This is my all-time favorite Christmas treat. My mom (now me) makes one batch of these each year, sometime after Thanksgiving, but before Christmas. I don’t really know why these are my favorites, perhaps rarity has something to do with it.
- 2 cups flour, sifted
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 stick butter, softened
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons cocoa
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Mix butter egg, cocoa, oil and vanilla well
- Stir in rest of ingredients
- Mix well
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours
- Preheat oven to 350ºF
- Roll dough into balls (bigger than a marble, smaller than a ping pong ball)
- Place on greased (or parchment paper) cookie sheet.
- Bake for 12-17 minutes
- Cool and frost
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 3-6 tablespoons water
- ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
- ¼ teaspoon red food coloring
- Mix ingredients until a smooth (but not liquidy) frosting results.
- Pour over chocolate balls
Some notes. Make sure the wet ingredients (yes, for baking purposes, sugar and cocoa are wet ingredients) are very thoroughly mixed before adding the flour. If the cocoa isn’t evenly mixed, then you’ll get lumps of cocoa in the cookies and it’s not as pleasant as it sounds.
When done, the cookies will have a dull, matte brown finish. They shouldn’t really ‘brown’ (as in golden brown and delicious). They should be done, but not hard. Ideally the insides should be nice and soft. If you look at them in the oven and think “they could go another minute”, then they should be pulled out immediately or they’ll be miniature cannon balls instead of soft, delicious cookies.
The amount of water you need for the frosting is variable. You are looking for a smooth, thick glaze that should slowly pour from a spoon. The frosting should not be a liquid, but it shouldn’t have to be slathered on with a cake decorating kit either.
The frosting will pool around the cookies. You may have to pick up that frosting with a spoon and pour it back over the cookies again, to ensure even and complete coverage of the cookie. Ideally, you should only see red frosting and no cookie when looking at them.
Can you tell I love these things and want to make sure you do to?