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.
This 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 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
- Kelly of Sass & Veracity
- Courtney of Coco Cooks
- Judy of No Fear Entertaining
- Sandy of The Baker’s Bench
- Claire of The Barefoot Kitchen (Thanks for making our logo!)
- Di of Di’s Kitchen Notebook
- Michelle of Big Black Dog
- RJ of Flamingo Musings
- Tiffany of The Nesting Project
- 2 large baking sheets
- parchment paper
- stand mixer with paddle attachment, or hand mixer and large bowl
- wire cooling rack
- 1 ¼ cups sweetened flaked coconut
- 1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 2 ¼ cups sifted powdered sugar (divided - sifted, then measured)
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¾ teaspoon coconut extract
- 2 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tablespoons grated orange peel
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 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.
- In the bowl of the stand mixer beat the butter, ½ 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.
- Preheat oven to 350° F/175° C. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- 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.
- Place remaining 1-¾ 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.)