These cookies are a favorite of one of our school mentors, Kami Greenhagen-Jones. About them she says, "As a child, most of my favorite traditional Christmas cookies had nuts in them, so when we discovered that our son had a nut allergy, I had to start looking for nut-free options." She turned to friend and food blogger, Maria Lichty of Two Peas and Their Pod for inspiration, and created these fun cookies. They have become a Christmas tradition for Kami's family. Day 10 of our 12-Days of Christmas Cookies
2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon grated lime zest (about 2 limes)
¾ cup superfine sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, cut into 16 pieces
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons lime juice
1½ cups (6 ounces) powdered sugar
1½ cups sweetened shredded coconut
Place coconut in food processor, pulse for 1-second, about 15 times; set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
For the cookies, in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a flat beater, mix flour, lime zest, sugar and salt on low speed until combined, about 5 seconds. With mixer running on low, add butter 1 piece at a time; continue to mix until mixture looks crumbly and slightly wet, about 1 minute longer.
Add vanilla and cream cheese and mix on low until dough just begins to form large clumps, about 30 seconds.
Use hands to roll dough into 1-inch balls. Place on prepared baking sheets, spacing about 1½ inches apart. Bake one batch at a time until lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
For the glaze, whisk cream cheese and 2 tablespoons lime juice in a medium bowl until combined and no lumps remain. Whisk in powdered sugar until smooth, adding remaining lime juice, as needed, until glaze is thin enough to spread easily.
Dip tops of cookies into glaze and scrape away excess, then dip into coconut. Set cookies on parchment-lined baking sheet; let stand until glaze dries and sets, about 20 minutes.