Winter Hiking and Macaroon Kiss Cookies

It's been unseasonably warm in Santa Fe lately (as previously mentioned, as our Jingle Bell Run was in 40+ degree weather), but we did get a few inches of snow last night, just in time for opening weekend at the Santa Fe Ski basin!  I didn't make it up to the slopes this weekend, but I did take Kua on a snowy hike along the Winsor Trail.  

The beginning of the hike was a little slushy, but as we ventured deeper into the woods there was definitely enough snow for snowshoes.  The fresh snow along the trail and lining the tree branches was so beautiful.  Every time the wind blew we got a light dusting of flakes.  Kua had a blast prancing in the fluffy snow and taking in all the sights and smells!  The road up the mountain was icy, deterring many from driving all the way to the top, so it was pretty quiet up on the trail this morning.    

After hiking, I won "Wife of the Year" award for trying out a new cookie recipe - Coconut Macaroon Kiss cookies!  These are so delicious, especially if you're a coconut lover like we are in our household.  I think this will be a new Christmas tradition (and maybe every other holiday too)!

Coconut Macaroon Kiss Cookies
Makes about 80-90 small cookies

2 1/2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cups butter, softened
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
2 egg yolks
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
7-8 cups sweetened coconut flakes, divided
1 large bag Hershey's Kisses

1.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
2.  Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter, cream cheese and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Mix in the egg yolks, vanilla and orange juice.  
3.  Gradually beat in the flour mixture; mix until just combined.  Stir in 6 cups of the flaked coconut, 1 cup at a time.  Refrigerate dough for one hour.
4.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Shape dough into 1" balls and roll each ball in remaining 1-2 cups shredded coconut.  Place 2" apart on the prepared baking sheet.
5.  Bake 12-14 minutes or until coconut is beginning to brown.  As cookies are baking, unwrap Hershey's Kisses.  When cookies are done, gently press a kiss in the center of each cookie, and sprinkle lightly with sugar.  Return the cookies to the oven for 1 more minute.
6.  Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove cookies from the cookie sheet to cool completely.

Serve with milk, Bailey's, or your favorite holiday beverage!  Enjoy!

In other news, I am totally obsessed with the limited edition White Fudge Oreos.  I haven't had them in a few years, but I spotted them at the grocery store today and had to have them.  I'm embarrassed to admit that they were 25% gone before I even left the grocery store parking lot.  Good thing I start Boot Camp tomorrow!!

I've died and gone to heaven.


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