Christmas Cookie #3: Gingerbread Snowflakes

Hello again!

So this next cookie recipe was probably
my favorite of all the cookies I’ve made this holiday season…and
maybe ever. Seriously, they were that good (in my humble opinion).
What cookies you ask? These Gingerbread Snowflakes…

Now normally, I’m not a huge
gingerbread fan. I prefer chewy cookies, and I usually think of
gingerbread cookies as being fairly dry and just kind of blah. But
seriously, you should give these cookies a chance because they may
just make you a gingerbread convert.

I actually got the inspiration to make
these cookies from one of my favorite blogs, Cupcakes and Cashmere,
because she raved about them and made them sound really delicious.
She cut hers out into these gorgeous little sparkly snowflakes, and
while I was reading her post I was wondering where she got her
adorable snowflake cookie cutter. At the bottom of her post she
mentioned the cookie cutter was from a set from Crate & Barrel
that had cookie cutters for all the seasons. I thought, now why does
that sound so familiar?

Umm maybe because Cam and I registered
at Crate and Barrel and I got the exact same set as a wedding gift
and haven’t ever used it…whoops. Well, I decided it was fate and
that I had to make these cookies, so I dug out my cookie cutter set,
rolled up my sleeves, and got to work.

The recipe for the cookies actually
comes from good ol’ Martha Stewart (and I noticed that another one of my favorite bloggers recently made the same recipe!), and it’s fairly
simple to make, but it does require a few more ingredients than you
may normally have on hand. 
Gingerbread Snowflakes


  1. Sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder into a large
    bowl. Set aside.

  2. Put butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer
    fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until fluffy. Mix
    in spices and salt, then eggs and molasses. Reduce speed to low. Add
    flour mixture; mix until just combined. Divide dough into thirds; wrap
    each in plastic. Refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour.

  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough on a lightly floured
    work surface to a 1/4-inch thick. Cut into snowflakes with a 7- inch
    snowflake-shape cookie cutter. Space 2 inches apart on baking sheets
    lined with parchment paper, and refrigerate until firm, about 15

  4. Bake cookies until crisp but not dark, 12 to 14 minutes. Let
    cool on sheets on wire racks.

  5. Put icing in a pastry bag fitted with a small plain round tip
    (such as Ateco #7). Pipe designs on snowflakes; immediately sprinkle
    with sanding sugar. Let stand 5 minutes; tap off excess sugar. Let icing
    set completely at room temperature, about 1 hour.

These cookie get their wonderfully
spicy flavor from these five ingredients:

(How funny is that Brer Rabbit
Molasses? It totally reminds me of Splash Mountain at Disney World!)

Like any rolled cut-out cookie, it’s
important to chill the dough before rolling it out.

Now in Martha’s recipe, she makes
larger cookies but any size cookie cutter will work. The fun part
comes after the cookies are baked—decorating! These cookies are
decorated with royal icing, which can be a little bit tricky if
you’ve never worked with it before, but it’s definitely worth the
effort for the beautiful finished product. Martha’s royal icing calls
for egg whites, but I’ve typically made royal icing with meringue
powder and that’s what I did for this recipe as well. Meringue powder
is not an item that you’ll typically find in your grocery store, but
most craft stores will carry it in the cake decorating section (I got
mine at Michael’s). The thing with royal icing is that it dries very
hard, which is great for doing intricate designs and putting together
cookie trays, however, it will also dry out when you’re making it if
you’re not careful! I actually ended up using this recipe from
Annie’s Eats, and I was really happy with the consistency. She’s also
got some great advice about how to make royal icing come out

Royal Icing
Recipe Source: Annie’s Eats 
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tbsp. meringue powder
5 tbsp. water

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with
the paddle attachment.  Mix on low speed until the sheen has disappeared
and the icing has a matte appearance (about 7-10 minutes).  Transfer
the contents of the mixing bowl to an air-tight container.  This will be
the stiffest consistency of the icing, and at this point it is still
too stiff to use for decorating.  Add water a very small amount at a
time and stir by hand until fully incorporated.  Continue until the
icing has reached a consistency appropriate for piping.

Now true confessions, I took cake
decorating classes back when I was in high school because I was
really that dorky cool. But it’s been forever since I’ve done
anything like that, and I’m extremely out of practice with a piping
bag. I actually just bought a set at Target that came with 4 metal
decorating tips and a bunch of plastic pastry bags and I’m pretty
sure it was only like $7, but obviously you’ll find more of a variety
of tips and supplies at a craft store with a cake decorating section.
Now I loved how delicate C&C’s snowflakes came out and I planned
on emulating that same look with my cookies. But it didn’t quite turn
out that way…the decorating tip I used was much thicker and it took
me a while to figure out how I was going to make it work. I ended up
doing a little bit different design with thicker lines, but I was
actually really happy with how it came out and I love the whimsical

Once I got the hang of decorating, I
went to town! (And yes, I did sanitize my counter before doing this!)
I topped my cookies with some silver sugar that I found at Target,
and I thought it was the perfect finishing touch.

These cookies are dense and
surprisingly chewy, and the spicy flavor is seriously addicting.
Gingerbread is obviously a classic Christmas flavor, but I think
cutting the dough out into snowflakes instead of people is a fun,
modern change of pace. Happy baking! Xoxo