Friday, December 3, 2010

Snowball Cookies & Icicle Candy


Many of you may already have this delicious cookie in your recipe arsenal.  It's an old favorite of mine, and their snowy appearance makes them perfect for Christmas festivities.  I like to compare them to Pecan Sandies, except they are softer and all the more lovely with a generous coat of confectioners' sugar.  The best part?  They are so easy to make!

Milk and cookies for Santa.
The icicle candy is a little more challenging.  Preparing the candy mixture is easy enough because you make it in the microwave.  I was worried because  (me) + (candy making) - (candy thermometer) =  disaster².  I'm not kidding.  I was sure I'd have a big lump of sugary mess stuck to the bottom of my glass measure.  In spite of my phobia, everything went as indicated in the recipe text.  The most challenging part is cutting the candy into strips and twisting them before they harden.


These are really pretty and would make a neat homemade gift.  If you plan to make them for this purpose then I would suggest making a trial batch.  You will learn much the first time around.  I fumbled with re-heating the candy and I twisted some of the candy too tightly.   Now that I know what I'm doing,  I'm ready to make my second batch!  I think they'd be cute in cello bags tied with pretty ribbon.



Snowball Cookies                                     [click for printable]
Yield: 2 dozen cookies

2 cups flour, sifted
1 cup butter softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1 cup powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine butter and sugar; beat until creamy.  Add vanilla extract and mix well.  Add flour and salt.  Mix until partially incorporated and then add nuts.  Mix until a thick, uniform dough forms.  


Roll cookies into 1" balls and place on parchment lined baking sheet.   Bake for 20 minutes or until cookies are slightly golden and fragrant.  Remove cookies from oven and allow to cool completely on the pan before trying to remove from the baking sheet.

Coat cookies with a generous amount of powdered sugar. 



Icicle Candy                                                                      [click for printable]
Adapted from LorAnn Oils, with my notes added.
12-15 pieces


1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 dram flavoring oil such as peppermint or blueberry
Blue food coloring 
White food coloring *optional (I added a drop or two for opacity) 
Disco dust  *optional


Preheat oven to 185 degrees.  Spray a cookie sheet and large knife with cooking spray (I found that a pizza cutter worked very well in place of the knife).

In a 4 cup glass measure, mix sugar and corn syrup together until a thick, uniform paste forms.  Cover with plastic wrap.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes 15 seconds.  Quickly stir mixture and cover with a new piece of plastic wrap.  Microwave for another 3 minutes 15 seconds.  Remove from microwave and stir with a clean spoon.  After the mixture stops boiling, add the food color and flavoring.  The cooked candy mixture will have a golden appearance, so when you add the blue food coloring you will get a blue/green (turquoise) color result.


Pour melted candy onto the prepared pan.  Tilt the sheet to spread the candy to a 6x8 inch puddle.  As the sugar starts to set (one or two minutes after pouring) cut candy into 1/2 x 4 inch strips.  Remove one strip and twist gently.  Allow to cool on wire rack.  Repeat with remaining pieces.  To keep the candy malleable, place in the oven for 1-2 minutes.  You may prefer to keep the cookie sheet heated and work out of the oven.  I found this to be a successful method. When candy pieces harden, lightly coat them with disco dust using a 2" soft-hair paintbrush.


*This recipe is meant to be prepared in a standard household microwave (600-700 watts).  Mini microwaves and commercial microwaves are not recommended.

*Please use caution when making this recipe.  Candy mixture is extremely hot when in liquid state.






65 comments:

Heather (Heather's Dish) said...

your food truly is art...so beautiful and perfect for this time of year!

Lindsey @ Hot Polka Dot said...

Such pretty treats! I love them both! I adore that clear milk carton too! Where on earth did you find that beauty?

Kristan said...

Girl...I am DYING over this post.

In a good way.

That sparkly blue candy!! Gasp!! I die.

The clear milk carton...amazing.

Snowball cookies...mmmmm...

A glittery deer?

It's official. I completely love you.

Shannon said...

I always get excited when I see a new post. This post, as always, rocked. I love the blue candy and the snowy white cookies. And, I mean, really...could that clear milk carton container by ANY CUTER?!

Scarletta @ Scarletta Bakes said...

love. Love. LOVE!!

I cannot WAIT to try the candy icicles - a new obsession is officially born.

Thank you SO much for the awesome post!!

How To Be Perfect said...

Fantastic post! Love the milk with candy cane straw so much, I feel so Christmasy now! x

lb said...

mm snowball cookies....my fave!

Amanda said...

Super cool candy idea! I love the blue color and their twisted shape. Awesome!

Larie said...

The clear milk carton is so. cute. And the candy is beautiful! I am too scared to try it, though!

