Chocolate Coconut Pinwheels

The dough log.

I can credit (or curse) my friend Nancy — yes, the same Nancy of ginger cookie fame — for this recipe. It’s been living in my cookie binder, carefully sheathed in plastic, since my first cookie baking extravaganza in 2000. It’s a printout from an unknown listserv, posted by jazziebelle048 (thanks, jazzie!) Around here, they’re known as my husband’s favorite cookie. They are a royal pain to make compared to most of my cookie recipes, but they’re just so darned good!

Be forewarned: the dough must be made a day ahead of time and refrigerated prior to baking.

Also: best not to do this the night before Thanksgiving when the fridge is so packed that you struggle to find a place to put the baking sheet to chill.


  • 8 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp table salt
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk


Beat 8 Tbsp butter and granulated sugar on medium speed until fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.

In a medium bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking soda and salt.

Add flour mixture to butter mixture and combine on low speed until incorporated. Add coconut and beat until combined.

Roll out dough between two pieces of parchment paper until it measures roughly 15 inches by 10 inches and is approximately 1/4 inch thick. Transfer the dough to a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Place chocolate and 1 Tbsp butter in a double boiler, stirring until melted. Remove from heat and add condensed milk. Let stand until slightly thickened, about five minutes.

Start by folding the edge, then rolling the dough over itself until it forms a log.

Remove dough from the refrigerator and peel off the top piece of parchment. Using a spatula, spread the chocolate mixture over the dough.

Using the bottom sheet of parchment for support, roll the dough into a log. Wrap the dough in parchment and refrigerate overnight or freeze for up to a month.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment.

Remove the log from the refrigerator and remove the parchment from the outside. Cut into 1/4 inch pinwheel rounds. Arrange on the baking sheet at least 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake until light golden brown on the edges, about 8-10 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through.

Cool on wire rack.


The Tiny Kitchen Assistant displays most of the finished product.

My husband was the picture of cookie joy. After a day or two of preferring Really Ugly Sugar Cookies (recipe to come next week), the Tiny Kitchen Assistant came to his senses and admitted that these cookies were, in fact, “pretty awesome.”

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