Now that I’ve completed my last stretch of college, I’ve been unwinding by baking up quite a storm. Baking is such a relaxing activity to me. The methodical weighing, stirring, baking, and even washing up the avalanche of dishes that I aim to pack as much of as possible on the drying rack – it’s all very comforting to me. Humans find meaning in creating, and a part of me might be quite content to be home all day, baking Christmas cookies. (And folding origami while I wait for the cookies to bake. I was attempting this origami spring and despite two attempts, it was a veritable failure.
Luckily, these red velvet snowball cookies are the prettiest little mounds, aren’t they? I really love red velvet anything for its visually arresting color contrast. The pictures have a wintery blue cast over them, and I didn’t edit it out because I rather liked the blue’s effect against the red. The texture of these are really like regular shortbread cookies – buttery, a little sandy texture that melts in your mouth. They aren’t very sweet by themselves as well, and absolutely need the dusting of confectioner’s sugar to taste good.
I halved the original recipe because I didn’t want to deal with 4 dozen of the same thing, and since there weren’t any eggs, halving was easy. That’s why I think a digital weighing scale is essential for any home baker – your baking gets so much more precise, and it’s also much easier to scale down recipes for a smaller home. I weighed my mounds out to 17 g each, and ended up with 25 mounds.
It’s only a few more days before Christmas. Keep baking while you can!
Red Velvet Snowball Cookies
Makes 2 dozen
Adapted from Baking Bites
3/4 cups butter, room temperature
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cocoa powder
approx. 1/2 tsp red food coloring
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup almond flour/meal
extra confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugar, vanilla and salt until smooth and creamy. Beat in cocoa powder and red food coloring until the mixture is bright red. Add additional coloring if needed.
Gradually incorporate the flour and ground almonds, mixing until no streaks of dry ingredients remain.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place on prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the edges of the cookies are very lightly browned.
Allow cookies to cool for 3-4 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. When cooled, roll cookies in confectioners’ sugar until well-coated in white “snow.”
Store in an airtight bag.
Cool completely on a wire rack before storing.