How to Make Delicious Snowflake Cookies This Winter
There's nothing like perfectly baked cookies for the holiday season. While you still have months to prepare for the winter months there's no time like the present to begin working on delicious treats for yourself, friends, and family. Snowflake cookies are fun, can go with any holiday celebration, and there are enough decorating options to keep the cookies unique and interesting. Plus, if you have young children you can make delicious snowflake cookies and have them decorate the treats as an activity. So here's everything you need to know about making these delicious cookies.
There are a handful of sugar cookie recipes. Most of these recipes are more or less the same, but feel free to experiment with the recipes. That is one of the beautiful aspects of sugar cookies, and with baking. So while you can't go wrong with this recipe, feel free to switch out to use a different kind of extract, swap in a sugar substitute, or test around until you have the perfect sugar cookie recipe.
The standard ingredients you'll need include:
For the icing you can add your own kind of icing, or you can create edible paint icing and use the following ingredients:
If you want to add additional design features to the cookies you can also use garnishes like sugar pearls, sparkling sugar, or silver dragees.
To begin making the sugar cookies, you'll want to combine the butter and sugar in a large bowl. You can use a hand crank, whisk it yourself, or use an electric mixer set at medium speed. Once everything is mixed completely add in the eggs and beat until you have a wispy liquid. Combine the almond and vanilla extracts into the bowl.
Setting the Dough
In a separate bowl, add in the flower, salt, and baking powder. Now, slowly add in the sugar mixture you just made. You'll want to beat the mixture as you pour it in. This is easiest to do if you pour slowly. Once you have combined everything ,you'll want to beat out any air bubbles and then let the dough sit in the bowl (covered in plastic wrap) inside your refrigerator for an hour.
Preparing to Bake
After the hour you'll want to remove the bowl from the fridge and then preheat your oven to 350 degrees. As the oven heats, line two baking sheets with parchment paper. You can purchase disposable parchment paper or there are parchment pad options you simply wipe off and reuse. If you are an avid baker, one of the best investments you'll make is the reusable option (it will pay for itself after two or three rolls of parchment paper are saved).
To continue making the snowflake cookies, you'll want to lightly flour a clean surface and then roll out the dough. Your goal is to shoot for a 1/4 inch thickness. With the dough rolled out use different snowflake cookie cutters and place the cut out cookies onto the baking sheets, giving each around two inches or so in between the other cookies.
Chill the dough in the fridge for 15 minutes or so, then insert into the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Keep an eye on the cookies as you bake. If you notice the cookies begin to turn brown, you'll want to remove the snowflake cookies from the oven. It is a good idea to invest in an oven thermometer you can keep inside the oven. This way, you'll always know the temperature inside the oven.
When the snowflake cookies are ready, remove them from the oven and take them off of the baking sheet (if you don't, the bottom of the cookies might continue to bake and then slightly burn). Allow the cookies to cool for around two minutes or so. Once the two minutes have passed, you're ready to begin frosting and decorating the cookies.
Making the Edible Paint
In order to make the edible paint, you'll want to take out a medium bowl and add in the meringue powder and water. Mix the two together until you have a foamy substance. Now slowly add in the confectioners' sugar as you mix. Eventually you'll have a smooth material. To complete the edible paint, you'll want to add in the desired food coloring.
Of course, you can always divvy out the edible paint into different containers before adding in the food coloring. This way, you have a number of paint colors to choose from.
Decorating the Snowflake Cookies
Now that the cookies have finished baking and you have the edible paint, it's time to begin decorating the cookies. You can use the edible paint to draw in whatever kinds of designs you want. You can also use the silver dragees, sparkling sugar, or sugar pearls. You can also go more festive and use items like sugar plums or other snacks that are mentioned in holiday songs.
Sugar Cookie Tips
There's no wrong time to make sugar cookies, even if you're making snowflake cookies. However, whether this is the first time you've made sugar cookies before or it's the 50th, there is always something new you can learn.
Different Sized Cutters
First, in order to create an authentic appearance for your snowflake cookies, you'll want to use different sized cutters. This way the cookies do not all look exactly the same. Instead, you want to use the different sized cookie cutters and then have fun and adjust the decorating of the cookies. This is another reason why having kids help you decorate the different cookie sizes is a great option. It will help ensure all the cookies look different.
Make Sure All the Cookies Are the Same Thickness
One problem you may run into is if the rolled out dough is thicker than a quarter inch. Should this happen, some cookies will cook differently than others. The last thing you want is for this to happen. If it does, it means some of the cookies will burn or other cookies will end up under-cooked and too soft. Instead it is easier to maintain the thickness of cookies.
Let the Cookies Cool before Decorating
It's a good idea to let the cookies cool before decorating. If you attempt to decorate the cookies prior to returning to room temperature, the edible paint might blister or bubble, which will reduce the visual appearance of the cookies.
Keeping the Soft Texture of the Cookies
One of the benefits of cooking with frosting free cookies (at the time of baking) is you can monitor the color of the cookies more easily. You want to remove the cookies as soon as you see the darker color around the cookie. If you wait too long, not only will the cookies be ruined but you'll end up with hard cookies that crumble and fall apart after biting.
By taking the cookies out as soon as you notice the slight color differential, you'll set yourself up for some of the best cookies possible.
Using Different Frosting Options
You are more than welcome to use the provided frosting recipe. However, there are plenty of other options out there. First, you can use a store bought frosting if you are in a pinch. Usually these frostings have more sugar, which is why you may initially like it but then find the frosting too sweet. If you make the frosting yourself, you can control the amount of sugar that is in your cookie and avoid the overly sweet taste and texture of some cookies.
Of course, you can always use a different kind of cookie if you would like. You might want to go with heavy frosting and then add sprinkles over top. Or maybe you want to go with some basic frosting features provided to you here. Whatever it is you decide one of the best ways to keep everyone happy wherever you are serving these kinds of cookies if to use different frosting techniques, different amounts of frosting and decorate each cookie snowflake just a little different from the other options out there.
Delicious snowflake cookies are great for the holidays, but you can still break out the recipe at any time of the year. Perhaps in the middle of the summer you'd like to whip up something ironic in the form of a snowflake. Or maybe you want the cookies to be perfect for guests, a party, or other activities taking place during the holidays. Whenever you might want to break out these delicious snowflake cookies, you'll be able to do just that. Best of all, they are easy to make, it doesn't take much to follow the instructions, and with just a little effort you'll have great tasting cookies to serve up to friends and family.