Sunday, December 15, 2019

Chocolate Snowballs





If you have a sweet tooth, then the Xmas season is your dream time. Sweet emanations permeate the atmosphere so temptation is around every corner. I make a series of cookies. One of them is this nugget of chocolate, apricot and cointreau. With a few raisins thrown in. It is chewy, not too sweet and makes a delightful two bite pleaser. Maybe three bites if you nibble! And they always bring a smile to my face even as I make them.

Whisk good quality cocoa powder with flour and baking powder. No need to sift. Soft butter and sugar are creamed till frothy. Egg, apricot jam, vanilla and milk ease the stiffness. Raisins soaked in cointreau give the cookie a sophisticated touch. Balls are coated in granulated sugar which binds the cookies, then in icing sugar which fragments them. Rolled in two sugars, they emerge from the oven with an distinct abstract art look.



CHOCOLATE SNOWBALLS
Makes 48-50


2 cups all purpose Flour
1/2 cup Cocoa Powder (I used Ghirardelli)
21/4 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg powder 
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
3/4 cup golden Raisins
1/4 cup Cointreau or Orange Juice
1 1/2 sticks or 16 tablespoons Butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup Sugar
1 Egg
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Apricot Jam
2 tablespoons Milk
1/2 cup Icing Sugar
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar


Whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a bowl.

Soak raisins in cointreau for 20 minutes.

Have all your ingredients at room temperature. 

Cream butter and 3/4 cup sugar till pale and fluffy in a stand mixer. Or use a wooden spoon and a lot of arm strength. 



Add egg, vanilla extract, jam and milk. Stir slowly till mixed. 



Spoon flour mixture into the batter on low speed. Do this till flour has just about folded in.



Stir in raisins. 



Give the batter a quick whirl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or 24 hours if you plan to make them the next day. Its a very forgiving batter.

Line three baking sheets with parchment or Silpat. I use half sheet pans sized at 18"x 13"

Heat oven to 350F or 180C.

Take batter out of the fridge. Use a scoop to make golf ball size rounds. You should get 12-15 on  a sheet depending on the size of your sheet pan.



Put the two sugars in bowls. Roll the balls in granulated sugar first and then the icing sugar and place on sheet pan.







Bake for 12 minutes.

Remove tray from oven and cool for 10 minutes. 



Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. 



Repeat till the dough is finished. You might have to reuse sheet pans. Wait until they are lukewarm to place rolled cookie balls on them. 

Keep cookies in an airtight container. 

They are best eaten the day of baking, but keep well for 10 day!


Time to wrap the cookies. I save some for my sweet tooth and because these make so happy. 


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