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Snowflake Cookies Tutorial
Includes Sugar Cookie Recipe, Gingerbread
Cookie Recipe, and Royal Icing Recipe
Timeline for making the Snowflake Cookies:
This is a three-day project for four dozen cookies with a fourth day for packaging.
Day One - Baking - Sugar Cookies or Gingerbread Cookies
Day Two - Outlining, filling, and letting cookies dry overnight.
Day Three - Detail piping and Sugar Sanding.
Day Four - I will be making this a four-day project because I have
chosen to put each cookie into a separate cello bag that is tied with raffia and a note.
Sugar Cookie Recipe:
Yields: makes many
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 10 min
1 cup granulated
4 ounces butter
4 ounces Crisco shortening
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose
1/2 teaspoon salt
Royal Icing (see recipe below)
If you can have your room on the cool side (I like 65° when baking), the fats and sugar whip
up much better.
Preheat oven to 350° F. In a
large mixing bowl, cream sugar, butter, and shortening approximately 3
minutes or until light and fluffy on medium speed. NOTE: I used my
Kitchen Aid for these recipes. If using a hand mixer you will need to cream
approximately 5 minutes.
Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla
extract; mix an additional 1 minute Add flour and salt; mix on high speed
until dough holds together. Add one or two tablespoons of water if
Form dough into two disks
(6-inch by 9-inch) and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2
hours but better if overnight.
When ready to roll the dough,
remove one dough disk at a time from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured
surface, roll disk about 3/16 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes with
Snowflake Cookie Cutters or
cookie cutters of your choice. Place 1-inch apart on ungreased baking sheet. Gather and
press all scraps together (you can re-roll and cut shapes but keep it cold). Refrigerate cut cookies (on baking sheet) at least 30 minutes. Don't cheat
on this especially if you have cutouts in the dough.
Remove from refrigerator and
bake 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges just start to brown. For my oven
(which was calibrated before this project) 8 minutes was just right. Remove
from oven and allow cookies to sit on the cookie sheet for a few minutes to
allow them to harden. Carefully move to a wire rack to cool completely
before decorating with Royal Icing (see recipe below).
4 ounces butter
4 ounces Crisco vegetable shortening
3/4 cup lightly-packed brown sugar
1/2 cup unsulphured molasses*
1 large egg
3 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon brown
Food Gel Color**
You can substitute
Kings Syrup or
Treacle for the
Gingerbread Cookie Recipe if you want a lighter colored cookie.
** Can be purchased online and at most craft stores.
Preheat oven to 350° F. Line two cookie sheets
with parchment paper and spray lightly with pan coating.
Cream the butter with flat paddle attachment
of electric mixer on high speed about 3 minutes or until soft. Beat in
sugar; continue beating for about 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in
molasses and then beat in egg, scraping down bowl once or twice.
Sift together flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking
soda, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter
mixture in three batches, mixing just until each batch is blended. Shape
into a large flat ball by hand, kneading a few times until smooth. Shape
into two disks (6-inch by 9-inch). Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at
least 2 hours or until firm enough to roll out. Overnight is best.
out dough on a lightly floured surface to 3/16" thickness. Cut out shapes as
desired using either a gingerbread person shape or any other of your choice.
Transfer to cookie sheets using a broad-angled spatula, leaving at least 1
inch between cookies. Place similar sized cookies on the same sheet. To make
hanging ornaments, punch holes in the tops of the shapes with a straw.
For Snowflake Cookies, bake for 9 1/2 to12
minutes depending on size, rotating pans front to back once during baking.
They should just begin to brown around the edges and feel firm to the touch.
Remove from oven and cool pans on wire racks for a few minutes; transfer
cookies to racks to cool completely. Let pans cool completely before
proceeding with next batch; you may reuse the parchment. Store in airtight
container at room temperature for up to two weeks or freeze for up to one
month. Decorate as you desire with Royal Icing.
Peggy's notes and comments on making these delightful cookies:
DOUGH: Use a mixture of
Crisco shortening and Butter. I know, I know, There will be lots of complaints here but
this is one time I found that in using the combination, the cookie is
tender, flavorful and held the cookie cutter design. Some of the cookies
that I made have cutouts. When I used just butter the cutout closed up and
the edges of the cookies just had ripples instead of points.
