Crunchy Coconut Twists Recipe (2024)

By Melissa Clark

Crunchy Coconut Twists Recipe (1)

Total Time
25 minutes, plus chilling
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At first glance, these long, skinny cookies look a lot like savory cheese straws, the kind of thing you’d nibble with co*cktails. But those golden shreds are coconut, not Cheddar, embedded in store-bought puff pastry and coated with sugar. They’re crunchy, caramelized, and look dramatic on a cookie plate. Try to seek out all-butter pastry for the richest flavor. And if you come across chocolate puff pastry, even better!

Featured in: 3 Simple Ways to Turn Frozen Puff Pastry Into the Ultimate Party Starter

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Yield:About 2 dozen cookies

  • 1cup/200 grams granulated sugar
  • cup/66 grams sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1large egg
  • 1tablespoon heavy cream or whole milk
  • ½teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1(14- to 16-ounce) package puff pastry, preferably made with butter, thawed if frozen, but still cold

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (24 servings)

149 calories; 8 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 4 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 18 grams carbohydrates; 0 grams dietary fiber; 10 grams sugars; 2 grams protein; 73 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Crunchy Coconut Twists Recipe (2)


Make the recipe with us

  1. Step


    In a medium mixing bowl, combine sugar and shredded coconut. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together egg, heavy cream and salt to make an egg wash and set aside.

  2. Place a sheet of parchment paper (about 12 by 16 inches) on a clean work surface. Unfold dough and roll the chilled puff pastry dough to about ⅛ inch thick (about an 11-by-15-inch rectangle). Generously brush egg wash over the top of the pastry. Sprinkle half of the coconut-sugar mixture in an even layer all over the egg-washed surface. Using a rolling pin, gently press coconut-sugar mixture into dough. Gently slide the pastry (still on the parchment paper) onto a cookie sheet. Cover lightly with another sheet of parchment and refrigerate until firm, 10 to 20 minutes.

  3. Step


    Once chilled, remove pastry from refrigerator. Using another cookie sheet or wire cooling rack, invert the pastry so the coconut-topped side is now on the bottom. Slide dough, still sandwiched between parchment, onto the countertop. Remove the top piece of parchment and set aside. Brush the puff pastry with the egg wash. Sprinkle evenly with remaining coconut-sugar mixture, and use a rolling pin to press it into the pastry dough. Carefully transfer pastry (still on the parchment) to a cookie sheet and cover again with the other sheet of parchment. Refrigerate until firm, 10 to 20 minutes.

  4. Step


    Remove pastry from the fridge, and remove the top layer of parchment. Using a sharp knife or pastry cutter, cut pastry into strips between ¼ and ½ inch (you can eyeball it). Return pan to the fridge to chill thoroughly, another 10 to 20 minutes.

  5. Step


    Line 2 or 3 cookie sheets with parchment paper. (You can reuse the parchment paper you’ve been using for the dough.) Working one strip at a time, transfer to prepared sheets and twist the two ends in opposite directions several times to create a long twist. Press the ends onto the parchment paper so they stick and don’t unfurl. Space coconut twists about 1 inch apart. Sprinkle any coconut that fell off the strips back on top of them.

  6. Step


    Place in pans, uncovered, in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes, or in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes. The twists should be very firm and thoroughly chilled before baking. You can leave them in the fridge or freezer for up to 24 hours before baking, but if you leave them for more than an hour, cover them with plastic wrap so they don’t dry out.

  7. Step


    While the twists are chilling, heat oven to 350 degrees.

  8. Step


    Bake twists until toasted and golden brown all over, 15 to 22 minutes, rotating sheet pans halfway through. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store for up to 1 week in an airtight container.



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Cooking Notes


Delicious! I used 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut and 3/4 cup sugar and it was plenty sweet. I used Trader Joe's all-butter puff pastry; the 18oz box has 2 sheets, about 9x12" inch each. I rolled them out a bit before following the rest of the steps. I cut the strips along the short end, but still thought the final result was too long for my intended audience, so cut/broke them in half after cooling. I intend to make again, adding cocoa to the sugar & coconut mixture.

Juliana Lufkin

Made these this afternoon - had some trouble with the coconut and sugar falling off when we twisted them. Sprinkled what had fallen off back over the tops before baking for 21 minutes. Absolutely delicious, will definitely make again!


The candy would definitely melt in the oven, but if you wanted to drizzle chocolate on the cookies, you could stick the peppermint to the chocolate!

alexandra Trower

I so wanted to love these! Maybe my coordination for twisting was off but after the first batch went into the oven, I used my pizza cutter to make simple small triangles with my remaining strips. I also dusted with some sea salt. Heaven and easier than twists for me.

Dani D.

I'm not much of a baker, so this recipe seemed perfect for me. I made these for a holiday party this week and they were INCREDIBLE. I followed the recipe as written, but a little fast and loose with chilling times. The sugar/coconut mixture did fall off a little bit on the pan but that turned into beautiful crispy coconut-caramel that I threw in the box with the cookies for the party. When baked and cooled, I drizzled half the batch with melted chocolate. A+, no leftovers.


