In December last year I baked sugar cookies for my blessingway/baby shower and felt like I’d discovered cookie gold! I couldn’t have been happier with the results. A year later, with our mammoth trip and our son’s Lucia concert approaching, I tried to organise thank you gifts for his teachers in the midst of packing, cleaning, keeping up with social engagements and caring for the little ones. This year L’s teachers all received a hot chocolate mix jar, some mince pies and peppermint chocolate bark, but I wanted to make cookies too, so I fell back on my favourite sugar cookie recipe.
Not only do these cookies taste wonderful, they hold their shape and don’t spread or crack, which makes them perfect for decorating delicately with icing or fondant… or even for “cheating” your way to a decorated cookie, as I have done here…
I made this cookie dough 2 weeks in advance of baking the cookies, yet still felt the pressure of the ridiculous time crunch we were dealing with so, quite spontaneously, I invented* what could possibly be the easiest way to get a snowflake-decorated cookie effect, with an absolute minimum of work/preparation/mess/clean-up involved.
Interested in creating something pretty, festive and yummy whilst saving yourself a whole heap of time?
Read on, my friend…
FROSTY SNOWFLAKE-STAMPED SUGAR COOKIES
2.5 dl (250 ml) butter, softened
2.5 dl (250 ml) granulated sugar white, processed in food processor for 30 seconds
½ tsp salt
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
A couple of drops almond extract
6 dl (600 ml) all-purpose flour
White glitter/sparkling sugar for sprinkling
Snowflake fondant plunger cutters for stamping
Edible shimmer powder/pearl dust for brushing over
- Cream butter, sugar and salt with mixer set at medium speed for about 3 minutes or until light and fluffy.
- Add yolk and mix well. Add whole egg, vanilla and almond extract and mix until well-incorporated.
- Add flour, mixing at a low speed until just combined. Do not over-mix!
- Divide dough in halves and wrap in cling film**.
- Refrigerate until firm (at least one hour and up to 2 days).
- Preheat oven to 190 degrees C.
- Dust work surface and rolling-pin with flour. Roll dough to about half a centimeter thickness, sprinkling with additional flour as needed to prevent sticking. Cut into circles and place on baking paper-lined trays. And here’s where we get crafty!…
- Take a snowflake-shaped plunger cutter and stamp it down in the center of each cookie (the work of seconds!). Don’t be shy about it- you want to make a decent enough impression that you can clearly see a snowflake.
- Pinch a little glitter sugar between your fingers and sprinkle a little either over your snowflake “stamp” or in the space around it. Again, the work of seconds!
- Bake cookies in preheated oven for about 10 minutes or until they appear dry on the surface and are light golden brown on the edges (large cookies may take up to 12 or 13 minutes).
- Remove tray from oven and marvel at your cookies as they emerge ready-decorated! Allow cookies to cool on a wire rack.
- If you want to get extra fancy in the easiest of ways, quickly and lightly dust a little edible shimmer powder on the areas of your cookie that don’t have glitter sugar on them. This creates a lovely “frosty” effect that, once again, only takes seconds to achieve… and involves no preparation.
*I say “invented”, however I cannot know for sure if I am indeed the first person to think of this. In any case, I can honestly say I have not seen this on Pinterest or elsewhere yet.
**At step 4 you may wish to freeze in your dough for later use, as I did. My dough remained frozen for 2 weeks before I removed it and allowed it to defrost to a chilled temperature, before continuing the cookie-making process from step 7 onwards. So easy!
Cookie recipe adapted from this fabulous one from Karen’s Cookies.