The Perfect Newfoundland Snowballs Recipe

Monday, November 26, 201292comments

The Perfect Newfoundland Snowballs Recipe

Newfoundland Snowballs 


UPDATE: Here is a revisit of one of the most popular recipes ever featured on Rock Recipes and one of the earliest. This iconic Newfoundland treat is among the most searched Newfoundland recipes on the internet and is the way many folks discovered this website in the first place. This recipe came from my Nan, Belinda Morgan of Port-de-Grave, Newfoundland and has been made in our family for over 50 years. I have sampled these all over the province and have never yet found any as good as her soft, fudgy version. It is and will always be for me, the perfect and most authentic Newfoundland snowball recipe.


Newfoundland Snowballs

Originally Published on November 7, 2007.


In the weeks leading up to Christmas we will be featuring some family favorites for holiday baking. One of the most popular treats anytime but particularly at Christmas is the Snowball. This recipe is virtually a Newfoundland icon. You would be hard pressed to find anyone who has spent any time in this province and has not sampled a Snowball. More a confection than a cookie, a proper snowball should be soft, fudgy and slightly chewy. Many people find this recipe to be a bit of a challenge but if you follow the method closely and are precise in your measurements, you should have no problems.



Key to the success of this recipe is the length of time that the base of the recipe is boiled. More precisely, it is the temperature that the mixture reaches when boiling that is critical. Much akin to making fudge, you are looking for the mixture to reach soft ball stage or near soft ball stage on a candy thermometer. Use one if you have it but if not, the five minutes gentle boiling as directed in the recipe is a pretty dependable guideline. It is also very important not to stir the mixture as it boils or you risk the sugar crystallizing and leaving you with a hard, crumbly finished product.



In a large saucepan, combine and boil together gently over medium high heat for 5 minutes or until mixture reaches about 230 degrees F on a candy thermometer:

3 cups sugar
3/4 cup melted butter
1 1/4 cups milk

Once mixture begins to boil it is very important not to stir it at all.

Mix together

3 cups large rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened fine coconut
12 tbsp cocoa

Add the boiled mixture to the dry ingredients until well combined and chill well. until mixture is able to be shaped into 1 1/2 inch balls. Roll the balls in additional coconut. Makes about 4 dozen. These should be stored in the fridge. These freeze very well (my kids eat them frozen all the time, just like my siblings and I did as kids)
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December 13, 2007 at 10:34 AM

My husband only liked his mothers snowballs and no one could make them as good as hers until I made your snow ball recipe and now he chooses these snowballs over his mothers. He calls the "YUMMY"

December 13, 2007 at 11:58 AM

Hey, what can I say, I'm good! LOL!;) Really glad he enjoyed them. My mission to banish bad snowballs marches on!

December 14, 2007 at 11:24 AM

Thank you so much for posting this recipe! I'm a Newfie living in Georgia and wanted to bring something different to my office party cookie exchange. I remembered snowballs but not the recipe, so went online and found yours. I made these last night, and as I type, my coworkers are raving about them.

Your other recipes look so great, I can't wait to try more!

Do you happen to have a recipe for Newfoundland dressing?

Thank you again!

Robin
March 13, 2008 at 10:21 PM

I just tried making a batch of these. Right now I have a soupy bowl of chocolate sauce and tough/hard oats. I used "large" oats as the recipe indicated - which are also called old-fashioned (Mine are Quaker Large). Should I have used quick oats? Or - will this eventually turn into the snowballs that I have been craving?

March 14, 2008 at 8:55 AM

Hi Robin,

It is normal for the mixture to be a little soupy before it cools. Hope they turned out well in the end. Barry.

Anonymous
October 17, 2008 at 7:47 PM

when boiling the first three ingredients,will u stir before it boils or will sugar stick to bottom of pot.thanks Rose.

October 18, 2008 at 8:15 AM

Hi Rose,
It is advisable NOT to stir these ingredients as they boil. This can cause the sugar to crystalize and ruin the proper fudgy texture of these snowballs. If these turn out hard, you've done something wrong.

