cherry snowballs (ECC revisited)

summary: cherry snowballs made with dried cherries; Eat Christmas Cookies (ECC) revisited (click on image for larger view)

Eat Christmas Cookies (ECC revisited)

cherry snowballs We have brilliant neighbours. One of their brilliances is that, unlike me, they know about planning ahead. A couple of weeks ago, I got a phone call:

she: I’m thinking about Christmas cookies….

me: Christmas cookies? Already?? It’s only… um… November [delicate cough]

she: [dryly] It’s almost December… what do you say we bake cookies together so we can have more kinds?

me: What a great idea!

she: What kind of cookies should we make? Besides shortbread, and cherry rum balls, that is. We HAVE to have my cherry rum balls and your shortbread.

me: [thinking thinking] Coloured cookies; cheese biscuits; cherry snowballs; crescents

she: Okay. Let’s start with coloured cookies. And then cherry rum balls and crescents. How does this Tuesday and next Friday look?

And so we got cracking. My sister came over too and we spent a wonderful morning together making coloured cookies (did I take the camera with me?! Of course not!) But rest assured that the cookies we made were as stunning as previous versions.

Then this past Friday, we tackled the chocolate covered cherry rum balls, crescents and cherry snowballs. Except after hearing that one of the ingredients for the rum balls was dried cherries, I got to thinking about cherry snowballs and that cherry snowballs didn’t HAVE to have Maraschino cherries in the centers.

Every Christmas as I was growing up, Mum always made cherry snowballs and crescents. The dough is the same for both but the crescents are rolled in icing sugar directly after baking and the cherry snowballs have cherries inside and are rolled in granulated sugar after baking. So they sparkle like snow….

The only thing wrong with Mum’s cherry snowballs is that they are made with Maraschino cherries. I LOATHE Maraschino cherries. Everything about them makes me cringe. The texture, the flavour, the lurid colour.

Mum always bought red, green and yellow cherries. I found the red cherries to be fractionally more appealing than the green and yellow. But it was a pretty well known fact that I hated the cherries.

It was an equally well known fact that I loved the cookie part of cherry snowballs. And so one day in late December, when I was about 10, Mum came to me with a stern look on her face. She showed me the large handful of Maraschino cherries with tell-tale crumbs of cookie attached.

she: Look what I found shoved down behind the chesterfield cushions. What can you tell me about these?

me: Nothing!! I didn’t do that!!

she: Hmmmm…. if you don’t want to eat the cherries, you’re not to take a cherry snowball.

me: It wasn’t me!!

Well. I was mortified. On two counts: a.) it really wasn’t me; b.) if it had been me, I wouldn’t be so stupid as to hide the cherries behind the chesterfield. I’d have hidden them strategically in the garbage under the coffee grounds where they’d never have been noticed.

But year after year, the story was trotted out whenever cherry snowballs were served. Guests heard what I had allegedly done. Year after year, I protested that it wasn’t me. Year after year, people laughed and looked at me pityingly and said it was probably okay to admit it now.

And then one Boxing Day when I was about 19, a large crowd had gathered at my parents’ house. All the goodies were pulled out, including the cherry snowballs and the story was repeated. Once again, I protested that it wasn’t me!! And everyone laughed and looked at me pityingly and started to say that it was probably okay to admit it now. And they were right. It was probably okay to admit it now.

At last, the truth was revealed.

Through all the glee came the laughing words “that was me!!” from one of my sister’s friends. I can’t tell you how relieved I was. Finally, my innocence was proclaimed. Finally, the story could be put to rest.

Or not. Every so often, over the years, as people help themselves to cherry snowballs, they are cautioned not to hide the cherries in the chesterfield the way I allegedly did when I was 10.

It wasn’t me!! Don’t you remember?! :hohoho: :stomp: :hohoho:

Scarred as I am from all this, I can still think of cherry snowballs with fondness. But THIS year, nobody will be required to hide the cherries in the chesterfied. THIS year, I made the cookies with dried cherries.

Oh my!! Why don’t we always use dried cherries for cherry snowballs? Dried cherries TASTE like cherries. They LOOK like cherries.

After testing the first tray of cherry snowballs that came out of the oven, we made an executive decision to make only cherry snowballs. Maybe we’ll make crescents next year….

cherry snowballs These cherry snowballs made with dried cherries are the best cherry snowballs I’ve ever had. Even my sister’s friend would be eating the cherries rather than shoving them down into the chesterfield.

The only thing I’d change would be to put two cherries into each cookie. In fact, the cookies are so wonderful that I’m thinking that I might have to eat all of them myself.

