Lemongrass Snowball Cookies

Crumbly lemon shortbread cookies are given a boost of unique flavor with powdered lemongrass. 

Lemongrass Snowball Cookies

When I first spotted these cookies years ago (more than 10 years ago, when I first wrote this original blog post!) they were in a Bon Appetit magazine advertisement from the "Real Butter" campaign. Little did I know then, that blogging would become my career, and I'd be developing recipes for the American Butter Institute today- which is practically that very same ongoing campaign! 

Flash forward, and I'm still totally smitten with these cookies. After scanning the recipe ingredients, I was intrigued by the use of lemongrass. I was doubly intrigued that it was suggested as a holiday cookie. I have always associated lemongrass with warm, sunny flavors, but I think these are good at any time of year!

Lemongrass Snowball Cookies

Dried lemongrass is inexpensive, and you won't need much for these cookies. The small bottle I had on hand cost just a few dollars at the international market. Lemongrass is native to South Asia, Southeastern Asia, and Australia. The powder gives these cookies a slightly perfumed note, not really grassy but almost a woodsy note. If you're like me and live in the US, the flavor of these cookies will transport you to another place without having to buy a plane ticket. It's unique and unfamiliar in the very best way.

Lemongrass Snowball Cookies

The other ingredients are mostly pantry staples, and the dough mixes up to be dense and un-sticky.

Lemongrass Snowball Cookies

Use a small cookie scoop (4 teaspoon capacity) and you'll get about 33 cookies from one batch. Chill them before baking and they'll keep their roundish 'snowball' shape.

Lemongrass Snowball Cookies

The tops get a little drizzle of white chocolate, which helps hold on more sweetened flake coconut.

Lemongrass Snowball Cookies
Lemongrass Snowball Cookies

The combination of coconut and white chocolate chips throughout the crumbly cookie give it just a little bit of chew. They are lovely with tea or a Vietnamese iced coffee.

Lemongrass Snowball Cookies
Yields 33 cookies
Adapted from a 2009 Bon Appetit magazine advertisement

1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup (52g) confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons lemon extract
2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
2/3 cup (63g) sweetened flake coconut, plus 1/2 (42g) cup more for garnish
1 tablespoon lemon grass powder
Yellow gel food color *optional
2 cups (12 oz.) white chocolate chips, divided

Preheat the oven to 350F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. Add the lemon extract. Gradually beat in the flour, 2/3 cup coconut, and lemongrass powder. Mix in a little food color, if using. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the white chocolate chips. Shape dough into 1-inch balls (or use a 4 teaspoon capacity cookie scoop) and roll between your palms. Place 1/2 inch apart on a parchment-lined cookie sheet; chill for 15 minutes.

Bake on the middle rack until lightly golden on the bottom edges, 10-12 minutes. Cool on the baking sheets 2 minutes; remove to a cool rack to cool completely.

Microwave the remaining white chocolate chips at 30 second intervals, stirring well between heating, until the candy is melted and smooth. Transfer to a zip-top bag with the corner snipped and drizzle chocolate on the top centers of each cookie. Immediately dip the tops of the cookies into coconut and transfer back to the wire rack to set, about 15 minutes.

Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature and they’ll keep for one week.
This picture is from the original 2009 blog post, and I decided to keep it here for the happy memory. It was taken on our drive home for Thanksgiving that year. Biscuit was just a pup then!
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