My kids love baking Christmas cookies with me. Correction: they think they do. In fact, many traditional Christmas cookies involve dough that needs to be chilled, cut, chilled again before baking. Then there’s the waiting for the cookies to cool before they can do what they really want to do which is make a mess with icing and sprinkles. All that waiting is constitutionally impossible for small kids, which is why I love these Coconut Snowballs. They come together quickly, are easy to decorate, plus, tend up looking pretty no matter how little dexterity your kid has. And, my word, are they good! The lemon-y icing, crisp outer layer and the butter-y inside make them appealing to kids and grownups alike. And what’s not to love about that?
2 ½ cup flour
¾ cups sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp cream cheese, softened
2 tsp vanilla
4 or 5 Tbsps lemon juice
1 ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
½ cup shredded sweetened coconut
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Mix together flour, sugar and salt together in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, add the softened butter about ¼ cup at a time until it combines with the dry ingredients. You’ll have a pebbly mixture. Add 2 tablespoons of softened cream cheese and vanilla. Use your hands to bring the dough together and knead for just a minute.
Line two cookie sheets with parchment.
Use a Tablespoon to scoop the dough, then roll it between your hands to make balls. Place on the lined sheets about an inch apart. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Watch them at the end – you want them to be firm and a very light gold. Any longer and they’ll get hard. Remove cookies from the oven and cool completely on a rack.
While they cool mix together the lemon juice and the extra tablespoon of cream cheese. Slowly add in the confectioner’s sugar until you have a not-too-thick glaze.
Spread your shredded coconut out on a plate. Take each cookie, swirl it in the glaze and allow the excess to drip off. Now roll it around in the coconut until it’s completely covered. Allow the icing to set.