I got this recipe from Dan Savage, the advice columnist. It was his mother's recipe, hence
the name. A couple of notes: 

1. I only used one cup of pecans. If I didn't want to use pecans, I substituted the same 
amount of semi-sweet chocolate chips.

2. I only used 1/3 cup of cocoa powder since I used a dark, rich type ('Ghirardelli' brand). 

3. If you dust the cookies with powdered sugar (very lightly) while they're still hot, you
will get a nice glaze on them as the sugar melts. While that glaze is soft, you can sprinkle
with decorative powders for a more Christmas-y cookie.

4. If you let the butter soften before you cream it, you get a cakier cookie, but it's not
really required. 

These cookies ship well  because they don't have flat edges that chip off and break in the mail. 


Ma Savage's Christmas Snowballs

2 cups flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/4 cup salted butter

2/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups pecans

confectioners' sugar (powdered)

Sift flour, salt, and cocoa together. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy, and add vanilla. 
Gradually beat dry ingredients into butter and sugar. Blend in pecans. Form dough into a loaf,
wrap it up, put in fridge overnight.

Cut loaf into inch-thick slices, cut slices into inch-square cubes, roll cubes into balls about
one inch in diameter. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 20 minutes maximum Note:
18 minutes turned out to be just right for my oven. The cookies seemed underdone at first, but
they keep baking a little bit while they cool since they're round. Transfer cookies off sheets
right away and allow to cool completely. Put cookies in tub or tin, sift confectioners' sugar 
over cookies, put lid on, turn tin or tub over a few times to coat cookies with confectioners' 

Makes about 40 cookies.