As a child, one of my favorite winter activities was cutting out paper snowflakes. Each flake was beautiful and every design an original. As an adult, I love making decorated cookies, but I sure don’t want the endeavor to take days. Snowflake Cookies are fun to create and, with the use of stencils, designing gorgeous cookies just got a whole lot easier.
When I saw these stenciled Christmas ornaments at Michaels’, I wondered if I could use them as cookie decorating stencils. I had some of my favorite Butter Cookie dough in the freezer and couldn’t wait to get home to see if the stencils would work.
Once the dough thawed, I used a round cookie cutter to cut out the cookies. After the cookies were baked and cooled, I iced them with my favorite cookie icing, let them dry just enough to place the (washed & dried) ornament stencil on top without sticking (too much) then sprinkled colored sugar over the entire cookie. I shook off the excess sugar and stood back to admire my handiwork. They were gorgeous and exactly as I had imagined.
The great thing about decorating cookies like this is there many foam and wooden stencil ornaments one can find. The Michaels’ ornaments aren’t still available online, but I did find several other options on the Internet including these ETSY Snowflake Ornaments or Fancy Flours Snowflake Ornaments. Just take a little time to search Laser Cut Snowflake Ornaments online to find some that will work for you.
In 1885, Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley became the first person to photograph a single snow crystal. In his lifetime, he photographed more than 5000 snowflakes and never found any two alike.
“Under the microscope, I found that snowflakes were miracles of beauty; and it seemed a shame that this beauty should not be seen and appreciated by others. Every crystal was a masterpiece of design and no one design was ever repeated. When a snowflake melted, that design was forever lost. Just that much beauty was gone, without leaving any record behind.”
Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley 1925
My Snowflake Cookies might not be actual “miracles of beauty” but they are delicious, beautiful and, drum-roll please, they are – easy!
A huge thanks to my daughter, Becky, for the beautiful photos she took of my cookies. Please check out her terrific blog and other gorgeous photos at The Cookie Rookie.
- 1 c. Butter - unsalted room temperature (226 grams)
- ? c. Sugar 135 grams
- 1 Egg
- 1 t. Lemon or Orange Zest optional - and I leave this out
- 1 t. Vanilla Extract
- ¼ t. Almond Extract
- 2¼ c. Flour 295 grams
- ¼ t. Salt
- ¼ t. Coarse Sea Salt
- Icing ingredients
- 4 c. Powdered Sugar - sifted
- 3 T. Corn Syrup
- 3 T. water
- ½ t. Almond Extract - can use Vanilla Extract
- Food coloring - white food coloring creates a more opaque white glaze opt.
- ¼ c corn sryup and ¼ c. water mixed together and set aside
- Sanding sugar or colored coarse sugar
- To Make the Cookies:
- Combine butter and sugar and beat until lighter in color and fluffy. (approx. 3-4 minutes)
- Beat in the egg, vanilla and almond until well blended. (this is when the lemon or orange zest is added, if using)
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture all at one time.
- Mix on low speed just until incorporated.
- This is how I prepare the dough for refrigeration:
- Lay out a sheet of parchment paper or waxed paper and sprinkle a little flour on top.
- Divide the dough equally into 2 portions (more if you have doubled the recipe).
- Using lightly floured hands, hold 1 portion of dough and gently shape it into a disc.
- Place the disk on the floured paper roll gently into a ¼ in. high oval or rectangle.
- Lift the paper and place it on a cookie sheet.
- Repeat the process until all the dough is used.
- Tightly cover the pan of all the layers of dough and refrigerate for at least two hours (or overnight).
- When ready to bake the cookies:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- When the oven has preheated, take out one sheet of dough at a time and cut into the desired cookie-cutter shapes.
- Place the cut-out dough on parchment covered cookie sheets and bake approx. 10-12 minutes or until the edges begin to turn.
- Take out of the oven, remove from the baking pan and cool on a cooling rack.
- Once completely cooled, the decorating fun can begin.
- Powder Sugar Glaze
- Sift the powdered sugar into a mixing bowl.
- Combine the corn syrup, milk (or water), and flavoring.
- Turn the mixer on low until everything is moist - scrape the bowl often.
- Turn the mixer to medium and mix until everything is well blended and smooth.
- (a little more syrup/water mixture might be needed at this point)
- To Decorate the Cookies:
- See my tutorial on decorating sugar cookies: http://www.thecookierookie.com/perfect-decorated-cookies/
- Glaze only 2-3 cookies at-a-time before sprinkling with sanding sugar.
- After 2-3 cookies have been glazed and the glaze has set just a little but is still moist, center a stenciled ornament on the top - press down very gently and sprinkle with the sanding sugar.
- Carefully, lift the stencil ornament straight up and off the cookie.
- Lift the cookie and gently shake off the excess sugar.
- Voila - beautiful cookies.
- Repeat until all cookies are decorated.