Jackie
October 30, 2008 at 1:08 PM

Those are not Snowballs. Snowballs have a creamy marshmallow center with a chocolaty coconut shell. So yum.

The above cookies are called coconut balls. My mom made them for me every Christmas in Hampden Bay NFLD :)

October 30, 2008 at 6:42 PM

Oh Jackie, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet! ;)

I never quibble about the names if these things. It is a silly exercise to try and convince someone that something they've known by one name their entire life is really something else! I'm sure there are other names for them; just as I am sure that there are many, many thousands of Newfoundlanders outside of your Mom's kitchen in Hampden Bay who have always known these as Snowballs.

The Snowballs you speak of are a commercial English confection anyway and not a cookie; this recipe an attempt to recreate that candy.

Call them coconut balls if you want but leave others to call them as they please as well. There is no right and wrong here, only good taste! ;)

Anonymous
November 12, 2008 at 5:10 PM

Hi! Can these be frozen?

November 12, 2008 at 5:22 PM

YES! !n fact they freeze quite well and I am not a big fan of freezing anything.

I can't count the number of these fudgy morsels my siblings and I pinched from my Mom's basement freezer when we were kids. ;)

Anonymous
November 25, 2008 at 10:22 AM

We call them snowballs, always have....from Botwood NL...and the ones with marshmallow in the middle, we call them marshmallow snowballs :) both delicious... some people call them by lots of names...either name is fine.... no right or worng....just delicious!!!

Tammy

Anonymous
December 21, 2008 at 8:15 AM

This year for Christmas, I wanted to make snowballs for the first time -- and no matter where I looked, I could not find the recipe. I made the recipe that my mother gave me - knowing it wasn't what I was looking for - with just OK results. So into google I pop the phrase - Newfoundland Snowball cookies -- and this is where I end up! And just by the picture alone, I know these are the cookies I am trying so hard to prepare! Guess I'm cookie making again this afternoon - thanks for posting the recipe.

Pen

December 21, 2008 at 8:20 AM

You're very welcome, Pen. This continues to be one of the most popular recipes in this site and one of the most searched Newfoundland recipes on Google.

Anonymous
February 18, 2009 at 9:05 PM

My coworkers were driving me crazy this afternoon, begging me to bring them a treat for break time tomorrow, but with a busy schedule and no time to shop, this was the perfect solution. They turned out perfectly, and I even had enough left to treat my husband.

Thanks for another great recipe!

November 25, 2009 at 6:23 PM

Help! I didn't get my snowballs rolled in time and now they won't stick together nor can I get the coconut to stick. Can this be fixed?

November 26, 2009 at 5:46 AM

Sorry Shawna but I think you are in a do-over situation. I think it's possible that you may have overboiled the sugar butter milk mixture too

November 29, 2009 at 11:01 PM

The best that I've had in a loooong time!! I made these today and they are chocolatly and chewy. Just as a snowball should be! I have tried many a snowball & snowball recipes over the years and this is at the top! Thanks for sharing, and thanks for giving all of the tips with your recipes. I think it is what makes the difference! Merry Christmas!

November 30, 2009 at 6:49 AM

Thanks Michelle...this was my Grandmothers recipe and the only one I've ever tried or felt the need to! ;) I stick with the best when I find it. Thanks for reading, Barry.

December 8, 2009 at 1:31 AM

I am so thankful for your detailed directions! I made some snowballs tonight (without the benefit of my mom around) and used the recipe in her Newfie Cookie book. They came out without nearly enough chocolate and I made the mistake of stirring whilst boiling. I'll try again tomorrow.

However, her recipe has evaporated milk. Do you use regular milk? Thanks!

December 8, 2009 at 2:25 PM

You can use either Lauren, I know my Nan always used good old Carnation evaporated in hers for years. Good luck with your next attempt.