Sort of afraid to ask but what happens if you skip a refrigeration step?


I made these exactly as written, and to me they are some of the best and easiest holiday cookies. Coconut-caramel-crispy butter pastry…right up my alley. The actual work time is minimal and perfect if you are puttering around and doing other things mid-chill. Everyone, including non-coconut lovers, raved about them.


I would be concerned with the candy melting.


With chilling, set aside 1.5 hours total if you don’t want to be rushed. I used cocoa powder instead of coconut and they were delicious. Honestly you can mix whatever you want with the sugar. Cocoa powder, Cinammon, or plain sugar. Fun to experiment with different flavors. Good to have a non-coconut option in case some people don’t like coconut (my husband doesn’t).


Wow. Melissa did it again! Made these exactly per recipe. Very very delicious. A big hit for everyone. For my palate, however, I would cut the sugar down to 3/4 a cup next time. I generally like less sugar and this recipe is no exception.

Zack Brown

Followed the directions exactly and everything turned out wonderfully. These are some of the best cookies I have ever made. The recipe says it’s preferable to use a puff pastry with butter in it, but we only have the Pepperidge Farm one where I’m from (which does not contain butter) and it tastes great to me! Can’t wait to include these in my cookie boxes. Thanks Melissa!


Add cinnamon!!!!!


After reading the comments, I was worried about the mess and not being able to maintain the twist. I'm happy to say that I worried in vain. I used an all-butter pastry and refrigerated longer than called for, which was easy since I wasn't in any rush to bake.Other changes I made:Lightly toasted my coconut flakesAdded ground cinnamon and powder vanilla to the coconut sugar mixOnly had a problem separating them after baking and cooling, because they hardened together. Do this before cooling.


These were kind of a pain to make with all the chilling steps and I had a lot of trouble getting the strips to twist (about half ened up baked just as strips) but the end result was worth it. Will cut back on the sugar in the coconut next time as most of it never stuck to the rather dry coconut I used and the cookie was plenty sweet anyway. A really nice addition to the cookie tray as they look and taste quite different from the usual assortment.


The instruction to press the ends of the twisted pastry onto the parchment paper did not work for me, no matter the pressing technique. This meant that the chilling and twisting was for naught as the pastry untwisted on the sheet pan. More importantly, the end product was not as tasty as I had anticipated and not worth the effort.

Tootsie Woo

I made these and almost all the coconut fell off. I did it exactly to the recipe and directions and it was a FAIL .


Easy to make and delicious. I used two sheets of Trader Joe’s phyllo, a full bag of sweetened coconut and 2/3 cup sugar. Still very sweet…and delicious.

Peaches Dunkirk

How well do these hold up over time, at room temp? Thinking about taking them on an airplane for Thanksgiving.


Oh, these are really great, but I won’t be making them again. With all the cooling in between each step, it took half a day. Please let me know if anyone has made them skipping a few cooling steps. I wonder if maybe just cooling them before baking would suffice.


Messy and really time -consuming. Just took them out of the oven and look forward to tasting them.

JoAnn LaBare

Light, crispy cookie! fun to make, it just takes a couple of minutes here & there between chilling periods. Used store brand inexpensive puff pastry and rolled it out between 2 sturdy silicone baking mats (Silpat). 2 Mats were easy to flip over the cookies between chilling episodes. Used pizza wheel cutter to cut phyllo dough into strips. Sprinkled extra cocoa nut on top; finishes to almost a caramel taste with sugar/coconut highlights. Even the slightly burnt ones were good.


Made these for a friend's birthday - she loved them! Absolutely delicious. Thanks for the recipe!


This cookie is delicious. It was easy to make and even five days since baking they remain crackly, sweet and buttery tasting. A cookie I’ll make time and again.


Followed the recipe, after twice watching the video, and voila, fantastic sweet cookies. Used Dufour butter puff pastry which required minimal rolling. Lightly rolling on the sugar-coconut streusel into the pastry and keeping the pastry cold are keys I think. Many thanks

Trista Lindsey

Was a crowd hit amongst a few other NYT cookies this year. A bit fussy to make with all the refrigeration and keeping the coconut sugar on, but the end result tasted great. Would recommend clocking it on the parchment used to make the cookies… the bits and bobs that fall of caramelize and a little tasty crunch.


#1. If Melissa makes it I’ll give it a shot! #2. It felt like a bit of a heavy lift with all the 15 minute in the fridge pauses. Bottom line. Easy and delicious ! I’ll mix the cocoa powder and cinnamon in next time I try. Enjoy!

Beth C

Fantastic. I used 1/2 unsweetened coconut, 1/2 sweetened, a tiny bit less sugar and a little more salt in the egg wash. Some were a bit tricky to twist because I didn't cut them so evenly. Everyone loved them.

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Crunchy Coconut Twists Recipe (2024)
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