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I always love giving the gift of food and a box full of freshly baked cookies is such a fantastic gift, especially around the festive season. And one of the recipes that has recently come across my feed are snowball cookies, super tender and delicate melt-in-the-mouth cookies with lots of butter and ground nuts which are rolled in icing sugar after baking to resemble snowballs. This recipe omits the nuts to make them more accessible and replaces them with toasty coconut and sweet white chocolate. These are my White Chocolate Coconut and Chia Seed Snowball Cookies!
The recipe is quite reminiscent of a shortbread, except with much more buttery goodness, and of course all of the extra additions! The addition of cornflour in this recipe helps create that tender melt-in-the-mouth texture. The desiccated coconut and flaked coconut should be toasted first to bring that fragrant coconut aroma to the cookies. Considering the size of the cookies, I used white chocolate chips here due to their small size, however if you prefer to chop up chocolate for the cookies, it should be chopped up very finely.
A key ingredient is the Nielsen-Massey Gourmet Vanilla Extract. Nielsen-Massey is a family-owned and operated producer of premier vanillas and flavour extracts and their extracts and pastes are a great addition to any bake this holiday season. Nielsen-Massey vanilla extracts and paste uses premium, hand-selected beans and a cold extraction process that preserves vanilla’s 300+ flavour compounds to ensure a full, sweet and creamy flavour profile with velvety after-tones.
After the cookies are baked, they get rolled in icing sugar while warm. The warmth of the cookies melts the icing sugar and creates a sticky glaze around the outside, which allows the second coating of icing sugar to stick. I like to serve these cookies in paper petit-four cases as the icing sugar coating can be a bit messy and get everywhere, but also has the advantage of looking super attractive if they are being gifted!
- 50g desiccated coconut
- 50g flaked coconut
- 225g margarine
- 70g icing sugar
- 2 tsp Nielsen-Massey Gourmet Vanilla Extract
- 270g plain flour
- 30g cornflour
- 60g white chocolate chips, or finely chopped white chocolate
- 45g chia seeds
- About 150g icing sugar, to coat the cookies
Place the desiccated and flaked coconut into a large dry frying pan over a medium heat and toast the coconut. It should have just turned a golden brown and stir or shake the pan occasionally to ensure even toasting. Place into a bowl or a tray to cool down until needed.
In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the margarine for 2 to 3 minutes to soften and lighten until it is smooth. Add in the icing sugar and the vanilla extract and continue to mix until incorporated, scraping down the bowl and the mixer often.
Sift in the plain flour and cornflour and mix until it forms a soft cookie dough. Add in the toasted coconut, white chocolate chips and chia seeds and fold the ingredients through until evenly distributed between the dough.
Roll the dough into 32 equal sized balls and place onto a baking tray lined with baking parchment. I like to weigh out the entire dough first (lifting it out of the bowl and putting it back in to find its weight) and then dividing equally by 28. Place the cookie dough into the fridge for 45 minutes to an hour to chill.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line another baking tray with baking parchment.
Place the cookie dough on both trays, leaving about 1 inch of space between each cookie. Bake the cookies for 12 – 14 minutes until the cookies have set, have just begun to turn golden and the cookies feel set, not too soft to the touch but not too firm either.
While the cookies are baking, place the 150g icing sugar into a large bowl. When the cookies are baked but are still warm, roll them in the icing sugar and place onto a cooling rack to set. Once set, roll them in more icing sugar and place into mini paper petit-four cases to serve. These cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
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