February 8, 2010 at 9:33 PM

Thanks so much for this recipie! I've been looking everywhere online for this one. I'm from NFLD and I didn't even think that it was a Newfoundlander thing. :)

Anonymous
August 2, 2010 at 6:21 PM

I love the snow ball recipe i didnt get a chance to make this one yet ,but there are so many different ones i know im going to enjoy making these ...Carolyn

Anonymous
November 30, 2010 at 12:52 PM

Hi Barry, Can I use minute oats instead of larger oats and margerin instead of butter? Thanks, Sharon

November 30, 2010 at 3:08 PM

You can get away with margarine as long as it is not soft spreadable margarine in a tub. That is NEVER a good idea for any type of baking. I don't use minute oats at all. I find them too fine and they are more processed so they will soak up more moisture and the snowballs will be dry instead of fudgy.

Lauren
December 10, 2010 at 5:51 PM

Just wondering what type of milk I should be using? (skim, 1%, 2%, carnation, etc?)

December 11, 2010 at 7:32 AM

Whole milk. You can use reconstituted carnation (1/2 water) if you like. Nan always did.

Katie
December 19, 2010 at 5:39 AM

Just wondering how long typically should you leave them to cool? Do you put them in the fridge to cool? My boyfriend's family is from Newfoundland and he was searching and searching for a recipe that seemed right finally I type in authentic Newfoundland snowball, and BAM! There you were. Hope I get the cooling right! Thanks a bundle for posting :)

December 19, 2010 at 7:03 AM

I do let them cool almost completely in the fridge before rolling them in balls.You kind of have to in order for them to hold together properly. Hope you enjoy them. Barry.

Anonymous
December 21, 2010 at 11:08 PM

dang it.....i used .5% milk and they are not wanting to stay in a ball!! will they eventually stick together???

December 22, 2010 at 6:11 AM

Are they crumbly and falling apart? If so, start over. :(

Colleen
January 13, 2011 at 5:52 AM

Hey great recipe! Made them this Christmas in my gift tins amongst some other goodies and boy were the snowballs by far the biggest hit! Thank you so much for posting this recipe. I was wondering if you might have heard of strawberry snowballs?? My mother in-law used to make them for my husband but they have lost contact many years ago anywho if you had heard of these and might have any idea what I could use to make them that would be amazing my husband is longing for (another) taste of his childhood. Thank you once again for posting this recipe.

January 26, 2011 at 3:16 PM

Strawberry Snowballs sound great. Never heard of those but if you track down the recipe let us know.

Anonymous
May 27, 2011 at 7:37 PM

Hey Colleen I would think that you could make a strawberry ganache. So it would be more like a strawberry truffle. A traditional ganache is just boiled whole cream, butter, sugar, and chocolate. You put it in the fridge, form balls and roll them in what you want or dip in chocolate and you have a truffle. So you could boil cream, sugar, butter, and a bit or strawberry puree. Put it in the fridge and then form balls and roll in coconut.

August 12, 2011 at 11:05 PM

I had to go back up and look at the date


Snowballs chance in August had me laughing!

Anonymous
November 6, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Just wondering if you start timing the 5 minutes after it starts to boil or as soon as you put the pot on the heat?

November 7, 2011 at 7:26 AM

The timing starts when it begins to boil.

November 7, 2011 at 5:06 PM

Hey Barry!! Have been making those for years, or a reasonable facsimile thereof! lol (They dry, crumbly ones).....Anyway, today I made YOUR recipe!!!
They are DELISH!!!! I had to hide them from myself in the freezer...yep, good luck with THAT one, Lucy! lol
Thanks again...congrats on winning with the "Banoffee Pie" you made, and now I'm getting in the mood to do my Christmas baking...or getting a start on it!
SOO proud of you, you wonderful Newfie, you!!
BTW, also posted your link on my B&B Page!!!! People from all over check it, so wanted them to have some Newfie recipes!!

Anonymous
November 11, 2011 at 9:27 PM

no such thing as a bad snowball. it is all about personal taste. i like the dry snowballs as do everyone i have ever served them. congrats. on big win and yes i did vote for you!

Elaine
November 12, 2011 at 12:29 AM

My all time favorite growing up. I make them every christmas, making some right now as we sit here. We use to call them snowballs or mudballs!

Anonymous
November 24, 2011 at 8:51 PM

Well My favourite treat come christmas. Love making them and especially eating them. Never make it to the freezer. They are soooooo...... good. Can't wait to make a batch!! Recipe helps me this year so they turn out perfectly.
Cheeky!!

