I’m not a baker. I mean, I can follow a muffin recipe and end up with a tasty result. But, as much as I want to, I can’t seem to jump on the cupcake bandwagon. I don’t experiment with cookie doughs. I’ve never made a layer cake that wasn’t lopsided and I never worry about plonking a carton of store-bought ice cream in front of guests at dessert-time.
Given the choice between a brownie bake-off and a chilli cook-off, I’d choose the chilli every time. And I’d love every single taste test and chilli-perfecting tweak of the process.
All of this must lead you to understand why the holiday season fills me with dread. See, I’m a food blogger. That means that people expect good food when they walk through my door. If they come to my house over the holidays, they not only expect mouth-watering roast beef and cloud-like mashed potatoes floating on a river of rich gravy, they also expect a dazzling tray of cookies that shout “Holiday Cheer” with every bite.
I don’t want to disappoint them but I’d rather spend my precious holiday cooking time making cheesy toppings for canapés than fussing over those little bites of sweet. Over the years I have therefore come up with several recipes for festive and fun holiday cookies that are quick and easy to make. Here’s one of my favorites.
Chocolate Muesli Snowballs
These delicate snowballs are deceptively rich. And yet, they’re probably the healthiest choice on your dainty tray because of the whole grains and fibre in the muesli. Pretty, easy, delicious and healthy. Does a holiday treat get any better than that?
Makes 2 dozen cookies
- ½ cup Granulated Sugar
- ½ cup packed Brown Sugar
- ¼ cup (½ stick) Unsalted Butter, cut up into small pieces
- ¼ cup Milk
- ¼ cup Cocoa Powder
- ⅓ cup Smooth Peanut Butter or Almond Butter
- ½ tsp Vanilla
- 2 cups of Bob’s Red Mill Old Country Style Muesli
- 4 oz. White Chocolate, broken or chopped up into pieces
- ⅓ cup Bob’s Red Mill Shredded Unsweetened Coconut
Line a large baking sheet with aluminium foil. In a medium saucepan combine the sugars, butter, milk and cocoa powder. Warm them together over medium heat stirring continuously until they reach an even boil. Remove the pan from the heat and allow everything to hang out for a minute.
Smooth in the peanut butter. Add the vanilla. Stir. Then add the muesli and stir until everything is evenly slicked with chocolate.
Drop heaping teaspoons of the chocolate muesli onto the foil-lined baking sheet. Use your fingers to smoosh each chocolatey clump together a bit. Put the baking sheet full of cookies into the fridge until they cookies cold, at least 1 hour.
Pour the coconut into a small bowl. Set it aside. In the top of a double-boiler placed over simmering water, melt the white chocolate (no special equipment is required. Find out how to make a double boiler out of a bowl and a saucepan here).
Remove the cookies from the fridge. Holding a cookie top-side down by its edges, give it a shallow dip in the chocolate and them immediately dip the chocolate-coated side lightly in the coconut. Repeat the double-dip with all of the cookies, placing them in a single layer in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Before serving, chill the cookies in the fridge until the chocolate has set, at least 30 minutes. Store the cookies in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 7 days or in the freezer for 3 months.
Now, let’s get back to those canapés….
Christine Pittman is the recipe developer, writer and photographer at Cook the Story, where it’s all about the story (except when it’s about the food!). She’s a Canadian stay-at-home mom who has somehow found herself living in Florida. Her recipes are simple, fresh and from scratch while her writing is simple, fresh and from her funny bone. You don’t want to miss any of her real food, real writing or flavorful pictures so be sure to follow her on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+!
© 2012. Christine Pittman. All Rights Reserved.