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Belle of the Ball: Coconut Belles from the Betty Crocker Cooky Book

At first glance, Coconut Belles don't look like anything out of the ordinary: they look like a pleasing, if unremarkable, bar cookie.

But don't be fooled. The Coconut Belle one coy little cookie bar. I found them in the "family favorites" section of Betty Crocker's Cooky Book, where this cryptic introduction drew me in:

Since this cooky is better the second day than the day it is baked, you must bake them yesterday to enjoy them today.

True to the intro, these cookies taste good just out of the oven, but become something else entirely when left to their own flavor-melding devices overnight: delicately scented with citrus and redolent of rich coconut, these cookies taste far more compelling than their appearance might imply.

Of course, if you bake them around midnight, does that mean they were baked close enough to yesterday to enjoy today? Customers at the store will see.

Coconut Belles

Makes 24 bars


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract (I used lemon juice)
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut, plus extra for sprinkling on top
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped candied orange peel


  1. Heat oven to 325 F.
  2. Mix butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, lemon, and cream thoroughly.
  3. Measure flour and mix with salt and baking powder; stir into wet mixture.
  4. Blend in the coconut and peel.
  5. Spread in a lightly greased pan (I used 8x8-inch). If desired, sprinkle extra coconut on top.
  6. Bake 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown. While warm, cut into bars. Serve cooled (the next day is best).

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Reader Comments (8)

Man, I'm not a coconut fan but I LOVE that book. Yay!

June 15 | Unregistered CommenterEB

Oh why can't I live in Seattle!?!

June 15 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie

I need to come see your store!! I live IN SEATTLE...WHY haven't I come to visit yet???
:-) THese look amazing btw!! Thanks so much for sharing!

Man, would I ever love to swing by your store someday. I'm not a fan of coconut, but these look great! :)


June 15 | Unregistered CommenterWei-Wei

I'm sorry, but what is WRONG with you coconut haters? I adore you, but surrrriously. (kidding!)

Actually I think you could probably substitute the nuts of your choice (chopped) for coconut in this recipe without much consequence. Especially a nice oily nut (tee hee) like Macadamias?

June 15 | Registered CommenterCakespy

Next time I'm in Seattle, I'll definitely be by the shop. In the meantime, I'll make do with these bars. I love coconut so they look perfect!!

June 15 | Unregistered Commenterkickpleat

Sorry if this is a dumb question, but what is meant by "cream"? Whipping cream? Half and half? Would milk suffice? Thanks. (PS: I heart your site.)

June 16 | Unregistered CommenterJulia

I have a batch of these in the oven right now :)

June 25 | Unregistered CommenterCourtney

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