Cherry Snowballs

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Well, actually, please don’t stop me, because I know you’ve heard of this before. I have in my possession my grandmother’s recipe book. Virtually each and every recipe conjures up a memory for my father and they all tend to go along the lines of  “ohh, that is very good” to “oh yes, I’d eat a platter of those” or simply “mmmm” with a smile on his face. I’ve already attempted her curried chicken, meatballs and meatloaf with great success.

For some reason, I’ve yet to tackle anything sweet and for some bizarre reason, I chose to begin with something called a Cherry Snowball. I have no idea why I chose this since I’m more a fan of chocolate desserts and surprisingly my father has no recollection whatsoever with these Cherry Snowballs.

Maybe I wanted to try something non-chocolate related or maybe I just loved that this recipe called for a “nut chopper” or maybe in the recipe itself, my grandmother refers to the nut chopper as a “dandy little hand machine”. Yes, that is definitely the reason.

While I will always be partial to anything with chocolate, the Cherry Snowball was a nice surprise, the cookie part itself is soft with a little crunch from the pecans. And of course, anything rolled twice in icing sugar is always good. The star is of course the cherry and it offers up a nice burst of unexpected flavor since it’s hiding so sneakily in the middle.

The funny thing about these is that although they are easily a one-bite cookie, people tend to bite right in the middle in order to look at the half-eaten cherry. It’s pretty much the same as eating a chocolate with some type of filling in the middle. You have to check out your handiwork and see what you’ve bitten in to.

Recipe for Cherry Snowballs

Now, I could type it all out for you, but why bother since it’s already done and come on, who doesn’t like a type-writer written recipe? And if your name happens to be Betsy, you can pretend the recipe is written out to you.

*Disclaimer* I did not want to make 48 cherry snowballs as the recipe states, simply because no one should eat 48 of anything! So I cut all the ingredients by 1/2 but the dough was very crumbly. To remedy that, I added some milk to try and bind it together. Thankfully it worked and I don’t think it affected it adversely in any way. I’m sure someone far more knowledgeable than me can tell me what went wrong, but the good news is that I managed. So, if the dough seems a little dry, adding some milk won’t be the end of the world.

Back to that “dandy little hand machine” called a nut chopper for a second. As I’ve mentioned a few times, I’m on Twitter and I tweet occasionally (and by occasionally, I mean a lot). When I was baking the Cherry Snowballs, I tweeted something about a nut chopper and of course hilarity ensued amongst a group of friends on Twitter since we’re about 9 years old.

Luckily, Kimberly from Full Circle Adventures knew exactly what a nut chopper is since it is a cherished item in her grandparent’s house to prepare the Pecan Pie on Thanksgiving. So a big thank you to John Baker, better known as “Poppop” for supplying the picture and even going to great lengths for setting it up with such flair. I love how that nut chopper is probably 60 years old and still going strong!

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47 Comments

Filed under Cherry Snowballs, Nut Chopper

47 responses to “Cherry Snowballs

  1. Joy

    Heirloom recipes are absolutely the best! I think my favourite line has to be, “Betsy, go buy yourself a nut chopper”, mostly because I hear my husband’s grandmother’s voice in that. I’m not much for nuts in baked goods (snicker) or baked cherries (snicker again) but I really appreciate the recipe. And of course, the family history.

    • Tastes Better With Friends

      Thanks Joy! You are totally right, I can totally hear my grandmother’s voice in that too. And the best part, it’s not a suggestion to buy a nut chopper, it’s a subtle directive, as in “how do you not have one already?”

  2. Okay, I need to know…since you didnt’ have a nut-chopper in your possession, what did you use??? But the cookies do look delicious and I would be one of the people biting it in half just to see the cherry.

    • Tastes Better With Friends

      Oh, I forgot to include that part! I cut a tiny hole in the bag of pecans so they wouldn’t explode when I went at them with a rolling pin until they were “chopped” sufficiently!
      And I am totally that half-biter as well.

