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Baking Is Science For Hungry People: Little Snowballs

Hey again Baking Friends!

One of my favorite series of books to read is the Hannah Swensen Mystery series by Joanne Fluke. I like that it’s murder mystery style books, with a lot of the every day monotony thrown in that most books leave out, and then the best part is the recipes! I have tried lots of Joanne’s recipes, and have yet to find one that I don’t like. One of these days I will try her coffee trick, I swear, but I need a huge batch of coffee drinkers to do it.

Anyways, a few years ago my work did a Cookies for Civil Servants thing around Christmas where everyone brought in bags of scratch-made cookies, and volunteers distributed them to Charlotte Mecklenburg Police, Fire and Medic stations across the county. I had made some extras for my co-workers, small samples of the 4 cookies that I made, and one of my friends LOVED the Little Snowballs that I made. Think similar to a Wedding Cake Cookie.

Little Snowballs!

Since her birthday is at the end of June, I decided to make her a batch of cookies for a snack. Hee. Birthday cookies will get you every time! Muahahaha.

So anyways, here is the recipe, and hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

What You’ll Need:
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, melted (3 sticks)
3/4 cup powdered sugar, plus 1/4 cup for coating
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup finely chopped nuts (walnut chips and sliced almonds are my go-to choices for these cookies!)

How To Make Them:
Preheat over to 350 F. Melt the butter in microwave for 2 minutes.
2. Add in 3/4 cup powdered sugar, vanilla, nutmeg and salt, and mix well. Add the flour and mix throughly. Stir in the nuts until evenly distributed.
3. Form the dough into one-inch balls (just pat them into shape with your fingers), and place them on an UNGREASED baking sheet.
4. Bake them for 10 minutes, until they are set but not brown. Remove from oven.
5. Let the cookies cool for 2 minutes, then roll them in powdered sugar. (You must do this while they’re still warm.) Place them on a wire rack and let them cool completely.
6. When the cookies are completely cooled, roll them in powdered sugar again. Let them rest for several minutes on the rack, and then store them in a cookie jar or a covered bowl, or a large freezer ziploc bag! Enjoy them with friends!

Yield: 90-100 cookies (Nutrition Information: 47 calories per cookie, 2.9g fat, 4.2g carb, 0.6g protein, 8mg sodium, 7mg cholesterol)

So there they are, try it out, enjoy, and please let me know what you think! YUM!

I will say, I do intend to try a few variations on this cookie throughout this summer: substituting butter for Butter Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil, adding lemon juice + lemon rind to make Lemon Snowballs, substituting butter for applesauce + canola oil, substituting nuts for dried fruit, substituting macadamia nuts + coconut for the nuts, and finally doing the original recipe around a jumbo chocolate chip. I will, of course, keep you all posted on how these all turn out!

Craft You Later,

Baking is Science for Hungry People: Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hello Baking Fiends!

I had to make some chocolate chip cookies for my dad a while ago. He loooves chocolate chip cookies. Since I make them bite sized, it’s easier for him to grab quite a few but still not eat a ton, so it works out. He likes to eat cookies, I like to bake cookies, it’s a great father-daughter relationship, I tell ya! 😉

In addition, I have quite a few friends that enjoy cookies, so I have 3 main versions of these that I make pretty regularly for them: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip (PBCC), Double Chocolate Chip (DCC), and Chocolate Chip (CC) Cookies.

I do not use eggs. This recipe should NOT be subsituted with eggs, just as a warning. It won’t taste great, I promise. Try this way, it won’t hurt, I swear!

So first, I melt 1 cup margarine (or 2 sticks unsalted butter). This is one of the few times I prefer margarine. But shhhh! don’t tell anyone! 😉 Usually microwaving this on HIGH power for 45 seconds does the trick. You don’t want this boiling, you just want this melted. While this is melting, I preheat my oven to 375 F. I also put aluminum foil down on my cookie sheets, and spray the foil very lightly with cooking spray.

To the melted margarine/butter, dump in the following (but don’t stir until they’re all added in): 3/4 cup white sugar, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, 3-oz package sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix. Stir these really well, until fully incorporated and the ‘dough’ is looking like creamed butter (a little grainy but mostly wet).

Now add in one of the following, depending on type of cookie:
PBCC: 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
DCC: 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder + 1/3 cup white sugar
CC: 1/2 cup brown sugar

Next add in the flour, and I usually add 2 cups, then another cup by the 1/4 cup until it’s all-around doughy. You want your dough to be able to be scooped by hand and not stick to you, but still able to stick to itself and not crumble apart when you put it on the sheet. The PBCC cookies, because of the peanut butter, will need a little more flour, whereas the other 2 types (DCC & CC) will need a little less.

Finally, add in your chocolate chips and stir really well. I like doing this after the flour, because it causes less strain when mixing, and also allows your dough to get to the right consistency without the extra hard bits blocking any of the dough areas from being mixed right.

Once you have your dough ready, take teaspoon-sized amounts of dough and roll them into balls. Place about 2 inches apart in any direction from each other on the cookie sheet. On a square baking sheet, I can fit between 20-25 cookies typically. Once they are on the sheet, pat them down a little so they are flattened just a bit. On occasion, I will roll the dough in granulated sugar before placing on the sheet. That is optional though!

Now to bake. I have this part down to an exact science. Put your 2 cookie sheets in the oven and set your kitchen timer to 7 minutes 25 seconds, exactly. Once it beeps, pull the cookies out, and let stand on the sheets for 2 minutes. Then remove to the cooling rack (or another cookie sheet covered in foil if you don’t have a rack), and let stand for 5 minutes to fully cool. They should be super easy to pull of the sheets once that first 2 minutes is done. 🙂

Observe the wonderfulness as it cools!

Typically, this recipe yields about 100-120 cookies for me, albeit bite-sized ones. They are delicious, easy to carry, easy to transport & package, and super easy to eat! YUM!

Here they are all prettied up in a box for a gift!

Enjoy, and until next time, enjoy these cookies and let me know how you like them!

Craft You Later,

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