Anonymous
November 27, 2011 at 9:11 AM

I'm having a really difficult time making these. I followed the measurements and instructions, I got the snowballs rolled into balls and coconut but they are not firm ( when i pick them up they are still a bit squishy, soft and a little difficult to eat) Ive been keeping them in the refrigerator. Did i do something wrong?
Besides for that the mixture for the snowballs is super yummy and fudgey ^_^

November 27, 2011 at 9:29 AM

I chill the mixture before rolling, which is easier and I always store them in the fridge (or freezer, my kids eat them frozen all the time) It sounds like you are close to right for this recipe. You may want to boil the mix for another minute or two to see if that helps or you can always add a little extra oatmeal.

Anonymous
December 7, 2011 at 2:06 PM

12 Tablespoons of cocoa? is this correct?

December 7, 2011 at 5:54 PM

according to my grandmother!

Martina
December 9, 2011 at 11:11 PM

This recipe was delicious. I was craving these snowballs from my childhood. I used to make them for Christmas each year as a child growing up in Newfoundland. There is another chocolate ball or snowball recipe my grandmother made and I made them also as a child. These had a coconut centre made with condensed mild and covered in melted chocolate. These were great. They tasted like the store bought chocolate bars but better. Wondering if you heard of this recipe. I think parowax was used in this recipe.

December 10, 2011 at 9:07 AM

I think I have that coconut ball recipe in an old cookbook somewhere. I'll have to add it to my to-do list.

Anonymous
December 12, 2011 at 1:16 PM

This is a great reciepe. my parents are newfoundlanders and I grew up on these, I live in Chicago now and threw a christmas party last year with this recipe and everyone loved it so i will be making them again this weekend for our Christmas party this year

Anonymous
December 12, 2011 at 7:28 PM

is it ok to use quick oats in this recipe?

December 13, 2011 at 6:10 AM

Quick oats can sometimes absorb too much of the fudge mixture and make the snowballs crumbly.

Anonymous
December 14, 2011 at 8:02 AM

I have only ever heard of these cookies as snowballs. That's what we call them here in NL here anyway! I can't wait to make them!

Anonymous
December 20, 2011 at 9:54 PM

My auntie used make me these every year for 24 years...this year she married a crackhead and has no time apparently...so im using your recipe.

Anonymous
December 22, 2011 at 3:49 PM

Thank you sooooo much! i've been wanting to know how to make these!

I've always known them as Snowballs, but i could never find the 'right' recipe

Anonymous
December 24, 2011 at 12:54 AM

Hmmmm...I used 1% milk and have let the mixture sit in the fridge for 3 hours and it is still sticky and a more runny that I think it is suppose to be...is this normal? Can I add more oatmeal to make it dryer or do I have to start over? Thanks Barry!

December 24, 2011 at 5:47 AM

l'd add the oatmeal and see how that goes.

sellis3@rgv.rr.com
December 24, 2011 at 4:44 PM

Thank you for this recipe. I live in Texas now but am from Grand Falls. I lost my recipe and this is a godsend because I have a crowd of Newfies coming over on Boxing Day and can't wait to put these out. Merry Christmas from afar. Still prefer to be here with no snow.

Anonymous
March 10, 2012 at 3:34 PM

I am from NF and these are called snowballs and sold under that name all over the place.

Jerrica
April 18, 2012 at 10:53 AM

I'm going to make these today! Can't wait!! :)

Jerrica
April 18, 2012 at 1:26 PM

In Musgrave Hr. They call them 'Fiddle Diddle's' lol, they have many names!

Anonymous
June 12, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Barry C. Parsons, isn't rolled oats pretty much the same thing as Oatmeal?

