Mocha (Coco)Nut Butterball Cookies – A Foodie Murder Mystery Baking Mission


I’m so excited to be sharing my first batch of fresh baked co0kies on the blog!!  I haven’t baked cookies since I was little and that was under the supervision and guidance of my aunt, so this is a big deal for me.  Reading through all the amazing recipes from my favourite Joanne Fluke foodie murder mystery novels got me all fired up and this recipe is from my most recent read, Apple Turnover Murder.  The cookies were incredibly easy to make, they didn’t take long to bake in the oven, and they taste freakin’ fantastic!  This is a no-egg recipe, so if you or anyone else you know has an aversion to eggs, bookmark this!  The cookies are a cross between Timbit donuts and regular cookies shape-wise, and they’re crunchy with bold flavour.  They have this delicious roasted coffee and flavour (hence the mocha) and hints of fudgy chocolate, and because I used shredded coconut for mine (the recipe originally calls for nuts, but you can substitute for shredded or flaked coconut), the texture is amazing.

Recipe for Mocha (Coco)Nut Butterballs (yields 3-4 dozen cookies, depending on size)


  • 1 cup softened butter (2 sticks, 1/2 pound)
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder***
  • 1/4 cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (no need to sift)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans, or any other nuts (I substituted this with shredded coconut)

***if the only instant coffee you have on hand comes in granules or beads, just crush them into a powder with the back of a spoon before adding it to the cookie dough


  • Preheat oven to 325°F, rack in middle position.
  • Soften the butter.  Mix in the white sugar, vanilla extract, instant coffee powder, cocoa powder, and salt (Deb’s note: if you’re using an electric hand mixer, make sure you fully break down and incorporate the sugar so that you’re not left with any sugary “grittiness” hanging out in your mixing bowl.  You’ll hear it and know it while you mix because it will sound “scratchy” if it’s not fully incorporated).
  • Add the flour in half-cup increments, mixing after each addition (you don’t have to be exact, just make sure to add the flour in 3 parts).
  • Stir in the nuts or coconut and make sure everything is evenly distributed.
  • Form the dough into 1-inch balls (squeeze and roll them tight so they won’t crumble) and place them on an ungreased baking sheet (Deb’s note: I used 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper laid on top, with 15 cookie dough balls on each).  Press them down very slightly so they won’t roll off on their way to the oven.

  • Bake the cookie balls at 325°F for 12-15 minutes, until they are set (Deb’s note: I was able to fit both of my cookie sheets in the oven, with the rack in the middle position, by placing them in “vertically” side by side.  Mine took 13 and a half minutes).
  • Move the cookies from the cookie sheets to a wire rack.  Let them cool completely.
  • When the cookies are completely cool, dip them in powdered sugar to coat them (Deb’s note: I just left my cookies naked).

The cookie balls don’t deviant much in shape, so don’t freak out if you don’t see them flattening while they bake; they’re supposed to retain that round, ball shape for the most part.  I taste-tested (okay, more like gorged) on these cookies at multiple stages of “cooling”.  I had one when they were still warm, I had one when they were completely cool, and I had one the next morning.  The cookies taste AMAZING with age.  Although they were great when they were still warm, they were even more awesome the morning after.  The chocolate, coffee, and coconut flavours and textures are so much more pronounced the next day.  Cookie baking mission accomplished! 😀


Recipe taken from Joanne Fluke’s Apple Turnover Murder. New York: Kensington Publishing Corp., 2010.  Photographs taken by me.  The recipe can be found on page 69.

12 thoughts on “Mocha (Coco)Nut Butterball Cookies – A Foodie Murder Mystery Baking Mission

    • They keep really well, you’re going to love them!! 😀 It’s the perfect cookie to go with coffee (even though I don’t drink coffee, I still think it’d make a great pairing!).

  1. Ironically I had a coconut iced coffee today, & these were all I could think of – indeed, what a pairing that would be! When the current baked good upstairs is gone, I may have to sneak in the kitchen and whip these babies up! ❤

    • Ooo, a coconut iced coffee sounds delish! And I am so looking forward to baking more cookies and trying out other recipes. My brother and I had two more cookies, each, today for dessert and ahh, so yummy. I can’t wait till you get to eat some too!

    • Yes and yes to both points! 🙂 I love simple recipes that turn out like a million bucks in yumminess, hee. I’m planning on trying out some other recipes over the next month, I’m excited!

  2. Pingback: Bunnies and Easter Sunday Baking! Terry’s Carrot Cake Cookies « Ate by Ate

    • Hi Hilary, thanks so much for visiting and leaving me a message! I am a total coconut fanatic and I’ll find any way to incorporate it in a cookie because I love coconut so much! 😀 I will totally have to try out the one you posted (omg mini marshmallows!) and I hope you like these ones whenever you get around to baking them!

    • Oh my gosh, that’s amazing! 😀 I think this might the first time another blogger has reposted or linked back to one of the recipes here, so excited!! Thanks so much for letting me know and for following, Hilary, it means a lot! And yes, cookie lovers do think alike, we’d all have the best party if we all got together for a cookie potluck or something, haha.

  3. Pingback: Goodies by Anna: Mocha Hazelnut Butterball Cookies

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