Dessert First and The Secret Recipe Club - Chewy Coconut-Lime Sugar Cookies

There are some days when one just needs to have dessert first!  I was having that feeling when I received my first blog assignment for The Secret Recipe Club hosted by Amanda at Amanda's Cookin'.  In this club food bloggers get together, their blog names are drawn and randomly distributed among one another, like a Secret Santa.  No one knows who is assigned their blog until the reveal date.

Being in a dessert first mood when I received my assignment, I went directly to Tessa's blog, The Cookin' Chemist!  I immediately found a cookie recipe that begged to be baked.  Chewy Coconut-Lime Sugar Cookies is the perfect summer cookie.  How can one pass up a cookie that has lime in its name?  These are the lightest, most flavorful, chewy cookies I have ever made.  They met the taste test...the Kitchen Gnome raved about them, my neighbor loved them and asked for the recipe as did my friends.

The only thing I did differently was decorate the top with raw sugar instead of regular granulated sugar.

Chewy Coconut-Lime Sugar Cookies
The Cookin' Chemist and Nov/Dec 2010 Cook's Illustrated


2-1/4 cups (11-1/4 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut  

1/2 tsp. table salt

1-1/2 cups (10-1/2 oz) sugar, plus 1/3 cup for rolling

2 oz. cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces 

1 tsp. finely grated lime zest

6 Tbsp. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and still warm

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 large egg

1 Tbsp. milk

1 Tbsp. lime juice

Adjust the oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, coconut, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.  Place 1-1/2 cups sugar, cream cheese, and lime zest in a large bowl. Place remaining 1/3 cup sugar in shallow baking dish or pie plate and set aside.  

Pour warm butter over sugar and cream cheese and whisk to combine (some small lumps of cream cheese will remain but will smooth out later). Whisk in oil until incorporated. Add egg, milk, and lime juice; continue to whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture and mix with rubber spatula until soft homogeneous dough forms. 

The final dough will be slightly softer than most cookie dough. For the best results, handle the dough as briefly as possible when shaping the cookies. Overworking the dough will result in flatter cookies. 

Divide dough into 24 equal pieces, about 2 tablespoons each. Using hands, roll dough into balls. Working in batches, roll balls in reserved sugar to coat and evenly space on prepared baking sheet, 12 dough balls per sheet. Using the bottom of a drinking glass, flatten dough balls until 2 inches in diameter. Sprinkle tops evenly with 4 teaspoons sugar, remaining in shallow dish (2 teaspoons per cookie sheet), discard any remaining sugar. 

Bake, 1 tray at a time, until edges are set and just beginning to brown, 11 to 13 minutes, rotating the tray after 7 minutes. Cool cookies on baking sheets for 5 minutes. Using wide metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature.


I was going to have chicken after my dessert so I perused what Tessa had cookin' in that area.  I found recipe after recipe that I knew we would like.  It was decided that we would make the Chicken Shawarma.  The problem I ran into was finding the tahini paste.  After checking in three stores I decided that I would have to use the Tahini Sauce that I found.  I decided it should work and after tasting it I just increased the amount to three tablespoons.

Chicken Shawarma

The Cookin' Chemist and Cooking Light 

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into strips (I used three chicken breasts.)
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. curry powder
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 c. plain reduced-fat Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp. tahini (I used Tahini Sauce and increased the amount to 3 Tablespoons.)
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
4 pieces whole-wheat flatbread
1 c. romaine lettuce
2 tomatoes, diced

In a medium bowl, combine lemon juice, curry powder, olive oil, salt, cumin, and minced garlic. Add chicken and toss to coat. Let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. To prepare the sauce, in a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, and 1 clove minced garlic. Set aside.

Spray grill grates with cooking spray and pre-heat the outdoor grill. Place chicken strips on the grill (can place on skewers if desired). Grill for 4 minutes on each side or until chicken is fully cooked. Place pitas on grill rack and grill for 1 minute on each side or until lightly toasted. Place 1 pita on each plate. Top with chicken, lettuce, tomato, and sauce.


These were delicious!  We had enough for lunch the next day.  We were eatin' good!

Since I still had three chicken breasts left to cook, I went back to Tessa's blog and decided to make the Chicken Carne Asada Tacos with Pickled Onions.

Chicken Carne Asada Tacos
with Pickled Onions

The Cookin' Chemist and Cooking Light, April 2010
Serves 4
1/2 c. fresh orange juice (about 1 orange)
1/2 c. fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 medium red onion, thinly vertically sliced
1-1/2 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken thighs (breasts) trimmed and cut into thin strips
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
cooking spray
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 diced, peeled avocado 
1/2 c. (2 oz) crumbled Cotija cheese
lime wedges (optional)

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring until sugar dissolves. Place onion in a small saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil; drain and plunge onion into ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain onion; add to juice mixture. Chill until ready to serve.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Sprinkle chicken with oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper; toss to coat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes or until browned and done, stirring occasionally. 

Heat tortillas according to package directions. Divide chicken evenly among tortillas. Drain onion; divide evenly among tortillas. Top each tortilla with 2 Tbsp. avocado and 1 Tbsp. cheese; fold over. Serve with lime wedges if desired.


Did I mention that we were eating well?  Both of the chicken dishes were quick, easy to make, and tasty.  There was plenty left for lunch the next day too!

