 at 11:02 am

    These cookies look fabulous! Love your own take on the traditional thumbprints!

  4. fimère   April 18, 2010 at 3:04 am

    I have a price for you on my blog, you can take it
    good day

    • Olive   April 22, 2010 at 10:02 am

      thanks fimere, will post it here soon together with the other awards from blogger friends 🙂

  5. James   April 16, 2010 at 1:39 am

    Cookies look amazing. Definitely something I can’t buy from the local grocery market. I’m getting so hungry!

  6. Valen   April 15, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    What great way to change it up! Yum!

  7. Wizzythestick   April 15, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    oh yum dulce de leche cookies…..on second thought dulce de leche anything 🙂 is great

  8. Angie   April 15, 2010 at 6:40 am

    Great idea for using leftover egg yolks, I love it when I have leftover egg whites – macaron and amaretti biscuits galore but when it’s egg yolk all I can think of is custard of some sort.

  9. clĂ©m'   April 14, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Ouah, your cookies looks delicious!! hummm
    Kiss and have a good day!

  10. fimère   April 14, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    j’aime beaucoup la noix de coco et je trouve tes cookies irrĂ©sistiblement dĂ©licieux
    bonne soirée

  11. Sophie   April 14, 2010 at 10:59 am

    Hello Olive!

    What apart & appetizing looking cookies!

    Yumm,…looks very tasty!

  12. Trissa   April 14, 2010 at 9:17 am

    I’ve never had kaya before but have heard so many good things about it. I do remember the coconut jams in the Philippines which were delicious so as you said, something creamier would certainly taste better!

  13. Joanne   April 14, 2010 at 4:15 am

    I wouldn’t worry too much about the egg yolks. More and more research is showing that eggs don’t actually cause very high cholesterol and that they are actually SUPER nutritious.

    These cookies look delicious! I really want some of that jam.

  14. Bridgett   April 13, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    These look so heavenly!

  15. Jeannie   April 13, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    Looking at those cookies makes me drool! And making kaya is very time consuming…done it before and worth the effort I must say.

  16. anncoo   April 13, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    Kaya is one of my fav and love this creative cookies.


Leave a Reply to Trissa Cancel Reply

Your email address will not be published.