Yes. That’s what I’ll do! They’re all mine!! Because I deserve them. :hohoho: :jump: :hohoho:

If you want some, you’ll have to make them yourself. Here’s the recipe:

Eat Christmas Cookies A few years ago, Susan (Food Blogga) put together a cookie swap event to showcase the various Christmas cookies made in our blogosphere:

I WOULD have included cherry snowballs at the time. Better late than never….


Eat Christmas Cookies:


Remind me to rave about and take a photo of Tr’s fabulous chocolate covered rum balls!

Also, please remember to look at my annual Advent calendar (but don’t even THINK about peeking ahead).


This entry was posted in baking, cakes, pastries, cookies, etc., dessert, food & drink on by .

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8 responses to “cherry snowballs (ECC revisited)

  1. One of the sisters

    Well, I’m pleased you were vindicated, and it’d be an excellent story to tell in a law course on evidence. I think you could sue for damages resulting from years of slander. I really want to try cherry snowballs made with real, dried cherries! Alas, I’m very lazy, and do not like to bake.

  2. Dave

    This makes me want to try these out with different kinds of cherries such as sour cherries (a la hungary or iran) and morello! I never know what the differences are but this could be serious ammunition for a tasting course…

  3. Patricia

    After reading this, I HAD to make Cherry Snowballs. I, too, never liked the maraschino cherries (brrr) but I would never have thought of putting the cherries behind the chesterfield.

    I had a hard time finding dried cherries. Both stores I went to had cherry flavoured cranberries and in the second store, a store minion finally found them in the bulk food section. He seemed terribly pleased to be able to find them for me–more pleased than I was to have them.

    When I couldn’t find the dried cherries immediately, I did toy with the idea of using sour cherries but I was afraid they might be too wet and they’d soak through the dough in a nasty way. Maybe Dave can try it and give a report.

    The Cherry Snowballs are excellent!

  4. Rebecca aka Wendy H. who lived across the lane

    So which one of your sister’s friends was the guilty party? Was it me? One of your sisters who was/is my friend thinks it may have been.

  5. ejm Post author

    The interesting thing is that when I was relating this tale of woe recently, the first reaction was “So did you?” and when I said no it wasn’t me!!, the reply was that sometimes people say things enough times that they start believing them. (!!!) I kept saying “WAIT it wasn’t me!! let me finish the story!!”

    Patricia, isn’t it amazing how great the cookies are with dried cherries instead of Maraschinos? I’ll be interested to hear if there’s a difference between the ones you made and the ones I made (I lied when I said I was going to eat all of them myself; I sent some with the Christmas package headed in your direction – if you move fast enough, you might be able to snag at least one cherry snowball before the ravening hordes demolish them.)

    I don’t know the answer to that, Rebecca. Did you too stuff the chesterfield with cherries? You are in a much better position to be able to answer that question. All I know for certain is that I didn’t hide the rejected cherries and that one of B’s friends readily confessed to the crime when the truth was at last revealed. BUT she didn’t say exactly how many cherries she shoved into the chesterfield…. :lalala:

    Dave, I can’t wait to hear about the results of your tests!


  6. Lisa@ButteryBooks

    I was searching the internet for some Christmas cookies and found these! They look delicious and very festive. Thanks for the recipe!

    You are most welcome. And they ARE really delicious, Lisa. I hope you like them. Do let me know how they turn out! Just make sure you use dried cherries rather than Maraschinos for the centres. The cookies made with dried cherries are far superior (also, I’m pretty sure that dried cherries are naturally red coloured as opposed to the really lurid colour of Maraschino cherries). -Elizabeth

  7. One of the sisters

    I reread this on December 19, 2011. I finally heard the identity of the true guilty party in September. But in rereading, I noticed the following: “I wouldn’t be so stupid as to hide the cherries behind the chesterfield. I’d have hidden them strategically in the garbage under the coffee grounds where they’d never have been noticed.” I wonder if this was one of those cases where the accused was genuinely not guilty of the specific crime of which she has been accused, but had committed many more similar crimes for which she was never caught. A very common scenario. Hmm.

  8. ejm Post author

    Yes, I can see that that might be incriminating. But no, with cherry snowballs, I always very obediently choked down the cherry (after all, we had been expressly charged that if we took a cherry snowball, we had to eat the WHOLE thing).

    However, I do confess that I strategically hid stone cold squash, peas (why on earth did we have to eat canned peas?!), sweet potato, etc. etc. in the garbage under the coffee grounds after sitting in exile in the kitchen for ages, miserably pushing them around on the plate and taking tiny tiny bits, chewing quickly, gagging and hastily gulping down huge amounts of milk to wash away the horror.

    Now, in retrospect, I wonder if Mum and Dad knew I was throwing the vegetables out. The question they called from the dining room was always “Have you cleaned your plate yet?” And after I had guiltily snuck over to the garbage to get rid of the evidence, I could always answer truthfully, “Yes”.



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