Recipes / Sparkly Coconut Snowballs

Sparkly Coconut Snowballs

By Kerri Conan

Published December 11, 2023

Easiest. Cookies. Ever. That’s what Mark says about his macaroon recipe—which essentially this is, only they’re shaped in small balls and rolled lightly in demerara sugar for wintertime merrymaking. These cookies are also quite versatile: Use up to five cups coconut for something lighter and chewier, or replace some or all of the coconut with nuts (see the variation.)

Photo: Kerri Conan
Photo: Kerri Conan
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Unsweetened, untoasted, ground or finely shredded coconut is the only thing that works here. Fortunately, it’s commonly available; if all you can find are the ribbons, pulse them a few times in the food processor to get the right texture. And if you can’t find demerara — a type of so-called raw sugar that’s crystalized and still golden with its molasses — you can use turbinado sugar or a naturally colored decorating sugar.

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Sparkly Coconut Snowballs

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Makes 2 to 4 dozen 1x

Time About 20 minutes, plus time to chill

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Ingredients

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 cups unsweetened finely shredded coconut (or more; see the recipe headnote)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • About 3/4 cup demerara sugar for rolling

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 350°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Lightly beat the egg whites with the sugar until frothy, then mix in the coconut, vanilla, and salt until the coconut is evenly coated. If you have time, refrigerate the dough for an hour or so for the coconut to absorb some of the liquid.
  3. Put the demerara sugar on a plate. Wet your hands and make small- or medium-sized balls of the dough, about 1 or 2 tablespoons each. As you work, transfer a few balls to the plate, sprinkle lightly with demerara and gently roll to give the macaroons some sparkle. Put them about an inch apart on the prepared sheets. 
  4. Bake until the bottom starts to brown a little and the sugar coating is glistening, 10 to 15 minutes depending on their size. Cool the macaroons on wire racks for at least 30 minutes before eating. These will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

— Recipe from How to Cook Everything: Completely Revised Twentieth Anniversary Edition

Recipe variations

Walnut or Other Nut Macaroons:
Super with chocolate chunks too: Substitute finely chopped walnuts for some or all of the coconut.