Now that my daughter is old enough to really start paying attention to holiday festivities and traditions, I’ve been doing my best to make sure we are setting them into place.
One of the things we like to do is make cookies for Santa. I thought this challenge was a great opportunity for a test-run of a new cookie I’d been thinking about—to see if it could be Santa’s cookie this year.
My family got hooked on some cookies I made years ago and now they want them every year at Christmas time.
I’m talking about the “snowball” cookies. They are buttery, yummy, melt-in-your-mouth cookies.
But instead of the traditional shortbread and pecan version, I decided to jazz it up a bit this year—and take it two steps further—with a cocoa version that’s also vegan.
Because, why not make them ridiculously decadent?
The great thing about this recipe is that it’s simple, quick, easy, and most importantly, delicious!
Pow! Perfect cookie!
Which also makes it perfect for a cookie exchange!
The holidays can be so hectic with all the friend and family gatherings, office parties, and more. This cookie will help you cut down on the time and stress, while still giving you a great homemade treat to bring wherever you need to bake-and-take.
Remember, it’s not always the amount of time you’re putting in. If it’s delicious and it gives you back minutes—or hours—you can spend with those you care about, that’s what matters.
I hope you enjoy this cookie recipe and share it with those around you for many years to come.
(Vegan) Cocoa Snowballs
makes: 12 cookies
- ½ cup vegan butter
- ¾ cup powdered sugar, divided
- 2 tablespoons cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¼ scant teaspoon salt
- ¼ slightly healing cup chopped pecans
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Add the butter, ¼ cup of the sugar, the cacao/cocoa powder, and the vanilla to a bowl, and mix these ingredients with an electric mixer until they are just combined (do not over mix—see note below).
- Add the flour and salt and mix again just until the dough comes together, then stir in the pecans. If the dough has become too soft to handle, chill it until it is slightly firmer—about 15 minutes.
- Scoop tablespoon-sized balls of dough and place them 1 to 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake the cookies until their bottoms are just slightly brown—7 to 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven and place them on a cooling rack until they are cool enough to handle—5 minutes.
- Fill a small bowl with the remaining ½ cup powdered sugar and roll each cookie in the sugar until it is coated, then place the cookie back onto cooling rack. Once the cookies have cooled completely, you may want to re-roll or dust them with more powdered sugar before serving.
- To make this recipe nut free, feel free to swap the pecans out for (vegan) mini chocolate chips!
- Most vegan butters I’ve come across are already on the softer side, so no need to soften. You’ll also want to be sure not to allow the butter to get too warm by over mixing.
- Since these cookies are on the smaller side, this recipe easily doubles to make more!
- Having a cookie scoop in Step 4 really helps, but isn’t necessary.