Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C) for at least 10 minutes. Line a cookie tray with parchment paper (optional).
Spread the coconut flakes into thin layer evenly on the prepared cookie tray.
Toast in the preheated oven for around 5 minutes, remove the tray stir the coconut for even browning and toast again for 2 minutes. (total 7 minutes with stirring after 5 minutes).
Take all purpose flour, corn starch, salt and baking soda in a bowl. Whisk it until everything is well combined.
In another large bowl, take softened butter along with white sugar and brown sugar. Beat it until it’s smooth and creamy. Use hand mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment or beat it by hand using wire whisk.
Now add milk and vanilla. Beat it again to combine. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl using spatula and mix.
Now add dry flour mixture. Using spatula fold the flour mixture into creamed butter-sugar mixture and make thick, sticky dough.
Add toasted coconut. Fold that into the dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) for at least 10 minutes. Line a cookie tray with parchment paper.
Scoop around 2-3 tablespoons of dough and roll into a smooth ball.
Arrange them on a prepared cookie tray. Keep them few inches apart as they are going to spread while baking.
Bake into the preheated oven for 12 minutes.
Let the cookies cool down for 2 minutes in the tray itself than using an offset spatula transfer the baked cookies on a cooling rack.
You can toast the coconut flakes on the stovetop instead of the oven. Use the wide pan, keep stirring constantly and keep the gas heat medium-low. Dry roast until lightly golden brown.
You can reduce the amount of coconut slightly in these cookies without any other changes. You can use between 1 to 1 ½ cups of coconut flakes.
You can add around ½-¾ cup of toasted, chopped nuts like walnuts, pecans, almonds, macadamia, etc.
The dough will be quite firm when chilled. So use the cookie scooper (ice cream scoop) to get the portion of the dough and squeeze it and roll it between your palms.
Do not over-bake the cookies otherwise they become more crispy and you’ll miss the soft and chew center. Still, they taste delicious but it is more on crisp side texture.
This recipe can be cut in half or doubled, tripled, etc. depending on how many you plan to serve. This recipe makes 12 large (3-4 inch diameter), thick and puffy cookies.
Storage: Let the cookies cool down completely and then store in an airtight container/jar. These eggless coconut cookies stay good for 3-4 days at room temperature, up to a week in the refrigerator. The cookie dough balls can be frozen for up to 3 months.