Linda's Chocolate Coconut Snowballs

In Newfoundland Chocolate Coconut Snowballs are as synonymous with Christmas as Santa Claus.  We just call them Snowballs and they can be found in every grocery store, bakery and most convenience stores in the province.  But, of course, homemade is best.

No self-respecting kitchen party or church social would be complete without the little round balls of fudgy goodness.  An oft’ repeated scene at many a party is watching someone walking up and down the length of the dessert table, with the face of a hunter stalking prey, looking for that last elusive Snowball.  And what delight when the object of their search is found.  The hand reaches out and the fingers deftly lift the chocolate goodness to their lips and it quickly disappears, the only evidence remaining is the tell-tale trail of coconut down the front of their shirt.

These Snowballs are my sister-in-law Linda’s recipe.  Linda’s cookies and cakes are well known in the family and we all enjoy and look forward to her offerings at family dinners and get-togethers.   This particular recipe is a favourite of her son and daughter, Bill and Wendy.  But it seems just about everyone likes a Snowball.

There is a raging debate over the texture of the perfect snowball.  The two opposing sides are adamant on their stand over soft or hard snowballs.  I tend to be on the soft side of the issue but others would debate that the cookie syrup hadn’t been boiled long enough.  This recipe, I'm delighted to tell you, is a lovely soft, almost gooey Snowball.  The mixture is almost soupy when everything is mixed together but it will thicken up upon standing.  I'd suggest you refrigerate the mixture overnight before forming into balls and let the oats soak up some of the chocolatey goodness of the fudge sauce.  These store very well in the freezer and taste just as good frozen (for those who prowl at night).

Linda’s Chocolate Coconut Snowballs
3 cups dry oats
1 cup unsweetened coconut
¾ cup cocoa
3 cups sugar
¾ cup butter
1 ¼ cups milk

1 teaspoon vanilla (my addition)
Extra coconut for rolling, about 1-1 ½ cups.

In a medium bowl combine oats, coconut and cocoa until well mixed.  Set aside.

Place sugar, butter and milk in saucepan over medium heat.  Stir occasionally until mixture comes to a full boil.  Boil 5 minutes without stirring.  Remove from heat.  Stir in vanilla if using.

Add the oat mixture to the hot milk mixture and stir until completely combined.  Let cool until cold.  To hasten the process you may place the mixture in the refrigerator for a few hours or even overnight. 

Roll the cold mixture into small balls and roll in the extra coconut. 
(What a sticky job.  Try not to lick your fingers!) The size of the snowballs is completely subjective; some like ‘em small and some like ‘em big.  They are usually larger than a grape but smaller than a golf ball, but. . . it’s up to you. 

Makes about 60 Snowballs.

Use a large bowl to mix the oatmeal, coconut and cocoa.

Sift the cocoa to get out the lumps and then mix everything together.

1.  Boil the milk, sugar and butter together without stirring for 5 minutes.  2. Pour the hot liquid over the dry ingredients.  3.  The mixture will be quite soupy, but let it set until it gets cold.  4.  Roll the balls in coconut.

 Have one, won't you!


  1. I would do anything right now for Coconut balls & magic bars....

    1. Anything??? I need my kitchen cleaned, the living room straightened out and the tree put up. After you get that finished the bathroom needs a good scrubbing. Then you can have a cookie or two.


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