In St. Paul and all over the world, chocolate is Christmas. Ok, so are cranberries, peppermint candies, pralines, spiced nuts, plum pudding, and wassail. And while there are a million and one chocolate chip cookies since the original Toll House variety, this one, the chocolatiest of them all, might top the bill. Called by a few different names (Chocolate Crinkles is the most popular), the given name of this recipe is long gone. Chocolate Snowballs seemed to be a title that fit when the name disappeared under a blot of soft butter one year. Not an original recipe, it's been rewritten many times over the years as it's been lost, found with just brief notes, lost, and regained from a daughter-in-law. By now there's no proof of its provenance nor if the ingredients are in the exact proportions they once were. Do the directions read as they did? Might not, but these work!
At once crispy and softly chocolate-gooey, these sweet dreams are covered with stardust provided by a roll in a snow of powdered sugar. Baked until they're just set and then removed from the oven to finish baking and cooling on a rack, they are one of our family's favorites and they're the perfect foil for white shortbread or sugar cookies on the Christmas cookie platter. One important point: these cookies do not keep well. Store them tightly covered and eat them with in two-three days or freeze until needed.
A creative baker might: add 1/2 t cinnamon or roll tops in finely crushed candy canes before baking.
Chocolate Snowballs makes 5-6 dozen 3" cookies
- 4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided (1/2 are melted; 1/2 are stirred in at the end)
- 3 cups white, all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 t salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 12 T unsalted butter, softened ( 1 1/2 sticks)
- 3t vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup powdered sugar (for rolling cookie balls in)
- In a microwave safe bowl or large, covered measuring cup, melt 2 cups of the chocolate chips by heating them at 50 % power setting for 30 seconds. Stir, and heat again for a few more seconds at a time until melted.
- In a large bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat butter for 2 minutes until pale and fluffy. Add melted chocolate, eggs, sugar, and vanilla.
- Pour dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture and mix well. Mix in the other two cups of chocolate chips. Cover bowl and refrigerate for an hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place cup of powdered sugar in a shallow bowl. Roll dough into balls 1" in diameter and then roll in powdered sugar.
- Place balls 2" apart on cookies sheets and bake 8-10 minutes until just set and dry. Centers will still be somewhat soft. Let sit on the cookie sheet 1 minute. Remove to rack with spatula to cool completely.
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