Monday, November 10, 2008

The Ants Go Marching One By One....

This cookies contain one of my favorite ingredients-or maybe I should call them decorations. You know them by several names: chocolate jimmies, chocolate sprinkles, but in JaneWorld, they are called chocolate ants.
As you might have guessed, there is a story behind this. And here we go...

I had the great good fortune to grow up with a mother who was a full-time homemaker. My mother has the gift of making every holiday outstandingly special, and when I was growing up, one of our favorite traditions was baking an overwhelming number of Christmas cookies and giving out 'cookie plates' to our neighbors.

When I was very young, I was allowed to help decorate the rolled-out sugar cookies. I looked forward to that day every December, when Mom would bring out her vast cookie cutter collection and I would watch her rolling out dough, cutting magical shapes out of that dough.

The best part of all was when the cookies had cooled and the embellishing began. I probably wore more colored frosting than the cookies did, and my attempts at frosting them were far from eye-pleasing but they looked beautiful to me.

Mom had an extensive assortment of sprinkles and dragees to top the cookies with, and this brings me to---

The Chocolate Jimmies Fiasco

One year Mom allowed me to invite one of the neighbor kids over to join in on the cookie decorating. His name was Shawn, and we were both probably around first grade.
Shawn and I were in the middle of adorning cookies when he reached across the table for one of the plastic bottles, which was open at the top.
Did I mention that Shawn was big for his age? And clumsy? And one of those kids that calamities just seems to happen to?

Of course you can see where this is going. He somehow managed to dump an entire bottle of chocolate sprinkles all over the kitchen linoleum. And when I say 'all over', well...and they really did look like an army of ants convening in our kitchen. ("I'd like to call this meeting of the Ants local 231 to order...")

Every year thereafter we rehash that story as we decorate cookies. All my kids loved this tradition and licked many a gob of frosting off their fingers over the years.

My kids are now 26, 23, 20, and 18 but I still shanghai them into the kitchen when it's Christmas sugar cookie time. They still enjoy decorating the cookies, or maybe they're just humoring me, I'm not sure. But I love every minute.

Chocolate Truffle Cookies
(a Taste of Home recipe that I changed slightly)


1 1/4 cups butter, softened
2 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1/4 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp. vanilla
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
(2 cups chocolate chips, which I omit)
1/4 cup chocolate sprinkles


In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, confectioners' sugar and cocoa until light and fluffy. Beat in sour cream and vanilla. Add flour; mix well. Stir in chocolate chips, if using. Refrigerate for one hour or overnight.

Roll into 1 inch balls; dip in chocolate sprinkles. Place, sprinkled side up, 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 325 degrees F. for 10 minutes or until set. Cool 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool.

I omit the chocolate chips because I think they get in the way of the truffle-like taste. I also think there are more than enough cookies out there that require chips; these cookies stand on their own very nicely.

This recipe doubles very well. In fact, I've never made a single batch. These are my husband's favorite cookies.


Bunny said...

You are a riot! I love your stories!! I have one, my son is now 28, when he was about 2 or 3 ( can't remember anymore) he decided to get my cocoa powder out of the kitchen cupboard and throw it up in the air, the dog which was a doberman named Sasha, sat by his side as he covered himself and Sasha in COCOA!!! Ah the memories!! HA HA !! Love this recipe Jane!

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Nazarina A said...

I love anything with chocolate sprinkles and these truffel cookies would put an end to my chocolate craving!!!!