Ready time: 35-40 minutes plus cooling
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
⅔ cup superfine sugar
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 tablespoons apricot preserves, warmed and strained (see note)*
Generous 1 cup shredded coconut
Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease a baking sheet with butter. Beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Stir in the egg and vanilla. Mix the flour and baking powder in a separate bowl, then stir them into the butter-and-sugar mixture. The dough should be fairly thick. Knead briefly until smooth.
Break off walnut-size pieces of dough, shape these into balls, and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, increasing the oven temperature to 400 F after 10 minutes. When the snowballs have cooled, roll them first in the apricot preserves and then in the shredded coconut.
*Note: If especially thick, mix the preserves with 2 tablespoons of hot water when warming it.
From The Art of French Baking (Phaidon Press, November, 2011, $49.95), phaidon.com