Keep the dough cold. I separated the dough into two parts after I
made it. I patted each half to 6-inch by 9-inch disks, wrapped them
in plastic wrap, and refrigerated. This shape allowed me to start
rolling quickly and helped with cutting out the snowflakes. After
rolling out and cutting the cookies, even if you are fast, put those
trays in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. It makes all the
difference in the world. The cookies edges come out beautiful
because the edges bake very quickly and hold the look before the
butter and the Crisco melt and make a puddled mess.
ROLLING DOUGH: To keep the cookie
dough from sticking, I combined one (1) part powdered (confectioners') sugar to one (1) part
flour. I had no problem with dough sticking to the counter and the cookie
wasn't damaged by to much flour being added to the recipe, causing
Roll out your Sugar Cookie dough 3/16-inch thick. The
1/8-inch cookie broke, 1/4-inch was tough. I'm lucky that I have a husband
that has a work shop. He made for me a set of "Baking Gages". They are two
strips of maple, 16 -inches long and 1-inch wide. The depth is 1/8-inch,
3/16-inch, and 1/4-inch. I tried all three and decided that the 3/16-inch is
by far the best. You can get the gages at many baking stores or internet
sites. I now feel these are a necessity for all my baking and all our
daughters are getting them for Christmas. They made rolling out so easy. The
best thing is that everything is uniform and all bake evenly.
BAKING SHEETS:; I tried four different
My husband and the neighbor both voted on the cheap sheets. The
air-bake was a very soft cookie. When I tried baking longer, the cookie just
seemed dried out. The heavy steel sheet burned the bottom but was soggy in
the middle. The stoneware sheet took five more minutes to bake and had to be
completely cooled before baking the next batch. The cheap sheet, in eight
minutes, gave me a strong bottomed but tender cookie that was a very lightly
golden. Exactly what I was looking for. Also I didn't have to use a nonstick
spray or parchment to keep the cookies from sticking.
COOLING: After baking, let the cookies
sit on the tray for a few minutes to cool otherwise you take a change of
breaking off the snowflake points. Also use a thin metal spatula to remove
cookies from the tray to a cooling rack. If necessary dust the spatula with
a bit of the flour and powdered sugar mix to keep things from sticking.
COOKIE CUTTERS USED:
Snowflake Cookie Cutters, click on the underlined.
Snowflake cutter #38327, 4 7/8-inch
Cutter #38334, 4 7/8-inch
Five-piece snowflake cutter set, they are from 5/8 inch
to 4 5/8-inch
I chose this recipe because I can get Just Whites at my market. I had problems getting the Meringue Powder
that is recommended in many recipes. Raw Egg Whites is not advised to use these days.
Warning: Any grease will break down icing. Remember if the icing is too dry, add water a few drops at a
time. If icing is too moist, add more powdered sugar. It's as simple as that.
1 pound fondant or powdered (confectioners') sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter
5 1/4 teaspoons
Egg White/Meringue Powder
6 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In a large mixing bowl, stir together powdered sugar, cream of tartar, and powdered egg whites. Add water and vanilla extract; beat at low speed until sugar is dissolved, then at
high speed about 10 minutes or until mixture is light and fluffy (icing must
hold its shape before using). Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth to prevent drying.
NOTE: I spooned 1/2 of this mixture into a 10-inch piping bag fitted with a
#2 decorating tip. I liked putting a "Chip Clip" on the top of the bag to keep it closed and twisting the bag to get
the icing to flow. By twisting, I used a lot less hand pressure and didn't tire out so easily. Put the piping bag tip side down in a glass that has a
damp paper towel in the bottom. This will keep the icing hardening up like cement while you attend to other life duties.
To the second 1/2 of the
icing, I added water, a teaspoon at a time and mixed well until the
consistency of heavy whipping cream. Then I poured it into a squeezable
bottle with a cap and stored the bottle upside down in a glass. I outlined
the cookie with the pastry bag and let them sit for a few minutes, Then
flood the icing from the squeeze bottle, with a back and forth motion over
the whole area. If necessary use a knife to smooth all over the cookie and a
toothpick comes in handy for getting rid of tiny bubbles and filling little
holes. Set aside and let dry overnight.
Next day, pipe your designs. I
had eight drawings of patterns that I made up, so I taped them on my dish
closet door right in front of my face for fast reference. The drawing were
the basic idea and every cookie ended up with different points, curls,
swirls and dots. Let dry overnight then package.