DIY Geneva Cookies – Pecan / Candy Cane / Coconut

DIY Geneva Cookies - Pecan / Candy Cane / Coconut

 First of all – just want to acknowledge the fact that I constantly kept referring to these as ‘Genovia’ Cookies (when typing and thinking about them – I’ve managed not to actually say it yet).


As in “I-am-the-Princess-of-Genovia”-Genovia.

The made up land in the Princess Diaries.

Even now, when I think of the name without looking at the title of the post, I’m like “Okay, it’s not ‘Genovia’, what is it? Is it ‘Genova’? No that sounds wrong..” and I literally can’t remember that it’s ‘Geneva’ for a good 5 minutes.

DIY Geneva Cookies - Pecan / Candy Cane / Coconut

These cookies must be messing with my mind – probably because they are SO INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS.

I can’t stop eating them.

Yesterday there were 50 cookies.

Today: 32.

and I don’t even know how it happened.

DIY Geneva Cookies - Pecan / Candy Cane / Coconut


In the UK, you can’t find Pepperidge Farm Cookies – I know, it’s not like they’re the best cookies ever, but as far as packaged cookies go, Pepperidge Farm’s are pretty damn fine.

You can occasionally find a package of white chocolate chip ones in Whole Foods for like £3.50 (Errrm, no. Whole Foods – I love you, but I’m not going to pay that much for cookies), but it’s not like there are even any alternative British cookies that are remotely similar to things like Geneva cookies 🙁

So what do you do when you can’t buy them?

Give up and be thankful that you’re not going to have another package of cookies taunting you in the cupboard?

HAH. no!

Ima make them 🙂


DIY Geneva Cookies - Pecan / Candy Cane / Coconut


It did occur to me that there could be a package of these cookies in one of the two huge boxes of goodies (this is one of them) that my awesome, amazing, super generous blogging friend Erica sent me for Christmas (OMG I’m so excited to open them, you cannot BELIEVE), but I knew I would have to wait for them, and I had some candy canes just begging to be crushed up.

So I made the cookies.

and then, I topped them with different things:

– chopped pecans (the classic)

– toasted, dessicated coconut

– and crushed candy canes with a drizzle of white chocolate…


DIY Geneva Cookies - Pecan / Candy Cane / Coconut


Oh lordy,

I’m so incredibly glad I made them.

They are insanely good.

Even if you live in America with access to Geneva cookies, or have a package of Geneva cookies in your cupboard, you NEED to make these. They are 100 million times better:

– the cookie is buttery, crispy, light and crunchy. A bit like the Brussels Cookie in fact

– the chocolate (I used a mix of semi-sweet and 70%) was so much more chocolatey and smooth

– the toppings were fresh and mega flavourful


DIY Geneva Cookies - Pecan / Candy Cane / Coconut


When you taste them, and realise how ridiculously good they are, you will laugh –


– at how you used to think that the packaged version was tasty.


DIY Geneva Cookies - Pecan / Candy Cane / Coconut


Home made pretty much always wins.



DIY Geneva Cookies - Pecan / Candy Cane / Coconut

DIY Geneva Cookies - Pecan / Candy Cane / Coconut

DIY Geneva Cookies - Pecan / Candy Cane / Coconut

I devoured that hot chocolate – including ALL those mini marshmallows – just FYI.


– I’ve subbed half the butter for 3.5 0z of coconut oil  (i.e. used 3.5 oz of butter + 3.5 oz of coconut oil) and it works just as well!

– If you want an easy way to temper the chocolate, I’ve got an easy, step-by-step image guide here

– To save time:

You seriously don’t need to make these oval shaped – it saves a lot of hassle if you just make the cookies round: just roll the dough into 1″ balls, place on the lined cookie sheet and flatten into 1/4″ thick circles; they’ll be just as good, and much quicker to make.

– instead of coating the bottom of the cookies w/ the chocolate, just dip one half of the cookie into the chocolate, then dip it into the toppings

– You can use any other toppings you want – don’t limit yourself to those three, go crazy! – chopped peanuts, hazelnuts, spread on some nutella, crushed pretzels, crushed potato chips, flaky sea salt, chopped toffee, chopped candy bars (rolo or snickers would be just…I can’t even…), dried fruit, freeze dried fruit, mini marshmallows… whatever!

– I also drizzled the peppermint Geneva Cookies with a but of melted white chocolate for some pizazz :O ahaha

DIY Geneva Cookies – Pecan / Candy Cane / Coconut

DIY Geneva Cookies – Pecan / Candy Cane / Coconut


  • 14 tbsp (7 oz) unsalted butter (see notes)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp vinegar, (anything but balsamic!) or lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 8 to 10 oz semisweet / bittersweet chocolate, , melted (and tempered if you can be bothered - see notes)

For the toppings ~ 1/2 to 2/3 cup of one of the following:

  • 1/3 cup toasted chopped pecans, , toasted dessicated coconut, crushed candy cane


  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
  2. Cream the butter, sugar, vanilla and vinegar/lemon juice together in a large bowl. Add in the next 4 ingredients and stir until just combined.
  3. Divide the dough into 1" balls, roll the dough balls into 2 1/4" long sausage shapes, place onto a lined cookie sheet.


Flatten the sausages of dough into oval shapes (see notes) – about 1/4 inch thick, spaced 1/2″ apart on the cookie sheet.




Bake for 17-20 minutes until they are a light golden brown. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Once cooled, spread about 1/2 tsp of melted (tempered if you can be bothered) chocolate onto the bottom of each cookie (you can use a pastry brush, pallette knife or butter knife), and sprinkle with your desired toppings. Let the chocolate set at room temperature. Store in an airtight container.

