A while back I posted about two food blogging events: Ice Cream Ireland's Ice Cream Party and Food Blogga's Eat Christmas Cookies event. The Ice Cream Party has come and gone, but the Cookie event is still going strong until 24 December. (hint, hint) Just bake some cookies and follow the instructions here. People from all over the world have sent their cookies in. Click here to see what they've submitted.
My Cookie story:
After baking four different batches of cookies with my children, it was finally my turn to bake alone, with no additional "help." My choice? Cherry Snowballs. I found the recipe on Allrecipes.com and, I hate to say it, based most of my decision on how they looked. White little coconut balls with a bright red center...how could I say no to such festiveness? Who was I to decide against such an obvious tribute to wintertime and Christmas? I didn't have a choice, those cute little snowballs forced my hand.
After buying the ingredients, remembering to leave the butter out and doing the dishes, I began. Almost immediately I realized an important item. Always read the labels. I bought two jars of maraschino cherries since one was supposed to have about 30 and I needed 36. Did you know that you can buy them with or without the stem? I didn't. So, while one jar was an easy open and dump, the other required the removal of 27 stems. (I counted.) Of course it wasn't difficult, just a bit of a pain in the rumpus.
When the cherries were all ready to go, I mixed the ingredients for the balls. This was super simple and since there were no eggs, I got to eat the dough, salmonella-worry free! Yay! The next step was a bit messy. Take a tablespoon of dough and shape it around a cherry. See, the problem here is that the dough is mainly held together with butter and when you mix the maraschino juice with the warmth of your hands, you end up with a sticky blob that wants to hold on to your fingers and not the cherry. Don't worry about me though, I powered through.
After creating twenty of these little goo-bobs, it was into-the-oven time. They baked for twenty minutes at 350! I've never made a cookie that had to bake longer than 12 minutes so I was a little nervous that it would burn and paranoidly gave it a quick look over my shoulder every few minutes. Of course it was the perfect amount of time to bake and they came out with the most beautiful golden bottoms. (tee hee)
Once they were baked and cooled I got to dip them in a powdered sugar/milk glaze and then sprinkle them with coconut. I was so naive thinking the forming-the-balls part was messy. By the time I was done with the whole coconut/glaze bit it looked like I had been tarred and feathered.
The results? Pretty darn good. I'm actually not a big maraschino cherry fan and quite loathe those cherry cordial chocolate candies, which I was a little nervous these cookies might turn out to be. But there ended up to be no reason to worry at all. They are quite delicious and not too sweet. That's a bad combo with me. A super sweet cookie gives me no troubles with self-control issues. It's the not-too-sweet ones that cause the problems. Those sneaky little punks will have me eating half the batch before I even know what's what.
If you've ever had Russian Teacake cookies, these are a little like that. Think Russian Teacake that grew wild, coconut hair and has a soft, sweet middle.
The real question to be asked, though, is this: Did they turn out looking as good as I had hoped? Well, see for yourself. Personally, I can't get past their bright red middles. They're just too cute.