The Coastal Star

Coconut-orange butterballs: A delicious twist on an old favorite.

1 ¼ cups sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 ¼ cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
grated zest of 1 orange
½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spread coconut on a baking sheet; bake until lightly toasted, stirring occasionally — about 10 to 12 minutes. Cool.
Using an electric mixer, beat butter, ½ cup of the sugar, and vanilla in a bowl to blend well. Beat in flour, orange zest, and salt. Stir in coconut. Cover and chill at least 1 hour.
Scoop out walnut-sized pieces of dough and form into balls. Place 1-1/2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned.
Roll warm cookies in remaining sugar and place on rack to cool. When cool completely roll again in sugar. Makes 3 dozen cookies.

Note: This dough freezes well. Keep cookies in airtight container. Coconut may be omitted if desired and the result is an orange-scented cookie. Cookies will spread slightly without coconut, however.
(Recipe courtesy Robin Davis, food editor of the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch.)

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