Chocolate-lovers will devour this cocoa version of snowballs, the classic holiday cookie. To make them, kids get to throw snowballs in "mud" (a dust of cocoa and confectioners' sugar).
In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon, cream the butter until smooth. Stir in the melted chocolate and blend well.
Add the 2/3 cup of confectioner's sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and stir until combined. Stir in the flour and salt until smooth.
Add the walnuts and stir until combined. Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least 1 to 2 hours or until it is firm enough to roll into balls.
Heat the oven to 350. Form scant tablespoonfuls of the dough into 1-inch balls. Place the balls on two ungreased baking sheets, leaving about 1 inch between them. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the tops of the cookies are set. Cool on the baking sheets for about 3 minutes. Repeat until all the dough has been used.
Meanwhile, stir together the 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar and cocoa powder in a shallow bowl. Carefully dip the warm cookies into the dust (that is, throw them in the mud) to coat.
Cool the cookies completely on a wire rack. Roll again in the cocoa-confectioner's sugar dust. These snowballs don't need refrigeration -- just store in an airtight container. Makes about 4 dozen Muddy Snowballs.
KIDS' STEPS: Kids can help mix the cookie dough, shape it into balls, and roll the balls in the cocoa-confectioner's sugar mud.