These are a family favorite. Being New Englanders we always called them ‘dirty snowballs.” I don’t think that needs much explanation. They are simple and elegant and most of the work can be done ahead of time.
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/4 cups white granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs, room temperature (takes about 20-30 minutes)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups AP flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder diluted in warm water (optional)*
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
Note: If you would prefer a peppermint flavor substitute espresso powder for 1 teaspoon peppermint extract.
In a bowl measure out the AP flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Combine in a mixing bowl the cocoa powder, about 2 teaspoons of the espresso liquid (if using), granulated sugar and vegetable oil. It should be well-mixed and glisten, shiny (means the oil is integrated with the dry stuff).
Add the eggs one at at time — wait about 30 seconds after adding one before adding the next one. Finish this step by adding the vanilla.
Mix the dry ingredients ever so slowly into the chocolate mixture on low speed until just combined–do not overmix. Go gentle into the batter of night folks. Keep the batter in the bowl, or transfer into a smaller one and wrap the bowl in plastic wrap. Chill for 4 hours or overnight. This batter is better if made the day before and chills for 8 hours. It never hardens completely it is firm with give.
Preheat the oven to 350°F, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or baking mats. Place confectioner’s sugar in a wide bowl as you need space to roll many at a time. Using two spoons get about a rounded teaspoon of the chilled dough and roll them into 1-inch sized balls using your hands Work quick as you want these firm and cool. Roll the balls in the confectioner’s sugar and place on the cookie sheets (you should be able to get a dozen or so on each baking sheet.
Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool a few minutes, transfer to a wire rack to cool.