Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Let me start out by saying that Christmas is exactly one bajillion times better with children.
The magic they bring to the season is so tangible you can pluck it out of the air and hang it on the Christmas tree.
Everything--even the simple little parts of our day are so exciting to them this time of year.

As parents, we have loved creating new traditions for our own little family,
but we have also had a lot of fun pulling traditions from our own childhoods.

Growing up, my own mom made lots of cookies.
Lots. Of. Cookies.
In every flavor, shape, and form.
Dipped. Sprinkled. Frosted.
But my favorite cookie out of all of them was
The Snowball.
A perfect little ball of buttery cookie, loaded with chocolate and nuts.

It is not officially the Christmas season until these cookies are baked, eaten, and shared.

And as much as I love to eat them, it's more than that.
I love to bake.
I love taking little bits of nothing, mixing them together in a bowl, and creating something warm and  wonderful.
I love teaching little hands how to measure and shape cookies.
I love watching them sneak a taste when they think I'm not looking.
I love the time we get to spend together-anticipating our creation coming out of the oven.
snowball1 copysnowball2 copysnowball3 copysnowballs4 copy
I think I have blogged this recipe every year for the past 5 is that important.
I like to double this batch when I make it. 
They freeze well, and are perfect to pull out when you need to put together a quick plate of treats for a friend--just give them a fresh dusting of powdered sugar when you load them up on the plate.

3/4 c butter, room temp
1 tsp vanilla
1 TBS water
1/8tsp salt
1/3 c sugar
1 1/2 c flour
(this time I added a pinch of cinnamon, just for kicks)
1 c chocolate chips
1 c chopped pecans or walnuts (I like pecans)
Powdered sugar, for dusting.

Cream butter, vanilla, water, sugar and salt. Add flour and mix well. Stir in chocolate and nuts.
 Form into 1” balls. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Cool for a few minutes. Roll in powdered sugar (or "make it snow" on top of them) while still warm.

snowballs5 copysnowballs6 copysnowballs7 copysnowballs8
We patiently waited for them to cool(ish), and popped them into our mouths.
It tasted just like Christmas.

What are some of your favorite edible Christmas traditions?


Letitia said...

ohhh wow, that last photo is amazing!!

Bri {collected} said...

Sheena, pretty much if you post it, I will make it. Kind of like Field of Dreams. I will make these tomorrow.

susanne @ tall pine nest said...

I've been searching for a festive new recipe to try for my sweet tooth/pregnant cravings! :) This is just the thing.

Lesley said...

you make me happy. love that photo with the little hands sprinkling sugar on top of the cookies. so sweet!

Sylvia said...

I am nursing and therefore abstaining from dairy (i.e. all amazing, buttery, Christmas cookies) but I will still make these and just do lots of sharing. Thanks!

Kasey said...

For me, it's not Christmas unless I make chocolate almond toffee. Yum!

Hayley said...

cinnamon rolls and oranges.

these look awesome!

Elise said...

I love Christmas baking! Foodnetwork has a 12 days of cookiess advent, I will be trying some of those recipes!

Tanae Nelson said...

Looks like I am going to have to make these for my cookie exchange this weekend. Thanks for the inspiration.

Ashley said...

I LOVE how thick these are!!!!!! I might have to give them a whirl using oat flour...haha we'll see how it goes. :)

summer said...

yes, the thickness of these just drives me crazy!! yumm!

summer said...

and the brick of butter. perfection.

ElleSee said...

Mmmm! Those look delicious! This is our first Christmas with our little boy. I'm very excited about starting some new traditions, and continuing my favourites from childhood. You're right. It is one bajillion times better with children...and he's only a baby :)

Tara Williams said...

Just made these--so delicious! I may or may not have eaten four in a row. I remember these from my childhood, but they never had chocolate chips. Tasty addition!

Chocolate drop cookies, of course cut-out sugar cookies with frosting, and Christmas morning cinnamon rolls are a few of our sweet family traditions.

Patricia Scarpin said...

They look amazing! Very Christmassy. I can totally understand why it was difficult for you to wait for the cookies to cool. :)

Kaitlyn Luce said...

My favorites to make (and eat) are chocolate chip coconut bars (or cookies), and the peanut butter blossoms with the chocolate kiss in the middle. mmm mmm...

Shannon said...

