Every once in a while I find a cookie recipe that is worth adding to our traditional Christmas cookies. When I first saw a recipe for Coconut-Orange Snowballs in Gourmet magazine, I knew I wanted to make it. They were incredible. Sometimes snowball cookies are really dry, not these. They have lovely coconut and orange flavoring, a perfect balance. They were quickly added to our traditional Christmas cookie list.
I started trying to “lighten” them last year. They were a bear. I’ve been through many different versions and finally decided to go with this one. It is not as low-fat as I normally try to make but the integrity of the original cookie is there. That ended up being the most important part to me. You have to use “real, full-fat” butter. Do not substitute! I repeat, do not substitute! I tried but yuck! Forget it. Keep these in the freezer and have one or two for a treat at night.
I did lower the sugar considerably though. Yeah! I swamped out sweetened coconut for unsweetened flaked coconut and I cut the confectioners sugars. So that is a mini win for our health. Considering we only make these once a year, I’m OK with the nutritional value on them. One bite and you will realize they are worth it.
Coconut Orange Snowballs are a cookie, Santa would love to eat. Be sure to keep a plate out for him. His little elves will also enjoy them. Spread the love and make them for your neighbors too. Just remember the dough has to sit for an hour. Every year I forget until I start to make them. Then I hit my head against the wall because I should have started them earlier in the day. You would think I would learn. I’ve only been making them for almost 10 years. As my daughter would say “Turn your brain on Mom”. They are worth that little bit of aggravation.
Coconut Orange Snowballs
Adapted from Epicurious
1 1 /4 cups unsweetened flaked coconut (I find it in the freezer section of my grocery store)
½ cup unsalted butter, softened (must be regular fat butter)
¼ cup 2% fat Greek yogurt
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 1 /2 tsp. vanilla extract
¾ tsp. coconut extract
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 ½ tbsp. orange zest
½ tsp. kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Bake coconut on a baking sheet until golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Turn off oven.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter, yogurt, 2/3 cup powdered sugar and both extracts in a bowl until well blended.
- Beat in both flour, orange peel and salt.
- Stir in coconut.
- Cover and chill for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
- Let dough soften slightly.
- Preheat oven again to 350°.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Measure out 1 level tbsp. of dough for each cookie and roll dough between the palms of your hands to make a ball.
- Place ball onto baking sheet leaving 1 inch between each.
- Bake until golden brown on the bottom, about 18 minutes.
- Transfer cookies to a wire rack, cool for 5 minutes.
- Place remaining confectioners’ sugar into a zip lock bag.
- Place a few cookies in the bag and shake gently to cover completely.
- Cool completely on rack.
Nutritional value per cookie: Cal 77/Fat 4 grams/Carbs 10 grams/Fiber 1 gram/Protein 1 gram