December 8, 2010

Wonderful Wednesday Recipe: Cherry Snowball Cookies

Hi, 2010, this is Jessica, care to explain how on earth you whizzed by so quickly? Ok, honestly this year wasn’t always as fast as grease lightning for me, but looking back at any year it almost always seems to have vanished faster than one can blink their mascara coated eyelashes. The particular happening today that made me reflect on just how incredibly quickly this year as rolled past was when I checked to see how long it had been since the last time we had an edition of the “Wonderful Wednesday” post, and discovered that it was way back in the sun-kissed days of early June!

Here we sit half a year later, snowflakes dive bombing themselves into my balcony, the screeching wind rattling every window and floorboard in my home, and June suddenly seems to far removed that it might as well be on a different planet.

Yet spring will return in a few months, and all years pass at their own unique speed - depending on our perception of time. While I won’t be lounging in any toasty sunshine for a while, that’s not the end of the world. There is much to love, celebrate and derive happiness from in this chilly time of the year – starting with the delicious splendours of holiday season baking!

Some of you may have started whipping up cookies, candied fruit studded cakes, bars, squares, pies, candies, and other treats already, whereas some of us may be holding off until the 25th draws a bit nearer. Either way, if you’re like me, you have a tried and true set of beloved holiday recipes, but also enjoy experimenting with new one sometimes.

In order to revive the “Wonderful Wednesday Recipe” (it won’t appear each week, but fingers crossed it won’t be MIA for six months again either!), I wanted to share one of my most treasured of Christmas recipes with you today.

This delightful, super easy to make (and relatively inexpensive) cookie (which is similar to a shortbread cookie) is one that appeared on my family’s holiday table every year when I was growing up. It’s a simple classic that pairs marvellously with other sweets on a dessert tray, as well as with warm beverages like hot chocolate or Irish coffee.

{There’s no denying that walnuts go splendidly with chocolate cake, as this charming illustration from 1925 suggests, however they can also do wonders for your holiday baking and are a key ingredients today’s Cherry Snowball Cookie recipe. Vintage Diamond Walnuts ad via eBay.} 

Homey, delicious, teaming with glistening little flecks of maraschino cherries, these festive morsels also make for a great last minute cookie when time is off the essence and you know a little in advance that you'll have a peckish crowd to feed (or simply want to bake an extra batch of cookies to have on hand for when company stops by).

Cherry Snowball Cookies

·         Ingredients

·         1 cup margarine, softened (but not melted)

·         ½ cup white (granulated) sugar

·         1 tsp vanilla extract

·         2 cups all-purpose flour

·         ½ tsp salt

·         1 cup chopped walnuts

·         ½ cup (though I’ve gone as generous as ¾ cup and the recipe still came out great) chopped, very well drained maraschino cherries

·         Sifted icing (powdered) sugar


Preheat your own to 325°F/160°C/gas mark 3.

With an electric mixer or by hand in a large mixing bowl, thoroughly cream the margarine and white sugar together, then blend in the vanilla. Next add the salt and then the flour in three part increments, stirring well to combine ingredients after each addition.

Fold the nuts and cherries into the cookie dough, again stirring well to combine, and then place the dough (in the mixing bowl or other similar dish) in the fridge for at least one hour.

Remove dough from fridge and form into one inch sized balls. Place balls on an ungreased, non-stick cookie sheet, spacing them at least an inch apart (though these cookies do not spread out much at all, retaining their adorable snowball-esque round shape once baked). Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, then remove cookies from the oven and transfer them to a cooling rack.

While still warm, lightly dust icing (powdered) sugar over top of all of the cookies. Cool, and transfer to the airtight storage container of your choice (where these cookies should keep for at least five days). These delightful cookies can also be frozen (once baked), and stored for at least two months in a freezer-safe container.

Recipe yields approximately 40-45 cookies.

Bon appétit!


  1. Looks fabulous, I am pretty hopeless in the kitchen but cookies are something
    I occasionally try!
    Marie @ Lemondrop ViNtAge
    Christmas bracelet giveaway

  2. Hi Jessica,

    First of all, thank you so much for taking the time to continue to post through your health issues. It IS appreciated.

    I see that you are also Canadian, as am I, living in frosty Alberta.

    I'm going to make these Cherry Snowball cookies for my family on Christmas Eve. They sound wonderful.

    Thank you and have a great holiday season. I wish for great health for you in the coming year!


  3. Oh, I love cherries and am pondering introducing my Irish in-laws to the concept of Christmas baking (ie. that a trifle on Christmas day doesn't cut it, there must be heeps and heeps of cookies baked for it to be a proper Christmas!) and might try my hand at this one. Many thanks for sharing!

  4. hi Jessica! Had to stop over and tell you these sound yummy and easy- thanks for sharing! Hope you have a wonderful December! :)

  5. These sound absolutely delicious, Jessica. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

    Just stopping by to say hello...will write soon! ~C.

  6. Maraschino cherries are the best and I rarely see recipes for them :) I just might have to try these... Just found your blog and YAY! Off to explore