Queenie Cooks: Pineapple Pecan Coconut Snowballs

By: Terry Harris | Email: Click Here
Posted: December 22, 2018 | 8:05 a.m.

There’s something so fresh and clean and promising about an untouched field of snow that I always find myself dreaming of a White Christmas this time of year.  Well, you may not be able to whip up several inches of snow, but you can make, serve, and munch out on these yummy Pineapple-Pecan-Coconut Snowballs quick as you can say “Jack Frost!”  And except for chilling time, the actual preparation takes less than fifteen minutes – no baking – which makes them perfect for a last-minute holiday treat or for some fun in the kitchen with your favorite little people.

They’re pretty hard to categorize, as they’re not candy, but they’re not cookies, either.  Frankly, I just call them delicious!  And with a few simple tips, you can make these yummy treats turn out “just right” every time.  First, always always always start with softened cream cheese – at least room temperature.  Otherwise, when you mix in your other ingredients it just won’t blend well and you’ll end up with little cream cheese blobs throughout.  I actually take mine out of the fridge a couple of hours – or even overnight – before I intend to use it.  If you, like me, often don’t know what you’re going to make until the last minute, you can warming it up for five seconds at a time in your microwave. But make sure to remove it from the aluminum wrapper first, and be very careful to get it slightly soft, but NOT warm. Because you’d have to ask a chemist what happens when it melts,  but trust me – it’s not a good thing for this kind of recipe.

Another important tip is to make sure that your crushed pineapple is very well drained.  I even squeeze the pulp down in the strainer or colander a bit, just to make sure it’s not still “juicy” when I add it to the rest.  Otherwise, you can easily end up with soft, gooey, misshapen snowballs instead of a pretty, round surface.

When you chop your pecans, make sure they stay in nice little chunks that you can bite into.  The idea with these snowballs is that, while they require very few ingredients, you want to make sure that you can enjoy the delicious blend of flavors and the textures of the ones that you do use.  So don’t put the pecans in the food processor; you’re likely to come out with pecan meal if you’re not careful.  Just chop them up coarsely and you’re good to go. 

With whimsical dishes you can have Santa tossing over your snowballs!

As for the last ingredient – yes, these are a four-ingredient only treat! – do not use finely grated “old-fashioned pie” coconut to make these.  It won’t taste nearly as good, and you definitely won’t get the pretty, lacy look that the sweetened, flaked coconut provides.   You don’t have to use Angel Flake brand coconut, but you do want that size and consistency.  

And whatever you do, no matter how great the temptation, don’t skip the refrigeration step. OK, they might still taste… ok… but if you’re going to make something this special – and call them snowballs – don’t you want  nice, consistently round balls of deliciousness that LOOK “good enough to eat” as well?  Trust me, if they’re still soft from insufficient cooling, they’ll squish down into irregular lumps when you get ready to roll them in the coconut.  

They make a beautiful presentation in most any sort of dish, but I think it adds extra fun to use whimsical Christmas dishes this time of year.   However, I’ve served these as part of a light summer luncheon and they were a big hit there as well.  And think how gorgeous your Pineapple Pecan Coconut Snowballs would be served on a favorite platter along with assorted  fudges or cookies other any of your family’s favorite treats for New Year’s Eve – or during the New Years’ Day football marathon!  

As an added bonus, since the only sugar in this recipe is just what’s already in the crushed pineapple or on the coconut, these little beauties won’t ruin the dinner of any little ones who might want “just a taste” after helping to roll them out. 

So it’s just as simple as that!  With four common ingredients and about 15 minutes (plus chill time) you can whip up a  perfect last-minute delight that might just become your family’s new favorite holiday treat!  And I guarantee they’ll be a hit with anyone who happens to pop by over the holidays.   And who knows?  If you leave out a plate full for Santa, he might just be extra good to you this year.  Enjoy!

Got questions? Just email smilinatyanow@aol.com any time and let’s talk about fun with food. Merry Christmas!  

Pineapple Pecan Coconut Snowballs

  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple, very well drained
  • 1 cup chopped pecans 
  • 3 cups flaked coconut. 

In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and pineapple until combined.  Fold in pecans.

Cover & refrigerate for 1 hour. Roll mixture into 1” balls, then roll balls in coconut to fully coat.Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

Yield: about 2 dozen.


Look for Queenie Cooks weekly for recipes that are generally simple to prepare, require relatively few (and easy to find) ingredients, and usually budget friendly as well. We all have to eat. Let’s have some FUN with it!  

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