I made two kinds of snowball cookies this past Christmas: a pistachio one that ended up being a deflated snowball and this one, that was a lovely pink peppermint snowball. I was surprised by the amount of red coloring I had to add to achieve the rosy color but they tasted heavenly. The peppermint chunks by Ghirardelli and the bit of extract provided plenty of flavor.
The Ghirardelli peppermint chunks weren’t easy to find in my city. The local grocery chain didn’t carry them in the several stores I tried. I finally looked online in the Target app and found they did carry them. A quick trip to Target by my P.S. (Personal Shopper/ hubby) was almost a fail as well. The app said they were in a particular aisle, which turned out to be the regular variety of baking chips. An employee checked for him and found them in the season aisle. Score!
We bought two bags of the peppermint chunks and later discovered we only needed 1/2 cup of the chunks, chopped up. So stay tuned for future posts while I use up 3 1/2 cups more! Aren’t you annoyed when that happens? The chips are cute little rectangles about 3/4 of an inch long. Hence the recipe calling for us to chop them up for cookies.
I started with a good-sized mixing bowl, beating the room temperature butter and powdered sugar until fluffy.
I added the flour, salt, peppermint extract and a good swipe of red gel coloring. I was out of liquid red food coloring and the store had been totally out of it as well. Oh well, we improvise when necessary. I beat the dough until it was mixed and added more coloring. I had to add coloring a few times before I finally got a good red tint. By then it looked like ground beef! I giggled.
I chopped 1/2 cup of the elusive Ghirardelli peppermint chunks and added them to the dough. I ended up using my fingers to help them mix into the dough as it was fairly stiff.
Then here’s where my previous pistachio balls failure made me worry: the recipe didn’t have any directions to chill the dough to prevent the balls from spreading. Hmm. I wondered if I should refrigerate anyway, so that I would end up with cookie balls after baking. Hmm. I went ahead and used my large cookie scoop to form balls, rolling each in my hands to smooth them up. Tamara didn’t say how many cookies to make but I ended up with 48 and that was a good-sized cookie ball.
I put 24 cookies on each of two parchment paper covered pans. I was strongly crossing my fingers that the cookies wouldn’t spread. And they didn’t. They baked nicely, staying in ball form. Perhaps the secret was that the oven was at 375°F. When the first pan was done I slid the second pan in the oven and let them bake.
When the first pan was cooled I rolled the balls in powdered sugar and set them into a container in layers. They stored nicely and were ready for my Christmas dessert buffet.
A hit! The flavor as well as the color made these cookie balls go over well. My red wasn’t as bright as Tamara’s but they were good for a first time effort. These will be on my list of favorites for future Christmases, or maybe even Valentines Day. I do have that pile of leftover chunks to use up soon!
Peppermint Snowball Cookies
A new kind of snowball cookie with a peppermint twist.
- 1 cup butter; softened, not melted
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 2 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
- Red Food Coloring
- 1/2 cup Ghirardelli Peppermint Chunks (roughly chopped)
- 1 cup additional powdered sugar for coating
In a medium-sized bowl beat the softened butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.
Add flour, salt, extract and 4-5 drops of red food coloring. Beat until mixed. Add more coloring as desired.
Stir in chopped Ghirardelli Peppermint Chunks.
Scoop tablespoons of dough and roll into balls. Place on a parchment lined baking sheets, 24 to a half sheet pan.
Bake in oven for 6-8 minutes or until the bottoms are just beginning to brown. Mine took 10 minutes, your oven might vary as well.
Cool on cookie sheets then roll cookies in the additional powdered sugar and store in an airtight container.
Adapted from Tamara Like Camera