  3. Those biscuits look delicious! They remind me a bit of my grandma’s Kiss Cakes. And I absolutely LOVE glace cherries! Yummy.

  4. Anything that starts off with “1 cup of butter” is going to be good. These look great, Ethan!

  5. Jennifer A (Bread and Putter)

    I love old recipes like this. I inherited a few from my mother-in-law, including one cookie recipe that includes the instruction to “go to town” mixing the dough. These look delicious and would make a great Christmas cookie.

  6. O.M.G!!! My grandmother had that nut chopper, too! She used it for all kinds of things–it’s great for tuna/chicken salad, as well. It was passed down to my mom, who used it faithfully, and it eventually fell apart. I’d give my right arm for one of those–they work great. I got to use it all the time growing up.

    So lucky that you have her recipe book–those are cherished treasures. The cookies look wonderful–I’m a sucker for cherries!

    • Tastes Better With Friends

      I’m amazed all the food-related memories we have from our youth. Sorry to hear it fell apart, but it must have been used very well over the years for that to happen!

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  8. How did you chop the nuts since you didn’t have the nut chopper? I love the photo what a nut chopper is. I will be on the hunt for one now in thrift stores! Great cookies! I look forward to more of your grandmother’s tried and true recipes.

  9. Amy

    You are a brave brave soul to mess with a baking recipe. It’s such a science. I’m impressed that they still came out even after halving the ingredients. Hm. You better send me some to test…just to be sure.

  10. I just love recipes like that! I have a few of my grandmother’s old recipes that were typed up on her typewriter, and it makes me smile each time I pull them out. These cherry snowballs look fabulous.

    PS – The crumbly/dryness in the dough may have actually just been the cold/dry weather. That happens sometimes when butter is the only “wet” ingredient. Sometimes letting them rest in the fridge for a while will help the moisture to spread out more evenly, too. But, all that said, I probably would have added some milk, too. 🙂

    • Tastes Better With Friends

      New doesn’t equal better, does it?
      I did let it chill in the fridge overnight, but it didn’t work. I guess there just wasn’t enough moisture from 1/2 cup of butter to make it work. I was scared to pour milk in, but i’m glad I wouldn’t have been the only one:)

  11. I have total grandmother envy… out of my two grandmothers, one was a terrible cook and the other was functionally illiterate (but an absolutely amazing cook), so I don’t have very many recipes from either of them and not a single one written in their own words.
    Plus anyone who begins a recipe with “Betsy, buy yourself a nut chopper” is someone I can totally relate to. 🙂
    BTW, I agree with Jen… a half-hour in the fridge would’ve probably helped with the dryness since it gives the flour a bit of time to absorb enough moisture to stick (the same trick applies to pie crust as well), but milk is just dandy too. 🙂

    • Tastes Better With Friends

      Thanks Isabelle. I got lucky for sure, both of my grandmother’s were amazing cooks and two totally different types of cuisine.
      Good to know about the pie crust trick, a pie in definitely on my to-do list. I’m glad it looks like I didn’t upset the baking gods with my use of milk!

  12. These are just beauty-full What a treasure from your Grandmother! {& I bash nuts w/a mallet works like a charm}

  13. lAURA

    Thanks for the smile & the recipe! I have all my mom & grandmother’s recipies on the original cards (a little worse for the wear but helps us to honor them every time we pull out the ‘mom’s cherry cake’ card :). we try a new cookie each Christmas & will add your snowballs to the 2011 mix. hope all is well with you, Mike sends his best wishes for 2011 !

    • Tastes Better With Friends

      Laura! Thank you for the smile and i’m flattered it will be part of your 2011 collection. Send Mike my best for 2011 and see him next time i’m in Montreal!

  14. i love recipes like these ..they are the best! the pretty cherry in the middle looks so cute:)

  15. I don’t know why, but this reminds me of “Cherry Blossoms”, even though they are chocolate. They sound very yummy and I so dig that nut chopper.

