Recipe for a Snowball Effect

Snowball: v. to grow rapidly in significance, importance or size. n. 1. a. a mass of soft, wet snow, packed into a ball that can be thrown. 2. a small round cookie rolled in powdered sugar.Lemon Snowballs

My parenting light bulb brightened with an experience that also answers the daily question that I ask myself, “Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us today?”

Developing sisterhood between my daughters is a process—a process that some days seems more competitive than cooperative. The smallest disagreements can snowball into a flurry of emotions that we want to throw at each other.

I have been praying for answers about what to do in the moments when these “snowball fights” are beginning. But the answer came when it wasn’t even snowing, literally or figuraritvely. In fact, not much of anything was going on.

Each daughter came to me looking for something to do. Each was “bored.”

I said, “Let’s find something you two can do together.”

I gave them an assignment to come up with two or three things they could do together, then I left for a few minutes. When I came back, they reported that since they couldn’t find something to do alone, they certainly couldn’t find something to do together.

But then as we talked through it, I said, “Maybe you, eh, could do something with kh that she wants to do like play a game or play with dolls for 30 minutes. Then, kh, you can do something with eh that she wants to do for 30 minutes.”

They joked and laughed about eh, a teenager, playing dolls, but kh liked the idea of doing hair or doing nails. And eh wanted to bake something. They decided to make a dessert together and then give each other manicures.

The best part came when Paul walked in on them in their bathroom painting their nails. He was in shock. It was sheer surprise to him that they were doing that, in there, in the middle of the day, with each other.

And now we have some wonderful Lemon Snowball Cookies and a little bit more sisterly love.

Here’s the recipe from the Taste of Home’s 2005 Contest Winning Cookbook:

Lemon Snowballs
from Audrey Thibodeau, Fountain Hills, AZ

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel (we used orange peel)
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
Confectioner’s sugar

1. In a mixing bowl, cream butter, sugar, and egg until well blended. Add lemon juice and peel. Combine flour, baking soda, cream of tarter and salt; stir into creamed mixture. Add almonds. Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour or overnight.

2. Roll into 1-in. balls. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned (cookies will not brown on top).

3. Remove immediately to wire racks; cool for 5 minutes, then roll in confectioner’s sugar. Yield: about 3 dozen.


  1. Julie
    Apr 3, 2008

    That is a very creative way to get your girls to interact together. It seems that as moms we are always having to improvise and find creative solutions to life’s little problems. Thanks for sharing your story and the cookies look delicious!

  2. Rachel Corbett
    Apr 3, 2008

    Fabulous! Those look yummy! And great job at having them solve their dilema together, rather than you solving it for them!

  3. Julie Q.
    Apr 3, 2008

    First of all: yummy looking cookies. Secondly, I love the way you solved the boredom problem. It reminds me of the treatment in Parent Trap where they make the twins stick to each other until they get along. My sisters and I fought a lot when I was little and I don’t think you ever quite get over those things. We could have used a lot more sisterly love.

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