Making Schneeballen (snowballs / palle di neve).
This past September, I was in the medieval village of Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Bavaria, Germany. One morning I was strolling around and stumbled upon a baker that specialized in these quirky (and touristy) treats.
Upon seeing them, I was determined to learn how they were made, and of course attempt to make them when I got back home.
So, with the help of my awesome dessert queen mother, we concocted an Italian adaptation; translating its name to Palla di Neve. Ha! Recipe below.
RECIPE: Palle Di Neve
This recipe was adapted from a version found on the packaging of the Schneeball shaping contraption I had purchased in Rothenburg. We swapped out plum schnapps for Italian Strega; and we swapped out cream using mascarpone instead.
Note: These instructions are very basic, before attempting, please know and use safety precautions when frying or using hot oil.
The recipe yields 6 thick (or 8-10 thin) snowballs.
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups (250g) Baking Flour
- 2 Tbsp Powdered Sugar
- 4 1/4 Tbsp (60g) Unsalted Butter (softened)
- 4 Egg Yolks
- 1 Whole Egg
- 1 pinch Salt
- 1/2 cup (100g) Mascarpone
- 1 Tbsp Liquor (we used Strega)
- In a mixer, mix butter and sugar.
- Once, mixed well, add whole egg and egg yolks.
- Add the mascarpone* and Strega*.
- Add the flour and salt. Mix until you have a uniformed thick dough.
- Break dough into 6-10 balls and let cool in refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
- As dough cools, heat up canola oil in a deep pan.
- Take dough out of refrigerator. Working one ball at a time, roll each ball flat to an oblong shape.
- Using a ridged pasta cutter, without hitting the edges, slice ribbons inside each flat ball. Do not cut to edge.
- To lift sliced ball use a skewer or bamboo cake tester, weave it under every other strip and gently lift ball from cutting board. Tip the loose ‘basket-like’ shape into your other hand, gently forming a loose ball of ribbons. (see photo) You can make all these and set aside or work each ball at a time.
- Once oil is heated, place one of the loose weave balls into the snowball contraption and dip into oil, letting it rest until bubbling. (NOTE: You won’t be able to see when the snowball is cooked, so give it about 5 minutes, and flip ball. You can gently open the snowball maker a crack, to let cook some more.)
- Once fried to a crisp, remove ball and let rest on paper towels. Continue with the rest of balls.
- Fill a deep dish with powdered sugar (or other coating options below.)
- When balls have slightly cooled, coat them with powdered sugar and serve.
Other coating options include: cinnamon+sugar, melted chocolate, or whatever your delights your creative mind.
*ALTERNATIVES: If you don’t have access to mascarpone, try sour cream or crème fraîche. The liquor is used for flavoring. If you don’t have Strega, use a liquor (or non-alcoholic flavoring) of your liking. Or feel free to throw some grated citrus into the dough.
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