Snowball Cookies: Three Ways
Guys, I think I need to preface this post by saying I am not a baker. I'm not a cook. I know almost nothing of baking and cooking short of what I've read on the internet, learned from my college roommates, and watched my mother and grandmother do in the kitchen. I do, however, very much enjoy baking and trying out new recipes. I think it's the maker/creator in me that loves taking a recipe and making it my own. (I used to add cinnamon to my hot chocolate as a child, and I genuinely thought it was a breakthrough idea and I was some kind of genius. Oh childhood...) So, within each recipe, you'll see my "tasting notes" of how I took the recipe found on the internet and made it into an MFF original (sort of).
A few years ago I discovered the deliciousness that is snowball cookies: a buttery soft cookie that's covered in powered sugar and melts in your mouth. YUM. This year I decided to make them in Christmas colors, and that meant finding recipes that suited my Christmas theme. I already knew pistachio snowball cookies were a possibility (thanks Pinterest!) but I kept wondering: what would be my red cookie? Um, red velvet, duh! I'm a big fan of the almond flavor as well so I figured three was a nice, round number, and I added the color white into my holiday cookie project. I've linked each recipe back to original one I used. You'll see in the notes below that I made some necessary variations to the recipes to make the cookies a little more of the buttery, soft, melt-in-your-mouth goodness that they deserved to be.
PISTACHIO SNOWBALL COOKIES
The recipe below is based on this recipe from Mother Thyme. I've adjusted some ingredients and added instruction notes in my version.
1. In your large mixing bowl, cream butter. Beat in 1/2 cup of sugar until fluffy. Add in vanilla extract.
2. In your medium bowl, combine flour, pudding mix, and salt. Gradually mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients until combined.
3. Form dough into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap (or put in Ziploc bag) and place in refrigerator for at least an hour.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
5. Remove dough from plastic wrap (or Ziploc bag) and form into teaspoon-sized balls. Place on baking sheets about 1 inch apart. (I chose to push my thumb into the cookies for a different look, but feel free to keep them as balls for the "snowball" look)
6. Bake in preheated oven for 14-15 minutes, but check frequently after 9 minutes as everyone's ovens are different. Don't over-bake.
7. Let cookies sit on baking sheet for about 10 minutes, and while they're still warm, toss cookies in the remaining confectioners sugar. (I put the sugar in a gallon-size Ziploc bag and tossed the cookies in that.)
8. Place sugar-covered cookies on wire cooling rack until completely cool.
9. Store in airtight containers.
ALMOND SNOWBALL COOKIES
The recipe below is based on this recipe from MyRecipes. I've adjusted some ingredients and added instruction notes in my version.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake almonds in a single layer in your shallow pan for about 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant. Cool completely (this takes about 20-30 minutes).
2. Process almonds in a food processor or chop them into grounds with a sharp knife.
3. Beat butter at medium speed until creamy in your large bowl. Gradually add vanilla and 1 cup of the powdered sugar, beating well.
4. Combine flour, salt, and almonds to butter mixture. Beat until blended.
5. Shape dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap or Ziploc bag. Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
6. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
7. Remove dough from refrigerator and form into teaspoon-sized balls. Place about an inch apart on baking sheets.
8. Bake for 14-15 minutes, checking frequently. Let cool for about 10 minutes.
9. While still warm, toss cookies in remaining confectioners sugar in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag.
10. Cool completely on wire rack, and store in airtight containers.
RED VELVET SNOWBALL COOKIES
The recipe below is based on this recipe from Baking Bites. I've adjusted some ingredients and added instruction notes in my version.
1. In your large bowl, beat together butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt until smooth and creamy.
2. Beat in cocoa powder and red food coloring until mixture is bright red (feel free to add more is 1 teaspoon is not enough. My dough looked a little pink but the cookies still baked into a bright red)
3. Gradually add in flour until the dough if fully formed.
4. Form dough into a large ball and place in plastic wrap (or Ziploc bag) in refrigerator for at least an hour.
5. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
6. Shape dough into teaspoon-sized balls and place on baking sheets about an inch apart.
7. Bake for 14-15 minutes, checking frequently. Allow cookies to cool for about 10 minutes.
8. Then toss cookies in Ziploc bag filled with remaining confectioners sugar.
9. Let cool completely on wire rack. Store in airtight containers.
Hope y'all enjoy! I'd love hear your thoughts/suggestions in the comments below.