Coconut-Orange Snowballs

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Coconut-Orange Snowball Cookies - Andrea MeyersFollow Me on Pinterest

Last year a small group of bakers joined together to do a The 12 Days of Cookies extravaganza using recipes from a Gourmet magazine feature of their favorite cookies from 1941 to 2008. This year a few more people have joined us and today is the first day of 12 Days of Cookies 2009. Each baker chooses 12 cookies to make but doesn’t tell anyone else what they chose, so it’s a fun little surprise for us to see what everyone else made. Due to family obligations I cannot participate on all 12 days this year but I wanted to join in for at least one day and try some of the cookies, and if I can sneak it in I might be able to do one or two more hopefully.

Andrea's Recipes - The 12 Days of Cookies, A Bon Appetit Cookie ExtravaganzaThis year the cookies all come from a Bon Appétit feature about holiday cookies that had us ooing and aahing. While several of the cookies caught my eye, these simple snowball butter cookies with toasted coconut and orange zest were my biggest temptation. They are very simple to make, just toast the coconut, mix the ingredients, chill the dough, roll into balls, and bake. I baked them after the boys had gone to bed so they were surprised to find them in the kitchen the next morning. Top Gun repeatedly asked me about those cookies; he just couldn’t stand to wait until after school.

The flavors seem to balance each other pretty well, though I don’t notice the orange as much as the coconut. These could easily become dry, so I stopped them one minute short of full baking time, and the texture was slightly crumbly, just right. Michael dove into them after dinner and kept eating them while saying, “Wow.” We would definitely make these again.

Be sure to visit all the members of the cookie clan to see what cookies they chose as well as the Bon Appétit website to see all the cookie recipes.

[October 27, 2013 update: This slideshow has been removed from the Bon Appetit site, but you can still find the original recipes for this cookies and others on their site.]

The Rest of the Cookie Baking Clan


Coconut-Orange Snowballs
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Adapted from Bon Appétit, December 2003.
Serves: 40 cookies
  • 1-1/4 cups (111 g) sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 cup (2 sticks/226 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2-1/4 cups (293 g) sifted powdered sugar, divided (sifted, then measured)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 2-1/4 cups (270 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons grated orange peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F/175° C. Toast the coconut on a rimmed baking sheet until light golden, stirring occasionally, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of the stand mixer beat the butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, and both extracts to blend well. Beat in flour, orange peel, and salt. Stir in toasted coconut. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 1 day. Soften dough slightly before shaping.
  3. Preheat oven to 350° F/175° C. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. Using 1 level tablespoon dough for each cookie, roll dough between palms of hands into balls. Place on prepared sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake until golden on bottom but pale on top, about 16 to 18 minutes. The trick is to make sure they don’t dry out, so don’t let them overcook. Transfer cookies to racks and cool 5 minutes.
  5. Place remaining 1-3/4 cups powdered sugar in a bowl. Roll hot cookies in powdered sugar, covering completely. Cool cookies on rack. Roll cookies in powdered sugar again, coating generously. (Can be made 5 days ahead. Store airtight between sheets of waxed paper at room temperature.)
More Information

2 large baking sheets
parchment paper
stand mixer with paddle attachment (or hand mixer and large bowl)
wire cooling rack

Recipe Notes

Prep Time includes dough chilling time.


More Christmas Cookies

Andrea Meyers - Chocolate Pizzelles Andrea Meyers - 12 Days of Cookies: Moravian Christmas Trees Andrea Meyers - Gingerbread Men Cookies

See all the cookies from The 12 Days of Cookies.

[Disclosure: This blog earns a small commission through affiliate links.]


  1. says

    Yummm…how pretty – I’m with Top Gun, I couldn’t wait until after school either. And my cheeks would be dusted with freshly fallen (sugar) snow….

  2. says

    I admit these cookies caught my eye, too, and are definitely on my list for later in our challenge. Yours look so inviting! Thanks for including me, this year – so much fun!

  3. says

    Wish you could bake all 12 days, but I totally understand the time demand. Thank you for originally concieving this. I see a lot of copycat groups out there now, and this was great idea.Hope you can squeeze more cookies in if time permits. Meanwhile I need to revisit this recipe as you make it seem very worthwhile!

  4. says

    We just polished the last of these off last night. They went over pretty well at work, too. Dangerous little things, though. You can bite through three before you know it!

  5. says

    Baking the 12 recipes is not the problem for me, it’s posting where I get behind. But it is sort of nice to know that my posting schedule for 12 full days is going to be nothing but cookies! LOL!

    I’m still considering this recipe as well. I’ll have to hide the coconut though, not a big favorite here. Although if they don’t know what’s in the recipe, they’ll eat just about anything.

  6. says

    What a great assortment of cookies! I am feeling inspired. These snowballs are inspired. I haven’t tried them with this particular combination. Thanks for the ideas! Happy Holidays!

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