Christmas Cookies from Magnolia Bakery

Magnolia Bakery, the New York sensation that's also made a huge splash in L.A. since opening here last year, is known for their cupcakes, banana pudding, and seasonal cookies. We snagged the recipe for two of those cookies: Chocolate crinkles and Sno-Balls, also known as Mexican Wedding Cookies. And Russian Tea Cookies. They're a classic the world over, in other words.

The cookies are a bit delicate to make, but ultimately simple, making them a great addition to your December cookie-palooza. (It's not just us, right?)

Sno-Balls
Makes about 36 cookies
1 cup pecan pieces
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 - ½ cups all purpose flour
1 cup un-salted butter, room temperature
¼ cup powdered sugar, sifted.
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup sifted powdered sugar, additional

Process pecans with ¼ cup flour and salt in a food processor until fine, then add 1-1/2 cups flour and set aside.

In a mixer, beat 1 cup of butter until creamy and light in color. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add 1/4 cup sifted powdered sugar and 2 tsp. vanilla. Mix on low, scrape down bowl.

Add flour/nut mixture in 3 parts just until combined. DO NOT OVERMIX. You may have to do this by hand. Dough should barely come together when you squeeze it.

Chill the dough for 30 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees

Roll into 1" balls and set 2" apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Watch the cookies very closely. They should just ever so slightly brown on the bottom.
Remove them from the oven and let them cool on the pan for about a minute. Gently and carefully roll them in sifted powdered sugar. Cool completely on a wire rack then roll them again in powdered sugar until completely coated. Store in plastic container with paper between the layers.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
Makes 24-30 cookies
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups White sugar
½ vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 tsp. Vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. Baking powder
½ tsp. Salt
½ powdered sugar

In a small bowl whisk together 2 cups flour, 2 tsp. baking powder and ½ tsp. salt. Set aside.

In a medium size stainless steel bowl whisk together 1 cup cocoa, 2 cups white sugar and ½ cup vegetable oil. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking slightly after each. Stir in the vanilla just until mixed.

Stir the flour mixture into the cocoa mixture. Cover dough and chill for at least 30 minutes

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Scoop and roll into a one inch ball. Roll the balls in powdered sugar, coating generously.

Line a sheet tray with parchment paper and bake for 10-12 minutes just until set. Watch these cookies carefully. They are like a brownie and are better when the center is just barely set. The cookies will "crack" on top, exposing the soft chocolate center.

Magnolia Bakery
8389 W. Third St., 323-951-0636

[Homepage photo by Flickr user little blue hen]



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About the Author

Katherine's role as the Living editor at KCET.org keeps her running from farms to markets to restaurants to pop-up swaps all over SoCal. She's been living in and writing about this area for over a decade.
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