Tessa is a pharmacist who has a knack for creating the most exciting  and delicious meals.  I totally enjoyed cruising through Tessa's blog.  We seem to enjoy a similar cooking style and love of food.  In fact, I couldn't stop finding recipes on her blog that I wanted to prepare.  So, I chose just a few...


  1. Love that you made 3 recipes for the SRC! They all look great :)

  2. I frequently make Chicken Shawarma, after I first learned about it from Elly Says Opa! (a great blog) -- and just love the idea of these lime cookies! I must make them soon.

  3. I want to try all 3 recipes, Kate. They look wonderful! Chicken shawarma is a particular favorite in my house and I'm delighted to have the recipe. Thanks for sharing. Your event sounds like a fun one.

  4. Wow...these recipes all look GREAT! I love lime and always have them in my kitchen, along with lemons. I think I need to make those cookies muy pronto!! Great job...I just joined SRC this month and am already loving it!!!

  5. That looks like you had quite fun for this month's SRC assignment! all the recipes look great...esp. those delicate sugar cookies.

  6. My goodness! Everything looks so good. I would have a difficult time knowing where to begin to try. That Chicken Shawarma does sound delicious. I even have tahini on hand. I had a difficult time finding it until I looked in the healthy food section of the market.

  7. I'll take 3 cookies please! They look delicious!

  8. Delicious! Chicken Shawarma looks extremely tasty.

  9. What a delicious post! I'll be making both the cookies and the chicken shawarma!

  10. These recipes look fantastic, and I like how you made use of leftovers. I tend to just freeze stuff then forget about it until it's too late. Stopping by from SRC.

  11. What a wonderful post - I don't know which dish to pick - they all look delicious - but they's something special about coconut and lime!

  12. I was in a dessert first mood too!! :) I love that you used the colored sugar; it's so pretty! And those chicken carne asada tacos and making my mouth water. YUM!

  13. All three recipes you made look so good! The next time I am in a cookie making mood, I am going to have to give the coconut lime ones a try.

  14. everything looks so amazing! I'm afraid that now that I am in the club I'm going to be introduced to someone and I'll want to make all sorts of things, too - quite ambitious of you! : )

  15. I love the look of your chicken shawarma. That sauce is something I'm definitely going to be making.

  16. I love everything here - but I really am liking on the Chicken Shawarma....would love that for dinner tonight!

  17. Everything looks wonderful. The cookies caught my attention fast. I love cookies. Thanks for all the post. great pictures Andi

  18. Oh yes....I am in love! Those cookies look delightful! I so agree with you..anything with the word lime in is has to be gooood...

  19. Such fabulous cookies! Great selection for your first SRC :) And I love your chicken dishes, too! What a yummy blog~

  20. I am a follower of Tessa's blog! She and I got to know each other from Sweet Melissa Sunday's. These cookies look so delicious!

    I've enjoyed my time here today and also during the Ice Cream socials. You have a lovely blog!

  21. All 3 recipes look delicious, but I'm a total sucker for sugar cookies and for anything lime...I love these! Theresa

  22. Those coconut lime cookies sound so tropical and just perfect for summer. Don't you just love the SRC? :)

  23. Wow---a tropical vacation in one cookie! Thanks for this great recipe. What a great pick for SRC.

  24. Both recipes look delish!

    If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check out my SRC recipe this month: Holy Guacamole.

    Cook Lisa Cook

  25. I'm always up for dessert first! Love the pairing of coconut and lime in a cookie. Nice choice!

  26. WOW, you were busy for this SRC!! Thanks for sharing all those wonderful recipes! So funny, I just made the coconut-lime sugar cookies last week. They were so delicious!
    It's great to view your blog!

  27. I have been wanting to try this recipe for so long! It sounds so delicious. Lime and coconut cookies? How could anyone pass that up!

  28. Love those cookies - coconut and lime are just such a delicious combo! :)

  29. Thanks so much for your kind comments! I am glad you enjoyed the recipes :)

    P.S. The colored sprinkles are perfect. Too cute!

  30. Oh, I love chicken tacos. We make them at about once a week so it is always great to have a way to change them up a bit! Lovely!

  31. Oh those cookies look amazing! If it wasn't so hot I'd fire up the oven!

  32. So many yummies! These recipes look and sound so delicious. My mouth is watering. The colored sugar made me giddy. I will need to bookmark this for our next taco night and refer back to it. Yummy!

  33. WOW impressive - They all look so good. I had a blast going through your blog. I am also going to make your yogurt cake as well :)

  34. Yum! What a lot of delicious things.
    And those cookies - what a great summery flavor.

  35. losing wieght sucks... cookies calling my name... HELP!

  36. I'm all about coconut and my daughter would love the colored sugar you put on top... I haven't purchased any of that for her and where I"m all about coconut she's all about sugar!
    The Shwarma is awesome too! Our farmers market has an Egyptian guy who makes it, but I'm eager to try it myself! Nicely done!

  37. Oh my goodness all 3 recipes look absolutely amazing. I love shawarma!

  38. Wow, you did Tessa proud! Great job with all three dishes. Now all I have to do is try to stop singing, "You put the lime and the coconut and mix it all up." lol!

  39. Wow, you have been cooking up a storm! It all looks good too!
    I went over to that site, but I couldn't find where you sign up, so I will have to go look for the rules.
    Hope all is well with you!

  40. Mmm...coconut and lime. It's like a vacation in your mouth!

    Amy @ A Little Nosh


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