How to Start a Family Tradition: Blizzzard Cookies

With holiday season upon us, (in our faces since – what – the day after Halloween now!?) you may have been preparing traditional family celebrations since the leaves began to turn. After all, it’s those traditions that make holidays so special. Doing the same activities, eating the same foods, wearing the same special clothes … these are the rituals that make the holidays meaningful and memorable. But family traditions don’t have to be limited to holiday celebrations. In fact, some of the most unforgettable and important traditions you can create with your family are likely to happen when celebrating life’s “small” moments.

Finding those unremarkable but unique moments is probably easier than you think. Maybe it means going apple picking together every fall or starting a once-a-week family game night. In our house, it’s simple stuff, such as letting our kids plan the dinner menu every Tuesday night or saving a piece of party cake in the freezer to enjoy on their half birthdays. A friend of ours invented Crazy Mixed-Up Day, which takes place in late August (when parents struggle to fill those last few days before school starts) and always kicks off with ice cream sundaes for breakfast – genius! Another started a fabulous tradition in her house years ago. Each year on the first big snow, she makes these super-simple fudgy cookies with her kids. She calls them Blizzard Cookies, and her whole family (and ours) looks forward to making them as soon as the first flakes begin to fall.

This recipe comes together quickly and easily with ingredients you’re likely to already have on hand – even if you’re snowed in!

Suzy Scherr, author of The Apple Cider Vinegar Companion, The Baking Soda Companion and The Honey Companion is a personal chef, writer and culinary instructor and busy mom with a knack for finding new ways to make being in the kitchen or at the table exciting, fun and accessible. Scherr teaches, cooks for and cooks with adults and kids, making delicious, healthy meals that utilize new products, unfamiliar ingredients and unique ways of incorporating everyday items.

Blizzard Cookies

Makes 20 to 24 cookies


1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/8 tsp. salt

5 tbsp. butter, melted

7 tbsp. cocoa powder

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup plain yogurt

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease or line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, combine melted butter, cocoa powder and sugars. Stir until the mixture resembles wet sand. Add the yogurt and vanilla and stir until combined.

4. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, stirring just until raw flour is no longer visible.

5. Drop by level tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart, on prepared baking sheets.

6. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until just barely set. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.