Long-time readers of Stellar Recipes may recall that back in November, I served The Gastronomer smoked salmon canapes, Castilian stew, and rosemary cream biscuits to cap off her 2008 Christmas present. You might have worried that this meal didn't include a sweet finish.... What kind of Christmas present makes the poor recipient forgo dessert? Well, never fear--dessert was indeed served, even if the corresponding blog entry has been a long time coming. These lime-glazed coconut snowballs were a fitting conclusion to a wintry feast.
The Gastronomer particularly loved the sugary lime glaze--fortunately, I had some extra left over for her to eat with a spoon.
Recipe by The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup superfine sugar (if you don't want to buy it, process regular granulated sugar in the food processor for 30 seconds)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces and softened
- 3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut, chopped fine
Knead the dough in the bowl by hand a few times until it forms a large, cohesive mass. Turn the dough out onto a clean counter, divide it in half, and pat into two 4-inch disks. Wrap the disks tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
While the dough is chilling, whisk 2 tablespoons of the lime juice and the remaining 1 tablespoon cream cheese together in a large bowl until smooth. Add the confectioners' sugar and whisk until smooth, adding the remaining lime juice as needed until the glaze is thin enough to spread easily. Adjust the oven racks to the upper- and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 375 degrees.
Using your hands, roll the dough into 1-inch balls. Place the balls on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake until the cookies are light golden brown, about 12 minutes, rotating and switching the baking sheets halfway through baking.
Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 3 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes. Dip the tops the cookies into the glaze and scrape away any excess, then dip into the coconut. Set the cookies back on the wire rack and let stand until the glaze dries and sets, about 20 minutes.
Yield: 40 cookies
Estimated Start-to-Finish Time: 1 hour 40 minutes plus cooling time
Actual Start-to-Finish Time: 2 hours 30 minutes