Mmm. These look delish! My favorite edible Christmas tradition is chocolate bread. A dense, cake-like chocolatey bread. I grew up baking dozens of loaves to give to friends and neighbors and I make them for my friends and neighbors now. Last year I used special dark Hershey's cocoa in it and it was amazing. I'll never go back.

JojoBean said...

Looks delicious. Would love to have you come and share this with us over at

Stef said...

Mmm...those look good! Around Christmas I always have to make peanut butter cookies with peanut butter cups in the middle and peanut butter fudge. It's not the holidays until I have those!

gfs said...

oh these look so good, can't wait to make them...right after I polish off the three batches of cookies I recently made!

Cooking Rookie said...

Such cuties, I'm definitely making them. Thanks for the recipe!
I just discovered your blog today, and I'm already a fan :-). I am subscribing to follow you and will be back soon :-)

Anonymous said...

I've never had snowballs with chocolate in them! So, if you need me, I'll be in the kitchen baking. Yum!

Courtney said...

Have you ever explained to "us" (why you don't weigh a bazillion pounds. ;) I love apricot rings at Christmas, a sweet roll dough with softened (and sweetened) dried apricots and glazed with cream cheese icing.

Bonnie said...

scrumptious !

that is all.


Anonymous said...

these look insanely delicious!

Josh said...
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Melissa said...

I've been making a very very similar recipe to this, and have had them every single year as far as I can remember.. We called them Butter Balls growing up. No chocolate chips, though! I'll have to blog mine one of these days. :)

Kelly said...

LOve your blog - frequent raver but have to say again - your photos are magical! So much mood and feeling.

Russell said...

I am loving all these shots. Such a beautiful post. And this recipe sounds scrumptious.

Lula. said...

YUM. Those look so delicious. Making those TODAY. Thanks ALOT!

purdywords said...

These were delish, btw. The kids had a great time sprinkling the "snow!".

Christmas morning isn't complete without a steaming cup of hot tea, some toast, and later cinnamon rolls, lox and bagels, and oranges. Mmm...can't wait.

Anonymous said...

these look sooo yummy! I look forward to adding them to my christmas cookie collection :) thanks for sharing, and beautiful photography!

b and e said...

Such a nice blog! Great recipes. I'll have to try!



Burn That Dress said...

Fantastic photos! These looks so delicious, and surely they must be wonderful if you post them every year; I must give them a try. ^_*

Brinn said...

your photo skills rock my socks.

Kimmie said...

These snowballs look delicious!!

Our favorite edible Christmas Tradition goodie is that of "Cinnamon Roasted Almonds" (like the kind you buy at the mall, only a 1000 times better).

Here is a link if you'd like to try them.

They are SO easy to make and they are always a HIT every time they are made up. I seriously have people that wait all year for these goodies and hide them from their families, when we drop off goodie boxes to them, so they can enjoy them all to themselves.

Another family favorite is that of Gumdrop's something my grandma used to make up and it is SO good and hearty and my 9 year old son just LOVES it and enjoys taking it in his lunches this time of the year. This also freezes really well.

Here is the link for it:

Happy Holiday baking to you!!

jules_marie said...
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Becca said...

Just made these to give out at our family Christmas gathering! I was debating on leaving the pecans out since not many people llke nuts in things...but I'm SO glad I left them in! Hopefully I won't eat them all in the next 4 days! Merry Christmas!

Molly said...

I can't wait to try these. Our favorite edible Christmas tradition is the perfect fruit cake. My dad is a fruit cake aficionado and I have baked him several different recipes using different liquors to soak. I finally found Batterless Fruit Cake which I soak in a local wine from St. James, Missouri. I baked it Thanksgiving weekend and it sits in wine for four weeks. Every year I bake for my dad. (I did forget one year and I could see in his eyes how hurt he was I had forgotten this treat. I haven't forgotten since.)

CurlyHairDay said...

These might just be the Best Christmas Cookies Ever. Thanks so much for the recipe! We love them and even managed to save one for Santa.

Ashley said...

I just had to click over and see what your snowballs were exactly. In my family it's a gigantic scoop of vanilla ice cream, covered in a ridiculous homemade chocolate sauce (so thick + sticky + buttery!!), topped with toasted sweetened coconut. I think one of your snowball cookies would be a great addition to the snowball ice cream. ;)

Heard about Goshen NY House Cleaning site info said...

Looks so delicious. I'm asking my sister to make these for me. I am so craving for these.