Friday, December 27, 2013

Cherry Coconut Snowballs

I hope that all of you had a great Christmas! We honestly have so many sweets in the house that it seems a bit silly to make more cookies, but I couldn’t resist. These are very Christmassy, but the combination of flavors works for beyond the holidays. I love the combination of almond, coconut, and cherry. The plus side of these cookies is that the entire recipe only makes 18 cookies, so it won’t add too many more sweets to your household.

This dough is simple, and luckily I had ground almonds on hand so I didn’t have to grind those in the food processor. I thought that there wouldn’t be enough dough for 18 cookies, but a little dough goes a long way. The dough seems awfully sticky, but that made it easier to mold the dough around the cherries. Make sure your cherries are good and dry (I drained mine on paper towels) or it will be too hard to get the dough to stick to the cherries.

I was SURE that I had coconut on hand, but I didn’t have any regular coconut. I had giant coconut flakes, which I could have processed a bit in the food processor. I had planned to process the regular coconut anyway, as I figured a finer shred would make a better topping. Luckily I had some desiccated coconut in the cupboard, which is very finely ground. It worked perfectly for the topping. These look like little snowballs and they just melt in your mouth. The richness of the buttery cookie dough is wonderful with the burst of sweet cherry in the center.   

Cherry Coconut Snowballs
1 cup flour
1/4 cup ground almonds
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons water
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
18 maraschino cherries, drained

1 cup powdered sugar
3-4 teaspoons milk
1 cup shredded coconut

 Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat.

 In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, almonds, and salt. In a large mixer bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light. Add the water and almond extract and stir to combine. With the mixer running on low, gradually add the flour mixture. Stir until a cohesive dough forms.

Divide the dough into three portions, then each portion into 6. Shape each piece of dough into a ball. Flatten the dough ball slightly, place one cherry in the center, and mold the dough around the cherry. Make sure that the cherry is completely sealed in with the dough. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Cookies don’t rise, so you don’t need to place them very far apart.

Bake for about 18 minutes, until the bottoms of the cookies are very lightly browned. Cool before glazing.

Glaze the cookies: in a small bowl whisk together the powdered sugar and milk. Start with 3 teaspoons milk and add additional milk if the glaze is too thick. Place the coconut in a separate bowl. Dip the tops of the cookies in the glaze and then in the coconut.  Place on a wire rack to set. Store in an airtight container.

Recipe from Chocolate Moosey

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