Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Red Velvet Snowballs

My mom and I made Russian Tea Cakes (or Mexican Wedding Cookies) every Christmas--in a crescent shape, just like clock-work.  These are another cookie that are not only easy, but keep a long time, especially in a cool, dry place or in the freezer.  This year, feeling my southern roots (I was born in Memphis at the Millington Naval Hospital) I decided to make a red velvet version.

Adams Extract, a Texas-based company is credited with bringing red velvet cake to America during the depression.  In Canada during the 1940s and 50s, Eaton Department Store swore their employees to secrecy when they started producing this cake with it's rich cream cheese icing.  A resurgence of this dessert's popularity came with the hit movie, Steel Magnolias in 1989 and it's found in almost every bakery in the United States.

Red Velvet Snowballs
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup confectioners' (icing) sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. Red Velvet Bakery Emulsion  or 1 oz. Red Food Colouring
1 T Dutch-processed Cocoa
pinch of salt
2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour (spoon flour into the measuring cup and level off with a knife)
1 cup finely chopped pecans, lightly toasted for 5 minutes in the preheated oven

Additional confectioners' sugar for rolling the balls in

Preheat oven to 350F-degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment.

In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter well.  Add the confectioners' sugar and cream thoroughly.  Scrape down the sides and add the flavoring or food colour, mix again.  

Add cocoa, salt and flour, then mix to combine.  Stir in the finely chopped pecans.
Use a tablespoon scoop to measure out the dough and roll into a ball.  Place on the parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake for 11 minutes.  Cool cookies slightly, then, transfer to a rack to cool further.

Roll warm cookies in a dish with additional confectioners' sugar in it.  Repeat 2 or 3 times to get a thorough coating.

These simple cookies with their deep red color are perfect for the holiday--I know we all looked forward to my mother placing them on trays for the dessert table on Christmas Eve.  Enjoy!

Rosie is settling in and has been sleeping most of the day after her long adventure yesterday-from Missouri to Washington.  With her eyes closed she is quite mysterious looking with her dark mask including her black nose, but the sweetest personality I've ever seen in a cat.  I'm in love with her:-D

33 comments:

  1. Your baking looks scrumptious. I'm so happy to hear that Rosie is settling in well. Isn't it wonderful that it is love at first sight. Best of luck with her. She is a lucky kitty.

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    1. Just like my hubby!! He proposed on our second date and we were married 2 weeks later!! When you know, you know and when I saw her on the website, I knew she would be mine:-D

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  2. Oh I do not know this story of Rosie...must look back.

    This Red Velvet Snowball looks wonderful and so festive. It would be perfect for the holidays or Valentine's Day or any time!

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    1. Our beloved Bailey (almost 17 yr. Ragdoll) passed away in July and even though the grands were here, I was lost without him. He had been my companion since our daughter turned him over to me when she moved back into New York City. By chance I found a website in Missouri where a very lovely woman bred Ragdolls and thought I would get a new kitten one day. However, when she listed Rosie (aka Two-Toes Dancing) has one of her "retired" mama kitties, I fell in love with her. When my hubby had a conference in Kansas City, MO, I decided to meet up with him and we drove half-way to meet up with the breeder, then, flew home last night.
      I like your idea for Valentine's Day too!

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  3. I am so happy that you have a new, precious baby!! Rosie is beautiful and she looks very much at home! The Red Velvet Snowballs look really good too! Love you, Barb

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    1. Thank you, Sis! I think they'll definitely be in the Christmas Cookie Box!!

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  4. Oh Susan! The red velvet snowballs look divine. You know what? I'm going to a cookie exchange on Sunday and just might have to make these! Yeahhhhhhhh. Thanks.

