*Note: Although this blog has the word healthy in the name, I also love to bake (and occasionally eat) treats that are decidedly unhealthy. The treats in this post fall into that category. Read on at your own peril – they are absolutely delicious – so if you face a chocolate mint craving, don’t say I didn’t warn you!
You may have noticed this by now, but when the weather turns bad, I love to stay in and bake. You also may have noticed that I love to use up leftovers, especially when I can re-invent them in a new creation. So when the snow changed my plans on the weekend, I took the opportunity to do both of those things and came up with Chocolate Mint Cookie Snowballs.
I had some cookies leftover from Christmas in the freezer. Normally, this isn’t a problem, as I like to have cookies in the freezer in case I need a quick dessert if we have company. But these cookies were particularly festive-looking: chocolate chip cookies made with Christmas m&m’s and chopped candy canes, do I felt it would be quite obvious that I was using Christmas leftovers if I served them, and it is almost February. I also had quite a few leftover mini candy canes (which I bought to make the cookies) and some green peppermint frosting leftover from when I made Christmas cupcakes for my class at school. Obviously I couldn’t just save these items for next Christmas, so I got to work on an idea to use them up while downplaying their festive look.
I got the idea from Bakerella’s Cake Balls, which I have made numerous times and are always a crowd-pleaser. The shot on the right is the “before” shot. I let the cookies thaw, and the icing come to room temperature. Then, I placed the cookies in my mini food processor and ground them until they were nice, fine crumbs. I put the crumbs back into the mixing bowl and added the icing, mixing with a spoon and my hands until the mixture came together. I rolled the mixture into balls, put them on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet and popped the sheet into the freezer for about 20 minutes so they could firm up.
While the balls were freezing, I chopped the candy canes (using the old reliable “put them in a ziploc bag and whack with a heavy object until desired consistency” method). I also melted my chocolate – I like to use melting wafers (those round discs you can find at bulk stores or the bulk section of some grocery stores) because they have a better consistency for coating when melted. I melted the chocolate in a small mug (in the microwave) so it would be deep enough to submerge the balls and thinned it out with a little vegetable oil to make dipping easier.
I dipped the balls in the melted, thinned chocolate and tapped off excess chocolate with a spoon. After placing each dipped ball back on the cookie sheet, I finished them off with a dusting of candy cane “snow” before the chocolate set. I was quite pleased with the final product (see top photo) and I think the recipients of these treats were pleased as well :). No festive leftovers wasted and yummy cookie balls to share – everyone wins! I still have a few left…who wants them?