Pretty. Good. Food. said...

I hate to sound like a broken record but I'm dying over the glass milk carton. Where did you buy it?! :)

SprinkleBakes said...

Thanks you guys! The creamer can be found here:

http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/glass-milk-carton-creamer

...and I think Amazon.com sells it too.

We Are Not Martha said...

I Love snowball cookies and yours are SO pretty :) And while I do love the glass milk carton creamer, I really, really love that gold reindeer. So festive!

Sues

Stephanie said...

Wonderful post, recipes and pictures! Santa is going to love coming to your house this year!

Jess [tenpenny splendid] said...

Wow I really want to try the icicle candy! I love how they sparkle. And I agree with everyone else..that glass milk carton is adorable!

Lili said...

How darling!! Thanks for the info about the glass milk carton. Love those snowball cookies, I have a recipe for Russian tea cakes that looks very similar. I just may have to try my hand at that gorgeous candy. ~Lili

Pattie said...

Oh my word I want to try this! And where did you get that too cute milk carton glass?!?

Joy said...

That is cool. I'm so saving these recipes.

Sue said...

Snowball cookies are all over for a reason...they're delicious! Yours look so pretty! Your icicle candy looks so amazing. You make the most unique, challenging things!

koralee said...

Stunning...I have a cookie exchange to go to...thinking these lovely white treasures may be just the thing I need!

Hugs for a joyful weekend.

I run for cake! said...

Beautiful photos! My mom makes a version of these cookies every year! I love all the powdered sugar!

oneordinaryday said...

Your icicle candy is gorgeous. Great job!

Jessica @ How Sweet said...

OH MY GOSH!! Girl - LOVING the icicles. Gorgeous!

Baking Barrister said...

I actually made the snowballs tonight (different recipe, but basically same amounts)--I have such trouble getting them to stick together, let alone in nice little balls. It's such a crumbly mixture, only kept together by the butter. What is your secret?

JehanP said...

I love snowballs, I use pistachios in mine since I'm not a fan of pecans.

CaSaundraLeigh said...

The pictures you took for this post are just beautiful & the icicle candy is amazing--it almost looks too pretty to eat :-)

Jun said...

I really like your photos! But the snowball cookies reminds me of mochi cakes my auntie made once, long time ago.

Shaina said...

We make these! We don't call them snowballs, but that's a much better name. They're my husband's favorites. I adore that glass milk carton you have. So cute!

lacasitainspirada said...

Those icicles are so cool! The "disco dust" is something i'll have to look for... Love the presentation with the confectioner sugar "snow" and the sparkly reindeer :)
And on a side note, that's a really neat milk glass!!

Su-yin said...

Those icicle candies are so beautiful! What wouldn't I give to get some of that for Christmas! ;)

Ms. Morgan said...

I enjoy your blog so much. I've even added it to my "favorite reads" list on my website. Hope you have a chance to check it out.

http://epicureanenthusiast.blogspot.com

www.sweetcreationsbystephanie.com said...

I made the icicle candy yesterday..1st batch I burned ..2nd batch was a trial..3rd batch worked out perfectly! Thanks for the recipe. They look great in cello bags with a pretty bow

Trisha said...

I love the icicle candy, looks very elegant. I'm a little overwhelmed by the process but am dying to try it out. Thank you for sharing!

diva said...

Those icicle candies are just magical! You are making me feel so Christmasy my dear. Love it

linda said...

you are so very creative…fantastic icicle candy!

btw: cookbook update…please!!

Caroline said...

I just made the icicle candy lasy night - those suckers were HOT! They were easy, though and look so pretty! Thanks for the idea!

Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) said...

Beautiful! I love that milk glass jug in a shape of a traditional milk box--I think I've seen it before, where did you get it?

Susan said...

Heather, your snowballs are pretty. I do a bittersweet chocolate version that is fun too.

crustabakes said...

WOW, those icicles are very impressive! you are indeed very talented!

Lisa said...

That icicle candy is awesome. I love that cool blue color, just perfect for winter. By the way, I'm holding a giveaway on my blog for Orglamix Organic makeup and you're welcome to come by and enter. http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com/2010/12/orglamix-organic-mineral-makeup-review.html

Gali said...

These photos are so full of cute things! I love the little reindeer and the little milk container.

Amanda said...

I love this! I featured it today on my blog - today's top twenty! I'd love if you could stop by! While your there please click on my widget at the top. For every click P&G will donate 1 day's worth of clean water! {Plus you get free samples and coupons!} Talk soon!

Amanda
todaystoptwenty.blogspot.com

SprinkleBakes said...

