I was visiting my parents this past week and while I was there I decided to look through some of my mom’s cookbooks for baking ideas. I found a recipe for snowballs that looked so easy I just had to try it; it also seemed like something fun for the first day of summer! It’s a simple recipe, with few ingredients and no baking required, and it makes some tasty little bites. Now, even with only five ingredients in the recipe my mind started to think “wouldn’t it be better if I did this and changed that?” So I did. And although they were good, it occurred to me that having not made the original recipe I had nothing to which I could compare the changed recipe. So I decided that I would put the original recipe here and then list the changes I made, that way you will have the chance to make a comparison yourselves.
Snowballs – Original
- 1 c white sugar
- 1/2 c cocoa
- 3/4 c milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 1/2 c graham crumbs
- icing sugar, coconut or nuts for coating
Bring sugar, cocoa, and milk to a boil; boil for 4 minutes, being careful not to burn. Add vanilla and crumbs. Let cool (not too cool); form into small balls. Roll balls in coconut, nuts, or icing sugar.
Snowballs – Alternatives
My first change was that because I love chocolate mint I decided to change the vanilla for peppermint extract. Then, because I thought it should be more chocolatey, I used half regular graham crumbs, and half chocolate cookie crumbs. I actually cut the recipe in half when I made them this week, so I used 1/2 c sugar, 1/4 c cocoa, 1/4 c + 2Tbsp milk, 1/2 tsp peppermint extract, and 1 1/4 crumbs (mix of graham and chocolate). I coated mine in icing sugar, because I don’t like coconut very much, and my dad couldn’t have nuts.
I found that the mint was too strong in the ones I made. It’s good if you really like mint, or want to clear your sinuses, but for a more subtle flavour I would suggest only using 1/2 tsp of peppermint extract for a full recipe, or 1/4 tsp for a half recipe. I also wasn’t a big fan of the grainy texture that the graham crumbs gave them. They look like truffles, and I would have preferred a smoother texture, like a truffle. Several recipes I looked up online afterward had flour listed as a main ingredient instead of graham crumbs, so that could be an option for a smoother texture. Even so, they’re very quick and easy to make, and are a tasty bite-sized treat. And because they are so quick and easy, you could try a whole bunch of variations until you find one that’s just right. Happy Summer!