Sara's Snowballs!

I signed up to participate in a virtual cookie exchange which means I got to try a new recipe from a new blogging friend!  These Snowballs are cookies I've tried at parties but have never made myself. I'm so glad Sara shared this family tradition with me...I had fun adding my spin to this familiar favorite!




Below is the recipe shared with me by Sara.  
She posts regularly about her experiences over at her blog 
"Confessions of a Red Headed Mama"!
Hop over and say hello after reading.  
Sara tells me that this is a recipe passed down to her by her mother 
and comes with fond memories of time in her mother's kitchen each Christmas
making batches of this delightful cookie. 
Today she is carrying on that tradition with her son.  

INGREDIENTS
2 sticks butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla*
1 3/4 cup sifted all purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped nuts*
extra powdered sugar for dusting

*see variation options in pictorial below


DIRECTIONS
  1. In an electric mixer, beat softened butter and 1/2 cup of powdered sugar until fluffy. 
  2. To this add the vanilla and flour and stir to blend. Now you can add the chopped nuts and stir to blend. 
  3. Place this in a sealed container and refrigerate for a few hours to firm up the dough.  
  4. Once firmed, shape the dough into 1 inch balls and place 2 inches apart on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick spray. 
  5. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  
  6. Remove from the oven and immediately roll in powdered sugar while still warm, handling the balls carefully as they will be fragile. Let these continue to cool on a wire cooling rack and then store in a sealed container until ready to serve.  
THE REST OF THE STORY...
First let me say that these were delish... even though I made a few errors in judgement as I prepared these cookies {oops!}  So delicious in fact, that I never got to take a picture of them on the serving plate after I let them cool.  The family gobbled them up too fast!  

And let me CONFESS that as is typical of me ~ I experimented with a variation idea that turned out to be just as successful according to the cookie monsters referred to above!

Here's a pictorial confession of my cookie exchange adventure....
 No confession here...just showing you how stiff the dough will be before you put it in the fridge.  
Yes...this is how it is supposed to look and feel!

 Confession #1...
I made the dough balls too big.  I used a 2 tablespoon scoop {see in background}
and I think I should have used a 1 tablespoon scoop.  
I suppose my first clue should have been that I only got 1 1/2 dozen cookies from the first batch
when Sara's recipe specifically said I should get 3 dozen.  DUH!
Confession #2...
I placed the cookie balls too close together.
That coupled with the fact that they were too big to start with 
meant my cookies kinda' cooked together...
but they were still very tasty! 
OK....Confession #3
Sara said to sift the flour in her recipe. 
I don't own a sifter...
so I didn't sift.  
It didn't seem to make a difference, but I don't know what 
the sifted version would have looked like! 
 Cookies in the powdered sugar for dusting before cooling
....evidence that my balls were a tad too big.  
 On the cooling rack...minus a few that didn't make it past the taste testing phase! 
 Quick tip...
I love keeping things like flour and sugar in large, sealable containers
along with a full set of 'cheap' measuring cups
so I always have what I need when I open the lid.
It's especially handy this time of year when I do a lot of baking.
{I think I paid a buck for this set at the local Walmart}
Final Confession...#4
Once I realized I wasn't going to get 3 dozen balls from this recipe, 
I decided to do a second batch.  HOWEVER...I was now out of chopped nuts.  
I did have some craisins, and that made me think of my favorite holiday flavor combo...
orange and cranberry
So...batch #2 used orange extract instead of the vanilla
and craisins instead of nuts.  
YUM!
Other variations I'm thinking about trying:
~ Peppermint Extract and Mini Chocolate Chips
~ Some True Lime and Coconut
~ Some True Lemon and White Chocolate Chips 





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