Hey all! Thanks for the sweet comments and links. And thanks to those who tried the candy and let me know how it went!! I love hearing from you.

For those asking about the milk carton it can be found here:

http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/glass-milk-carton-creamer

and also at Amazon.com.

xxoo
-Heather

Dani said...

Besides everything looking delicious, your photography and styling is always amazing. The glittered deer was a good choice. Also thanks for mentioning the milk carton because when I first saw it I thought, 'that is awesome! where is that from??'

Stefania said...

Delizioso post, ciao !

marla {family fresh cooking} said...

Heather, this treat is just gorgeous. I like that you went with the cooler tones - the blues and whites are so pretty & a nice change from green & red. Those cookies look like they have the perfect texture & would be great dipped in hot cocoa! xo

Joshua said...

I made these a few days ago, but mine stayed sticky. They were hard and broke easily, but they didn't just melt in your mouth. They ended up becoming a sticky solid mess. How can I remedy this?

Kelly said...

Absolutely gorgeous! The snowball recipe looks like the one my mom has made every year since I can recall. It's wonderful. And the candy is really beautiful. I'd love to give it a go, but think I'll go the stovetop route. My microwave is higher watts and I'd be afraid of ruining it!

Thank you for the recipes!

SprinkleBakes said...

To Baking Barrister and Joshua:

You both are having problems on opposite ends of the spectrum. It's hard to say exactly what happened, but this makes me think that it has to do with the mixing of the dough.

For dough that is a sticky mess: avoid over mixing the ingredients. The dough should be just a little crumbly, but easily packed into a ball. Keep an extra tablespoon or two of sifted flour beside your mixer. If it seems sticky nest time, knead a little flour in until it is workable.

If the mixture is too crumbly: I'd definitely add a tbsp. of milk or water to the batter until it loosens a bit. It is a dry batter, but it should hold together when pressed.

SprinkleBakes said...

Um, that is *next* time, not nest time. 8-)

Tara Byte said...

I was Making the cookies and mine also ended up too dry, that it was not holding together. so i read some other recipes for cookies like this and they had more butter so i added more and everything held together great.

Leslie said...

I am totally digging that icicle candy!

Jared said...

I love the Icicle Candy recipe, I did my trial batch tonight and it came out much better than I expected! Definitely had some "learning points" though. I am wondering, though, what stage we're going for with the candy. Mine came out so that the candy sticks to the teeth a lot. I think I hit just between the soft- and hard-crack stage with my sugar. Is that the idea or should I really be shooting for hard-crack all the way? Thanks!

PS- Monotonous, but I'm definitely getting one of those glass milk cartons! =]

Ingrid said...

The icicle candy is pretty cool. I've never seen it before.

Love the glass milk carton!
~ingrid

Caroline said...

I just had to tell you that I made these a couple of nights ago! thank you for sharing the recipe. They may not be as beautiful as yours, but they are definitely fun and festive!

You can see them here if you want to see what a novice can do with the recipe:Peppermint Icicle Candy

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Heavenly! Those are some of my favorite cookies.

Happy New Year!

Cheers,

Rosa

NanaBobana said...

New follower, but have been reading your posts since the holidays - wonderful recipes and truly "works of art." Looking forward to what comes next! Happy New Year!

Tracie said...

I made the snowball cookies and had to add another whole stick of butter to keep the dough together. After looking at other recipes, most call for 2 sticks. With the extra butter, these were very good. Would definitely make them again.

Artesana said...

estupenda receta me encanta lo único que no se donde puedo encontrar en España el jarabe de maíz, puede ser sustituido por otra cosa? gracias un saludo!!

Salome said...

He incluido esta publicación en Mis Favoritas, si quieres verlo está en:
http://blocderecetas.blogspot.com/2011/12/mis-favoritas-vestidos-de-navidad.html
Espero que te guste!

Anonymous said...

actullay i think you made a mistake.the butter should be 1 cup not 1/2 cup.

Aurelia said...

This candy looks amazing!!!

melanie howell said...

bought ur book friday, absolutely beautiful. can't wait to try one of the recipes!!!!

Gwen said...

Just made the icicles! Super easy, love that it's all in the microwave. I don't have white food coloring so I just used blue, and they are still great looking. A great beginner candy making recipe for the holidays!

Jane Hardas said...

I scanned through approx. 63 comments, and sorry if this question was already answered: the deer appears to be a cookie, and I was wanting to know where one could get the cookie cutter and the recipe. It's beautiful as is the icicle candy.

Heather Baird said...

Hi Jane, sorry for the tardy reply. The deer is an ornament. I have seen 3D reindeer cookies though - such as this

http://www.gingerbread-house-heaven.com/3d-reindeer-cookies-template.html

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