Coconut Snowball Cookies

Go Bold With Butter

One of my favorite holiday traditions stems from a cold ice cream treat created by a local creamery in my home town: Coconut Snowballs. It was really pretty simple, but only available at the holidays, making the vanilla ice cream rolled in coconut and served with a kitschy plastic red and green poinsettia candle all that more special. But when the candle was lit and the snowball draped in hot fudge sauce it really didn’t matter how silly the decoration was, it was all about the coconut for me.

And that’s what inspired this crunchy little cookie. This time, the ice cream is subbed with a light white tea cookie and the dark fudge replaced with white chocolate. But the coconut remains the same. Add a kitschy poinsettia as desired.

Coconut Snowball Cookies

Makes 20-24 cookies


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons coconut extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces white chocolate bar, chopped, or white chocolate chips
3 cups shredded, sweetened coconut


In large bowl, mix butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add coconut extract and mix.

In separate bowl, mix flour and salt together. Add to butter/sugar mixture and mix just to combine.

Prepare baking sheet with parchment paper. With 2-inch cookie scoop, shape dough balls, flatten dough in palm of your hand to bring dough together and then reshape into ball.

Place on baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Refrigerate formed cookies for 30 minutes prior to baking.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on cooling rack.

Fill small saucepan 1/4 of the way with water and top with small glass or metal bowl; choose bowl that will sit above the water level. Bring water to low boil over medium-high heat and add white chocolate and melt, stirring often with a wooden spoon or spatula.

Remove chocolate from heat and roll cookies one at a time in chocolate, and then roll in coconut, coating well. Or, dip tops of cookies in white chocolate and sprinkle with coconut.  If melted chocolate begins to harden, heat over saucepan again for 1 or 2 minutes until melted. Allow cookies to dry on cooling rack for at least 20 minutes or until chocolate has hardened. Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

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Use softened butter for cookies and cakes.

Bringing butter to room temperature helps it incorporate better with other ingredients.

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8 thoughts on “Coconut Snowball Cookies

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  1. grace smith said:

    I am going to make those cookies for christmas and will let you know if everybody liked them. Theylook yummy.

  2. meeri said:

    I grew up with the ice cream version of this lovely treat! Haven’t seen or heard of it since I was a child but I have often thought about it…could it have really been as simple as that: ice cream rolled in coconut? Thank you so much for the post!

  3. Becca said:

    These were a complete failure for me…I followed the directions exactly, even refrigerated dough balls for an hour before baking…but when baked all the cookies completely flattened out so I could not roll the balls in melted chocolate and coconut. What went wrong?

    • realbutter said:

      Becca, we’re sorry you had trouble with the recipe. We have retested and adjusted the flour and sugar amounts slightly.

  4. Suzanne said:

    I had the same thing happen. The cookies came out flat and Giradelli white chocolate chips didn’t melt. The nestle were too thick but Fresh and Easy brand came out very creamy. So I am going to try the revised recipe with those chips.

  5. Angela said:

    The best chocolate “chips” to use for melting will always be baking discs that I usually buy at Michael’s. Nothing else melts like those do.

    And I know, I KNOW, you’re supposed to double boil but I think it’s a pain in the rear and always just melt in a glass bowl in the microwave at small increments and stir a lot.

  6. Sorry that the cookies came out flat, I’m at about 4500 ft elevation so that may have caused the difference. Do be sure to refrigerate before baking to help with the flattening.

  7. Chris said:

    Going to try this recipe