Simply referred to as Snowballs by most Newfoundlanders, this might be one of the most common cookies prepared at Christmastime across the island. I’m not sure I can say that I’ve ever had a Christmas pass by without eating at least a few of these.
My mom used to make these all of the time, however, I can’t recall if her recipe used a store-bought chocolate cake mix, or if she made hers using cocoa powder. My ex wife used to make these as well, but I think she was the one responsible for introducing me to the cake mix approach. Either way you dice it, these are so freakin’ delicious! And so easy too!
I made these about two weeks ago and, like I usually do, I brought samples into work for everyone to try. One of my colleagues, Nadia, liked them so much that she decided to make 10 dozen of them for a Christmas cookie exchange she was participating in. Since this recipe makes about 60 cookies to start, she simple doubled the batch and had more than enough to fill her cookie containers. I’m so glad they were a success for her!
Now, I wanted to talk for a minute about the coconut. Most recipes, even my mom’s recipe, used shredded coconut. I’m a lover of all things coconut, but I find that shredded coconut lacks a strong coconut flavour. That’s why whenever I use coconut, I prefer to use coconut flakes. It’s more flavourful, and I feel it’s more authentic. You decided what works best for you.
Traditional Newfoundland No-Bake Snowballs
- 6 cups sweetened or unsweetened coconut flakes
- 5 cups instant rolled oats
- 1 store-bought chocolate cake mix
- 1 cup salted butter
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups sugar
In a saucepan, gently bring to a simmer, the butter, sugar, and milk. Do not allow the mixture to come to a boil. Once the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved, remove the saucepan from the heat.
In a large bowl, whisk together 5 cups of the coconut (set aside one cup for rolling the snowballs into later), chocolate cake mix, and rolled oats.
Poor the cooled butter mixture over the dry ingredients, and using a wooden spoon or spatula, mix the ingredients together until well incorporated.
The mixture will look gooey. Place the bowl into the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours.
Place the remaining one cup of coconut into a shallow, wide-set bowl. When the mixture has had time to set, use a small ice-cream scoop to scoop out equal amounts of the cookie mixture. Use the palms of your hands to roll the mixture into balls. Coat the balls in the remaining coconut by gently rolling the ball around.
Keep refrigerated. These snowballs are freezer friendly as well. Enjoy!