A meal is not complete in Italy without drinking a “digestivo”, or an after dinner drink at the end of the meal. A good Grappa, Amaro, Sambuca or Limoncello sipped after dinner is thought to help one’s food digest and settle the stomach. Everyone has their favorite and Limoncello, a lemon liqueur produced mainly in the south of Italy especially around the Amalfi Coast, is best served cold. (I’m all for another drink, especially when it’s said to be medicinal.)
I’ve been baking some form of this glorious cookie recipe for the last few years, tweaking it every so often. A simple drop cookie, with lots of tangy lemon, crunchy toasted coconut and the sweetness of white chocolate is a favorite in my house. So when I found myself with an extra bottle of limoncello left over from cocktails with the girls (limoncello, blueberry vodka and seltzer over ice on a hot summer day…highly recommended by all), using it instead of the lemon juice seemed natural. And with a little nip of Limoncello while the cookies are in the oven, you’ve got the perfect de-stresser.
(Make sure to lightly toast the coconut and if you don’t happen to have a bottle of limoncello on hand, fresh squeezed lemon juice instead is a great substitute.)
- ½ c/60 g shredded coconut
- 2 c. / 250 g flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 6 oz/170 g unsalted butter
- 1 c./250 g. sugar
- 2 T. grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
- 1 egg
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 2 T. limoncello (can substitute fresh lemon juice)
- ¾ c./140 g white chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C.
- Spread coconut on a cookie sheet and bake 8-11 minutes just until very lightly golden.
- In a bowl, stir together flour, baking powder & salt.
- In another bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
- Beat in lemon zest.
- Add egg and vanilla and mix another minute.
- Add Limoncello and mix another minute.
- Add dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
- Add toasted coconut and chocolate and mix until combined.
- Drop by spoonfuls on parchment paper lined cookie sheets and bake for 11-14 minutes until very lightly golden.
- Makes about 30 cookies.