Anonymous
July 11, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Hi Barry,

i love your website. I believe we worked together at Holy Cross Elementary! My name back then was Trina Ryan I was the challenging needs teacher. My sister actually showed me your website for your snowball recipe and I was wondering if it was the same person I worked with. I rememeber the gingerbread house you made back then! I am still living in BC married with three little girls myself. Anyway just wanted to say hi and keep the recipes coming I refer to website often especially for those Newfie Favorites.
Cheers,
Trina Anderson

July 11, 2012 at 12:17 PM

Hi Trina,

I remember you very well. That was such a long time ago now and I still think fondly about that year at Holy Cross many times. Please email me at barrycparsons@gmail.com

Barry

Susan
September 13, 2012 at 2:30 PM

I made Snowballs for years following my mother-in-law's recipe, and it was always hit or miss with how they turned out. Then I discovered another recipe that uses chocolate cake mix as an ingredient, and got the fudgy chewy snowball I wanted. But now, having read through this recipe, I know why my earlier attempts didn't work...I ALWAYS stirred the mixture as it was boiling! Now I have to go pick up the ingredients at the supermarket and try to make them again...without stirring! Thanks, love your site and your blog!!

December 11, 2012 at 12:14 PM

I am so happy to have found this recipe. My dad is from The Rock and I remember him getting so excited to find store-bought snowballs.I can't wait to make him the real thing when he gets home from vacation!

December 11, 2012 at 12:20 PM

I sure hope your Dad enjoys them! Happy Holidays!

Nickie E
December 15, 2012 at 12:38 PM

So excited to try this recipe as my mom use to make these every Christmas when I was a kid. Just wondering though if it matters if the butter is salted or unsalted? Thanks so much for the recipe and I will definitely be looking on this site for some more great recipes!

Chris
December 15, 2012 at 3:46 PM

Quote...In Musgrave Hr. They call them 'Fiddle Diddle's' lol, they have many names!

This is what we called them too and I was trying to think of that name. I'm from St George's NL, now living in Pickering ON. I googled Snowball recipe and it brought me here right away. Actually I think we called them filly dillies..Maybe I was just pronouncing it wrong...Thanks for the recipe. I will try it tonight. Wish me luck. Chris

Anonymous
December 15, 2012 at 9:08 PM

My comments are not posting. Boo Hoo
Chris. Still Testing 1..2..3

Anonymous
December 16, 2012 at 8:22 PM

I'm 16 and I've made these twice-- both times were AMAZING, and I've gotten a million compliments on my cooking, haha!
I'm just wondering if, during the boiling, there's a way to get the mixture to stop boiling over the top? It's an issue I've had both times, thanks!

December 17, 2012 at 12:23 PM

LOL @Chris. All comments are moderated by necessity to prevent spam and the like. At this time of year it takes me several days to get to them. So so busy around here. All the best, Barry.

Jill
December 19, 2012 at 11:19 PM

Mine has been in the fridge for about 5 hours and still isn't firm enough to form a ball... It sticks together but doesn't keep its shape. I'm wondering if this is probably because I didn't read the comments first, and used skim milk because it's what I had. Also, the coconut I used isn't as fine as what's pictured coating the balls on this page, so maybe that could be it? It tastes delicious though... I kind of want to eat the whole bowl of snowball-pudding

December 20, 2012 at 11:22 AM

You did not cook the mixture long enough Jill. A save here would be to pour the mixture into a pan, freeze it and cut out squares or bars. These are terrific as a frozen treat. My whole family eats them straight from the freezer.

Anonymous
December 20, 2012 at 7:27 PM

I haven't made them yet,i am scared i might mess them up. Here is my question my friend from Bishop's Cove told me to boil the butter and milk first and add the sugar and other dry ingredients,so thats not right and also she said to use fudge cake mix and quick oats. please put me on the right path.Thank you so much and merry christmas.































































December 20, 2012 at 8:10 PM

That sounds like a completely different recipe. Fudge cake mix? I don't think so. Use a candy thermometer, follow the directions and it will be fine.

December 22, 2012 at 9:51 PM

I am wondering if these would work with Splenda instead of sugar?

December 23, 2012 at 9:32 AM

I'm afraid not Michelle. This is much like making fudge. It requires real sugar to work.