  16. AngAK

    I can’t quite make out the flour or salt amounts. help. and would you say that the amount of dough would be more like a Tablespoon than a teaspoon to wrap around the cherries? I think this is a great way to use up the candied cherries(red and green) that I always end up with after the holidays.

    • Tastes Better With Friends

      Sorry about that, it is 2 1/4 cup of flour and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
      For the amount of dough wrapped around the cherry, I found that any amount works well, but I tended to try to go as little as possible so it would “feature” more of the cherry rather than the dough. I’d shoot for whatever works for you.
      You’re right, it is a perfect way to finish up the holiday cherries, good luck! 🙂

  17. gingerbreadbagels

    Don’t stop sharing your grandmother’s recipes because it’s what I love about your blog. You can keep saying it over and over again all you want! It’s so lovely how you keep her memory alive and honor her through her recipes. I know she would be so proud of you. I truly hope you’ll share more of her recipes.

    My grandmother had her mother’s recipes written down on cute little recipe cards in her shakey handwriting. So adorable. A southern cook from Georgia! She was into making pies, cookies, sweets! My other grandmother isn’t a baker/cook at all. The only thing she can make is Adobo. (her dad is from the Phillipines, rest of my family is from Spain)
    Sorry I just shared my whole family history! lol I get way too excited about stuff like this and I’ve written an essay!!

    But finally to the cookies. I just adore the inside of the cookies, such a lovely surprise. I definitely would have to bite halfway too in order to see the cherry. 🙂 And I love your grandmother even more for using 1 cup of butter. (a lady after my own heart!)

    Linds

  18. Amy @ Serve At Once

    Cooking from the grandmother’s cookbook always produces some pretty sweet memories, as well as killer recipes! I’ve never seen any cookie quite like these, but I bet they’re awesome. You can’t go wrong with butter and powdered sugar. 😉 Beautiful photo as well! Your Bubbie would be proud.

  19. I love “dandy little hand machine” – that is exactly something my grandmother would say. It’s funny how some recipes just don’t like to be cut in half. This is definitely a fun cookie with the surprise in the middle.

    Kristi

  20. Love it! =) Poppop will be so proud.

    We make the exact same recipe minus the cherry and call them sand tarts. The recipe is from my great grandmother and is actually Poppop’s absolute favorite, must have cookie at Christmas. He’ll be honored that his picture stood alongside such a timeless favorite of his!

    • Tastes Better With Friends

      Thanks again to you and Poppop for making the picture happen:)
      The cookie itself is great even without the cherry and I love the name of “sand tarts”.
      Please say hi to Poppop for me!

  21. believe it or not, i’m not necessarily a huge chocolate fan so i would definitely choose these on a cookie tray; and yes, i’d bite them in half to see the cherry inside – LOL!! grandma’s know best Ethan, and these are pretty darn terrific in my book!

  22. Lucia

    Un seul mot ou plutôt un seul son: Hmmmm!!!!!

  23. lo

    I think anything called a snowball should be made (and eaten) with wild abandon! What an appropriate dessert for this time of the year.

    Have also been nosing around in some of my grandmother’s cookbooks — and I think we’ll be digging in a bit further in 2011. So fun!

  24. Grandmothers always know best!! My grandmother is always showing off her dandy little tools to us too…and most of the time it just so happens that they DO come in handy in some sort of crisis;)

    P.S.–There is nothing better than a type-writer-written recipe

  25. Lovely that you have the recipe still. I wish I had those kinds of food memories and recipes, but now that I’m cooking a lot too, some of those wonderful stories are coming out of my family members. Still nice!

  26. Yum, yum! These look wonderful. It’s so true – if there is a filling, I have to bite in halfway and see what’s going on in there.

  27. How cool to have your grandmothers recipe book… And these snowballs sound delightful, I love chocolate but sometimes something diffent hits the spot 🙂

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