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  • Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen December 17, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    I love all these shots! They look so gorgeous. And those cookies…don’t even get me started!

    • Izy December 20, 2012 at 5:31 pm

      thanks! It was pretty stressful having to shoot three sets of cookies in one go, I think I’ve run out of cookie compositions for a while now :/

  • brighteyedbaker December 18, 2012 at 12:38 am

    Love, love, love. I’ve never heard of Geneva Cookies actually (you have me second-guessing the name too!) and I live in California haha. But I just looked them up, and yours look EXACTLY the same, except ten times better because they’re homemade. I so need to try these! And everything else you make. 🙂 Love the photos, too!

    • Izy December 20, 2012 at 5:30 pm

      haha, well you don’t ever need to bother with them now 🙂 just make them, so so so much better! Making the cookies oval shaped to look like the originals was the bane of my life – that’s why I recommend just making them circular in the recipe notes ahah. Thank you!! 😀

  • thelittleloaf December 18, 2012 at 9:31 am

    I’ve never eaten these or anything like them so am totally intrigued to try them out. Particularly love the candy cane topped one – so bright and festive!

    • Izy December 20, 2012 at 5:27 pm

      They are some of the best cookies I’ve ever made – everybody loved them! haha, yeah my mum was particularly addicted to the candy cane ones 🙂

  • Nat December 18, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    Wonderful presentation, I bet they taste like heaven! I love this type of cookie with chocolate on top; thanks for the recipe!

    • Izy December 20, 2012 at 5:25 pm

      thanks 🙂 my mum said they were one of the best cookies I’ve ever made!

  • carey December 18, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    Oh dear, I should not know how to make these. I will eat them all. That’s what happened when I found a recipe for homemade Milano cookies last year! And I’m pretty sure I’d like these even more. The whipped egg whites in the homemade Milanos made them a little airy, and the weren’t quite as similar to the real deal as I would have liked. (That still wasn’t enough to keep me from eating way too many, though.) I’m now trying to resist the urge to look up a recipe for homemade Brussels cookies, because those are my absolute favorite out of all the PF cookies. Crap, I did it. And there’s a Food52 recipe for them. Bye bye, waistline!

    • Izy December 20, 2012 at 5:24 pm

      ahahah, I’ve seen a few recipes for milanos floating around the internet, so I thought I’d be indie and go for the ‘underdog’ Geneva cookies instead.
      Jeez, brussels cookies + me = a disaster. I could eat a whole packet in one day. Ikea sells similar ones that come ‘ikea style’ i.e in a HUGE CRATE. That’s a few weeks where the baggy jumpers are worn every day.

  • Peter @Feed Your Soul December 19, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    really like you blog. your photography and plating is awesom.

    • Izy December 20, 2012 at 5:31 pm


  • Jane December 20, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    What a great homemade version of those Pepperidge Farm cookies!! They look just like them. I am going to try these. Love your “action” photos! So cute.

    • Izy December 20, 2012 at 5:21 pm

      thank you!! omg, they are the best, I hope you like them 🙂

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  • Erica December 22, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    Thanks for the mention! These look absolutely beautiful (I was looking forward to this post after seeing your pics on Instagram). My favorite Tollhouse cookies are Milanos… or even better, mint Milanos! My dad used to pack them in my lunchbox all the time and I absolutely adore them!

  • Sarah December 23, 2012 at 12:58 am

    I just made the fitst batch of these cookies and wanted to add a note: this dough was very dry and i found muself having to kneed the dough to combine it–when i first added the dry ingredients the mixture resembled crumbs. The dough was still crumbly when i formed them on the baking sheet but the finished cookies did taste good. I’ll be adding the chocolate and toppings later. Thanks for the recipe!!

    • Izy December 23, 2012 at 1:01 am

      Thanks Sarah, I’ll retry the dough and see if I can find a solution! Glad you like them 🙂

    • Izy December 23, 2012 at 1:04 am

      Oops I was a bit of an idiot, just double checked, there’s supposed to be 2 more tablespoons of butter 🙂

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  • Sue/the view from great island December 24, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    These look exactly like the originals…I made a copycat version of their Brussels cookies and loved them, so I can’t wait to try these. I love being able to re create these cookies and never be at the mercy of those expensive little packages of Pepperidge Farm again!!!

    • labradors October 11, 2013 at 10:38 pm

      Sue, where did you find that recipe for the PF Brussels cookies? I’ve been wanting to make the Brussels Mint and the Bordeaux. Those two are my favourites.

  • doemora January 2, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    wow!! am going to veganize these and make them! first site i’ve come upon with embedded videos that just…happen.thanks! (i linked from eat your books)

    • Izy January 2, 2013 at 2:15 pm

      I’ve made them with half butter and half coconut oil, and they taste closer to the original version than the all butter ones!! Let me know how yours turn out 🙂
      AHAHA, well, that’s just how my life goes I guess :’)

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  • Julia May 2, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    I found the receipe in Pinterest and have waited far too long to prepare them.
    I prepared them today! They are just delicious.
    The toppings I used are: walnuts, chestnuts, fried corn and cramberries, in separate batches.
    Will bring them to celebrate mom’s day next Sunday (in Spain it’s on the first Sunday of May).

  • Raya December 6, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    Hello Izy 🙂 I just noticed that I have caster sugar and not granulated sugar….would this make a difference? I want to make them perfect! They just look divine!!

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    Can’t wait to try these! I love your manicure 😉

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    I actually baked the cookies today and they are PERFECT, I will totally make these again!!! The dough is easy to make and once baked, they are so crispy! I like to give them the oval shape, I think it’s part of the fun. However, I do need to learn how to temper the chocolate. I think I’ll trade biscuits for a kitchen thermometer :’D

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