December 24, 2012 at 11:50 AM

I love these! As a kid, my mom always made them with out cooking the mixture first - I think she used a ton of oats to make the firm enough lol. Since I've made them this way I will never go back! My sis wants to make them, and I referred her to your site. :)

Anonymous
January 7, 2013 at 1:23 PM

BARRY do you add milk,butter and sugar first and not stir at all to blend them together and just boil for 5min. Can i test the mixture in a glass of water the way you test toffee.Please let me know as this is my first time making these snowballs that are all the rage.I don't think many people in ontario know of this recipe and i would love to share it with some friends.Thank You.

January 12, 2013 at 2:31 PM

You can test for soft ball stage with a glass of cold water. I stir it until the butter melts then not at all afterward.

June 7, 2013 at 11:23 PM

Barry, apologies if someone already asked but I didn't see it in the convo above as I read through. Is the 'milk' carnation? or is it 2%...?
Thanks :)

June 8, 2013 at 8:18 AM

Any milk will work.

July 6, 2013 at 5:51 AM

These look so good and I wanted them to be a part of a cookie swap; however, I read that they are to be kept in the fridge. Should I not attempt to ship them? I'm in Alabama and am shipping to California and Washington state, and will be using Priority Mail. I have to ship by July 14th, so your reply is much appreciated!

July 6, 2013 at 9:56 AM

I wouldn't MarySue, especially in the summer heat. These are like a very soft fudge. I don't think they would travel well.

Robin
November 24, 2013 at 11:25 AM

Hi Barry, Thanks for the great recipe!!! I'm a beginner baker and I'm trying to make frozen Christmas cookies like my nan used to, so when I found this recipe I was thrilled as my nan isn't around anymore to share her secrets with me!!

While making this I was terrified of the mixture sticking to my fancy green dutch oven, lol, but as the temp went all the way up to 8 on my electric stove and as I waited "patiently" for 20 minutes for the temperature to reach the right point on my thermometer, I was pleasantly surprised and amazed when I dumped the fudge into the bowl of oats that nothing was burned to the pot at all! Which means I didn't even burn the actual mixture!!! I'm on proud maid here today!! Thanks again. :)

November 24, 2013 at 11:27 AM

Hope they turned out great Robin!

Pauline Babstock
November 24, 2013 at 6:06 PM

I've used this same recipe for 35 years. You should not need a thermomoter. If you start your timer for exactly 5 minutes immediately upon the butter, sugar and milk mixture coming to a rapid boil, you will always have perfection. If you boil the mixture longer it will become crumbly and will not hold together when rolled. If you boil less than the full 5 minutes they will be too soft.

Anonymous
December 7, 2013 at 11:08 PM

My husband has been wanting something sweet these past few evenings, I remember his Mom making these snowballs years ago. So I googled and found your recipe. Needless to say they taste great, mixture was a little soupy, so I added a few more oats! I used the quick oats. Don't think they will last long.

December 11, 2013 at 6:57 PM

Can I use quick oats? Thanks :)

December 12, 2013 at 6:38 AM

I don't use quick oats. They absorb too much of the wet mixture and can make the sugar crystallize. I have much better success using plain large rolled oats.

Anonymous
December 19, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Hi Barry,I attempted this recipe today,I halved all the ingredients.Even used a candy thermometer,followed recipe to the tee.But as soon as I poured the mixture into dry ingredients it absorbed it all in clumps and became dry.What could have gone wrong,can it be salvaged?

December 20, 2013 at 7:26 AM

I suspect that the half recipe may be a problem, especially if you are boiling at too high a heat. A slow rolling boil is needed or else the mixture can continue to get hotter and crystallize after it comes off the heat and of course this is even easier to have happen with a smaller amount of the mixture. Make sure that you are not using quick oats too, just plain rolled oats and unsweetened coconut. Once crystallized it is not salvageable as you've probably realized by now. Better luck next time. Practice makes perfect. ;)
Merry Christmas !

Faren
December 22, 2013 at 12:58 AM

Just made these for the first time tonight. Followed the recipe step by step and they are cooling in my fridge right now, so far the mixture eems to be doing great! My husband and I are living in Edmonton but both from NL. His nan used to make snowballs with cherries in the middle... I promised I would put a few cherries in this batch!.. Cross your fingers they are as good as his Nan's... :)

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