Saturday, December 18, 2010

lime glazed coconut snowballs

I try one new Christmas cookie each year to supplement the holiday standards.  All of my holiday standards are quick Christmas candy and not cookies.  Does that tell you anything?  I am not having much luck finding a Christmas cookie that I would want to repeat each year.  The past years I have tried several with  a chocolate base so, this year I decided to mix it up and incorporate a few favorites of mine; butter, citrus and coconut.  I knew the others in my house would not touch these but, seriously does everything need to be about them?  Mama needs a cookie too.  I rarely see a negative comment about cooks illustrated recipes so, I decided to go that route and sure enough they were great.  Great for those citrus butter loving girls at my cookie exchange.  The soft butter cookie ball has just a hint of lime.  The lime glaze is sweet and tart and the tiny flakes of coconut add them perfect touch in both taste and appearance.  These are dainty cookies that look beautiful on the platter next to the Christmas classics.

Lime-Glazed Coconut Snowballs
source: Cook's Illustrated

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces)
zest of 1 lime (~1-2 teaspoons)
3/4 cup superfine sugar (5 1/2 ounces)
1/4 teaspoon table salt
16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks), cut into sixteen 1/2-inch pieces, room temperature 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cream cheese , room temperature
1 tablespoon cream cheese ,room temperature
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar (6 ounces)
1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut , pulsed in food processor until finely chopped, about fifteen 1-second pulses

In bowl of standing mixer fitted with flat beater, mix flour, lime zest, sugar, and salt on low speed until combined, about 5 seconds. With mixer running on low, add butter 1 piece at a time; continue to mix until mixture looks crumbly and slightly wet, about 1 minute longer. Add vanilla and cream cheese and mix on low until dough just begins to form large clumps, about 30 seconds.

Use hands to roll dough into 1-inch balls. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake one batch at a time in 375-degree oven until lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Whisk cream cheese and 2 tablespoons lime juice in medium bowl until combined and no lumps remain. Whisk in confectioners' sugar until smooth, adding remaining lime juice as needed until glaze is thin enough to spread easily.

Dip tops of cookies into glaze and scrape away excess, then dip into coconut. Set cookies on parchment-lined baking sheet; let stand until glaze dries and sets, about 20 minutes

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