    And Rosie? CHARMER. Tell us more about her. What do you love about her personality? Susan

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    1. She's quite the cuddler and literally she would like it if I rubbed her head all day; such a loud purr! In spite of her age (8 1/2 years old) she loves to play and busily tossed around her stuff mouse all over the family room today. When you ask you a question...she answers you. Surprisingly, we bonded the minute we were together, but then, I've always been a crazy cat lady:-D

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  5. Again, creative genius! :) I love that these are red velvet (my fav...I'm not a chocolate fan, I know...) AND that you kept them round. So pretty and so very Christmas. I'm so happy that Rosie is settling in and I know she's already loved by you beyond her wildest dreams. Lv, me

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    1. Thanks! I could see a bit of Framboise is the dough for your take!! Rosie has adopted me as if we have always been together, but then Chuck says, "kids and cats are just in love with you!" Maybe, it's because I relate to honest, wide-eyed amazement of this world:-D

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  6. Dearest Susan, forgive me for lately being so "spotty" in my comments. I seem to be so far behind in getting settled in Das Kleine Haus. I'm glad I took some time today to look at your post. My son loves red velvet cake....it is the cake that my Mother used to bake for her grandson. I think I might just use your today's recipe and surprise my son for Christmas!

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    1. Dearest friend, you know I understand completely how busy we can get with the responsibilities we have:-D These red velvet snowballs are easier to make than a whole cake and just as satisfying; I think your son will love them. Have a wonderful holiday in your new Haus and with your family, XOXO

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  7. Meow Rosie ;-))
    These red velvet snowballs look fantastic! I will have to substitute pecan with walnut (maybe hazelnut) as I don't see them in our stores.

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    1. Walnuts or hazelnuts would be divine! I used pecans because typically Red Velvet Cake has pecans in the cream cheese icing. Either way, they're such a beautiful red for the holidays.

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  8. Oh Susan, Rosie is just beautiful - she is a very lucky kitty to have been chosen by you.

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    1. I need to take more photos so you can see her unusual markings; I love the black feet in the front and while paws in the back. It's like shoes in the front, socks on the back!

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  9. Susan, your Rosie looks adorable! I know you are in love. I was happy to see your post today--missed you and your lovely recipes! These wedding cookies look divine! Red velvet--so pretty for this time of year. Merry Christmas to you and your family! xoxo ♥
    Martha Ellen

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    1. Rosie is adorable and one of the sweetest cats I've ever had--a real cuddler! Merry Christmas to you and your family too and wishing you a healthy, happy New Year! XOXO

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  10. Rosie is so pretty and what a great new home for Christmas! I love the look of these red velvet balls since I love wedding cookies. I wish I had some time this year to bake cookies. Maybe between Christmas day and New Years I'll finally do some baking! Better late then never!

    hugs, Linda

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    1. There's lots of things I will still be doing after the holidays; maybe even finishing up a quilt! If you don't get them baked for Christmas, I love Vee's idea of Valentine's Day too:-D

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  11. Oh yum! Your treats and other goodies always look so tempting. I have always loved snowballs, but haven't ever attempted to make them. Have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. Just like your treats...baked from the heart are always the best:-D Happy Holidays, dear friend, XOXO

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  12. I love these cookies (my mom made them every year), but have never made the red velvet version! Perfect for Christmas!

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    1. I love taking old recipes my mom made and putting twists on them--especially the holiday ones:-D Happy Christmas, dear friend, XOXO

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  13. Susan Thank you so much for coming by The Pink Ribbon. I so appreciate your support. That is terrible that they allowed your daughter to get so sick when it could have been prevented.
    You have a blessed Christmas sweet friend.

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    1. Susan, I always feel like people come into our lives for a reason. I'm so happy I found my way to your blog and know that this horrific disease can be conquered with knowledge, persistence, and love! You have a blessed holiday too, my friend, XOXO

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  14. Rosie is adorable! And those cookies look so good. My mom used to make these cookies too, the Russian tea cakes. And I have made them myself, but not at this time of the year! I made some in the spring and summer because I wanted them! Why do we have to wait until now to have them! LOL!

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    1. I don't think there are any rules and making these Red Velvet, makes them even more special throughout the year:-D

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  15. Yum! I love snowball cookies–great idea to make a red velvet version!

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  16. Oh, the cookies look yummy! I just may try to make some!

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  17. Oh my, I've missed so many of your yummy goodies this season, but thanks to blogging I can always catch up. These look scrumptious.
    XOXO's,
    Marcia

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  18. The cookies look delicious! Thank you for sharing and my cat makes my blog sometimes too. Speaking of connections with mothers and cats, you might enjoy my quilt with vintage hankies, just go to the search box on "Quilted Nights..."

    Keep up the lovely work!

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