When I was a kid my mother and her friends used to have cookie swaps every Christmas. Everyone would make like 10 dozen cookies and then she would come home with 10 dozen different kinds of cookies from other people. And I’m sure there were a lot of great ones, but really there were two main things that I looked forward to in this whole cookie swap ordeal: peanut butter balls (which I could always count on at least 2 people at the cookie swap to make and send home with my mom) and chocolate snowflake cookies (which my mother made).
Actually which we made, because every year she would recruit my brother and me to help as a “family activity” which I completely bought into, and which I’m sure my brother, even at such a young age, thought was ridiculous. Although, I can’t blame him much because he definitely got the short end of the stick. You see, my mother would make the batter and then we all lined up, assembly-line form. She would roll the dough into balls, my job was to roll them in powdered sugar, and then my brother’s job was to put them on the cookie sheets. That’s it. I got to play in piles of powdered sugar, and all he got to do was put the cookies on the cookie sheet. So I guess we couldn’t really blame him for not being very gung-ho when it was chocolate snowflake cookie making time.
These cookies are a little different than your standard cookies (at least most of the ones I’ve made) because they use oil instead of butter (which was a shock to me when I went to pull butter out of the fridge to soften on the morning I was going to make these…trying to think ahead, and I didn’t even need to). I think this change gives the cookies more of a brownie texture, fluffier with a bit more of a crumb. And as much as I have always loved these cookies as they were, I also always wanted them to have more chocolate. So I amped up the chocolate a bit by replacing a bit of flour with cocoa powder so that now, in addition to the melted chocolate, these cookies are so incredibly full of that dark rich flavor. The powdered sugar provides a light sweetness as the cookies first hit your lips that then melts away into the richness of chocolate and it is just heavenly. And this recipe is so easy to either double or half. And if you’re like me, halving is necessary these days. I think we have enough Christmas goodies in our freezer to last us into Spring.
Chocolate Snowflake Cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Wait Time: 2 hours
Bake Time: 12 minutes
Makes 5 to 6 dozen
4 (1 oz.) unsweetened chocolate baking squares
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1. In a small microwave-safe bowl, heat chocolate in microwave until melted, about 1 1/2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds.
2. In a large bowl, combine chocolate, sugar, and vegetable oil. Beat with electric mixer at medium speed until well combined.
3. Add eggs and vanilla, mixing well.
4. In a medium sized bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add dry ingredients to chocolate mixture, beating just until combined.
5. Cover dough and chill for 2 hours, until it is firm enough to be rolled into balls.
6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet (or line with parchment paper).
7. Place powdered sugar in a bowl or shallow dish. Roll chilled dough into balls about 1 inch in diameter. Roll balls in powdered sugar, shaking off the excess. Place them 2 inches apart on baking sheet.
8. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and cool cookies on wire racks. Serve warm or at room temperature.