Panamanian queques or coconut cookies

When I was little I remember eating many of these cookies after school or when I accompanied my mother to do some “mandados” to Calidonia or to Ave. Central. You could usually find them at street stalls or at the tiendas in our neighborhoods.
I don’t know if they continue to be sold in the same places, but the truth is that their flavor is closely linked to my childhood memories in Panama.


The recipe is very simple; with just a few ingredients they will be ready in no time.

  • 226 g of flour (half a pound)
  • 113 g of grated coconut (quarter pound). I recommend using fresh grated coconut
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 cup of honey
  • 2 tablespoons of shortening. I have used Crisco.

Start by mixing the dry ingredients, then add shortening and honey. Mix very well (the dough is sticky) and form balls the size of a ping pong ball. For me, the easiest way was to use two spoons and form the balls with them, as if making a quenelle. Place them on a greased tray or covered with baking paper and press into cookie shape. Bake for about 20 minutes. You will see how the dough, which at first is very light in color, acquires a beautiful chocolate hue in the oven.

2 Replies to “Panamanian queques or coconut cookies”

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