December 27, 2011

Hawaiian Snowballs

As promised, here is the recipe for the cookies we baked for Santa this year. Appropriately, since we're in Hawaii, we created a recipe for sugar cookies called Hawaiian Snowballs. And when I say 'we' I mean my sister-in-law did all the work. She came up with the idea, found the original recipe in Food Network (December issue), made the modifications, and made the cookies. I just helped measure things and took the pictures. Heck, she even came up with the name.

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or scrape all the seeds from a medium sized pod of vanilla
3 ounces cream cheese

Vegetable oil or cooking spray, for the baking sheets

1/2 pound white or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 teaspoon vegetable shortening
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Bag of coconut flakes

Combine the flour and salt in a bowl. Put the soft, room temperature butter and cream cheese, granulated sugar and confectioners' sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes (or about 6 minutes if using a hand mixer). Add the egg yolk one at a time, beating on medium-high speed between each addition. Add the vanilla and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture in 2 batches and mix until just incorporated. Divide the dough in half, wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour.

Line two baking sheets with parchment and lightly oil. Use a rolling pin, or if you don't have one you can use a wine bottle as long as it has flat sides, and roll out each piece of dough between 2 sheets of parchment until 1/4 inch thick (return the dough to the refrigerator if it softens too much). Cut into 2-to-4-inch shapes with cookie cutters, or if you don't have cookie cutters use a wine glass to make circular shapes; arrange 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Reroll the scraps and cut out more cookies. Preheat the oven to 350˚. Bake the cookies until lightly golden around the edges, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool 3 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the icing: Put the chocolate, shortening, corn syrup, milk, confectioners' sugar and vanilla in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high in 30-second intervals, stirring, until smooth. Tint with food coloring. After they've cooled, ice the cookies as desired and sprinkle with coconut. If desired, toast your coconut first for a less sweet taste. Let set.

Santa enjoyed them, I hope you do too!

Tomorrow's post: Black and White and Off to Dinner

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