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Author Notes: A recipe with good bones is one that is versatile and can withstand tweaking and twisting, time, and trial alike. This is my aunt's basic recipe for snowball cookies/Russian tea cakes - a staple for our holiday table - but turned on its side, spun around, and doused with chocolate. —Jr0717
Makes approx. 35-40 cookies
cups Flour, sifted
cup Powdered sugar, plus additional for dusting the cookies
teaspoon vanilla extract
teaspoon almond extract
cup chopped chocolate of your choice, split into two portions of 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup (I used a mix of white, dark, and milk, but bittersweet or straight milk chocolate would be lovely as well)
cup cocoa powder
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar, flour, and extracts, and combine well.
- Scoop out about a ½ tablespoon of dough for each cookie, and roll until you have a sphere of dough. Make a small cavity in the middle of the dough and add several pieces of the chopped chocolate. Pull the rest of the dough over the cavity to tuck the chocolate inside of the cookie itself.
- Roll each dough ball in the cocoa powder and place on the baking sheets. Bake until edges are light gold, approximately 8-10 minutes.
- Allow cookies to cool completely. Put remaining powdered sugar plus another 1/2 cup in a large bowl, and rough each cookie until covered. Place cookies on a plate in the freezer for about 5 minutes. This cools the cookie quickly so that any excess buttery moisture on the surface dries, allowing a second coating of sugar to really adhere and not just soak in. When the cookies are cold, dredge them again in powdered sugar
- In the microwave or over a double-boiler, melt the remaining chocolate chips with a little bit of neutral oil, like vegetable oil, to get the chocolate to a thin consistency. This makes it easier to drizzle over the cookies. Remove them from the second sugar coating, drizzle with melted chocolate, and let them harden up in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes. Enjoy at room temperature!