Friday, December 17, 2010

Hot Chocolate Snowballs

A friend of mine at work fairly recently introduced me to the world of Penzey’s Spices. I think I had seen their catalog a time or two, but I hadn’t paid them much attention. She was in Portland, Oregon and had visited their store. She bought me some cinnamon (extra fancy Vietnamese cinnamon!) and it was so good that I became an immediate fan. Looking in a catalog is nice, but it isn’t the same as being able to browse through a store.

I was in downtown Seattle recently and stumbled across the newly opened Penzey’s store. I was so thrilled that there was one close! I do get to Portland occasionally, since my husband’s sister lives there, but this one is so convenient! I had such a good time looking through the store, smelling all of the different spices. I bought more than my fair share of items on that first trip to the store, and I’m sure that I’ll be buying much more in the future.

At the store they had many recipes for using their ingredients, and this one for hot chocolate snowballs immediately caught my eye. It uses their hot chocolate mix (although I suspect you could assemble your own mix and use that in a pinch). These were easy to make and they are the perfect holiday cookie. There are lots of “snowball” recipes out there, but this one is a bit different. For me, it was like a combination of a Russian teacake and a chocolate crackle. I like both so how could you go wrong?

2/3 cup butter, softened
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup Penzey’s Hot Chocolate Mix
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1-3/4 cup flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup finely chopped pecans
Additional powdered sugar

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, cream cheese, hot chocolate mix, powdered sugar and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and salt. Gradually add the flour to the creamed mixture and mix until well blended. Stir in the chopped pecans. Cover and refrigerate for one hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

Roll the chilled dough into 1-inch balls. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until firm. Let cool on the baking sheets for a couple minutes. Roll the warm cookies in powdered sugar and place on wire racks to cool.

Recipe from Penzey’s Spices


briarrose said...

What a cool recipe. I will have to try these. I'm tickled with the hot cocoa ingredient.

Liz Anderson said...

Good to know there is a shop so close -- I can almost smell the spices!