Let’s face the truth – it’s time for cookies! If you get together with some friends, you end up with a good stash of treats to gift at holiday parties, to share with co-workers, or to sneak with milk late at night.
A few tips for a sane and successful baking party:
- Each guest brings cookie dough already prepared and chilled (if the dough calls for chilling). This will really cut down on mess and time to get all the cookies rolled out and in the oven.
- Each guest brings a cookie sheet or two plus containers to bring their bounty home.
- Have different timers for different cookies – once you’ve got three different kinds baking away, it’s easy to burn your creations.
- Have some delicious appies to share so that you don’t eat raw cookie dough all afternoon.
- Biggest tip? Keep it simple. The first year we baked together, we each did two recipes, we shaped, we baked, we cleaned for hours. Timing for the oven was complicated. The floor was covered in slippery dough. Now we each choose one recipe and spend more time catching up.
Here’s a fave cookie recipe.
Chocolate Snowball Cookies
Incredibly rich, incredibly hard to resist – even if you store them in your freezer. Kid helpers love to roll these into balls and dip them into a pile of icing sugar.
Recipe adapted from Whitewater Cooks, pure, simple and real.
All rolled up in icing sugar snow and ready to go in the oven….
Chocolate Snowball Cookies
Chocolate cookie perfection! This recipe makes LOTS of cookies - about 75 small cookies.
- 16 ounces semi-sweet dark baking chocolate
- 2 1/3 cups white flour
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 4 tsp baking powder I use aluminum free
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- A pile of icing sugar to roll cookies in, at least 2 cups
Chop up the chocolate and melt using a double broiler. If you don’t have a double broiler (I don’t), melt the chocolate by holding a small pot over a larger pot of boiling water. It works, even if a bit awkward. Let the chocolate cool.
With a hand mixer, beat together the butter and brown sugar for a few minutes. It should be fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat again.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
Add the COOLED chocolate to the butter and sugar and mix well. Make sure to let the chocolate cool before adding it to the remaining ingredients - if the chocolate is too hot, your cookies may end up flat rocks instead of poofy treats (this happened once to me!).
Add ½ of flour mix, mix in. Then add the milk, mix in. Add the remaining flour and mix in - my blender starts to wimp out at this point and I have to get a wooden spoon and use some serious arm power out to finish up the batter.
Chill the dough in plastic wrap in the fridge for at least a few hours. Overnight is fine. The dough is too soft to work with unless it's chilled.
Shape the dough into small balls (think almost bite size) and roll in piles of icing sugar - the more the better.
Bake on parchment-lined pans for 10 - 12 minutes at 350F. Better to under than over cook.