The Magic of Snowflakes
I think there is just something magical about snowflakes, especially when they first begin to fall. Maybe it's because I am from coastal mid-Atlantic where we may be bombarded by snow one year, and see two flakes the next winter. But when the air has that crisp "snow" smell, and those big snowflakes make that distinct sound when they hit the ground. . . it's just magical to me.
Even our Christmas elves- Howie and Buddy- think there's something magical about snowflakes. I suppose they watched the weather and saw that we weren't getting any snow for Christmas here on Maryland's Eastern Shore, and wanted to make sure my boys had snow for Christmas Eve. So they made lots of paper snowflakes, all shapes and sizes, and hung them from the ceiling near the tree. And if your elf is technology savy, he or she can find the online instructions (and videos too!) on how to make those big 3D snowflakes. You know, just in case they needed something else to do, besides having a marshmallow snowball fight in the kitchen or drawing faces with toothpaste on the bathroom mirror. Stupid elves, I wish they had a maid elf that traveled with them. . .
That brings me to snowflake cookies. Just like the real thing or the paper version, they can be simple or complicated, and all are sweet as can be! And you can make them all winter long- not just for the December holidays.
So may I present, snowflake cookies, six ways. I feel like I am on an episode of "Chopped". I hope I make it to the dessert round. That's my favorite part.
1. Snowman Snowflake
Snowflakes can be kinda finicky when I bake them. Ideally, I would roll out dough, refrigerate the dough disk, then cut out the snowflake on the chilled dough. But when there's limited time, I have to skip a few steps (like all the chilling stuff) and wing it. Which leads to wonky snowflakes at times. Add a some coal eyes, and a strategically placed carrot nose, and you got a snowman snowflake. And the wonkiness isn't AS noticeable. Sort of.
2. Poinsettia Snowflake
Got a few extra holiday royal icing transfers? Place them on a plain flooded snowflake and you're done! Check out these pretty royal icing poinsettia transfers from Sweet Sugarbelle. Make them a few weeks ahead of time, store them in a dry place, and they'll be ready when you are!
3. Simply Sugared
Just after flooding your cookie, strategically place some sugar pearls and sixlets, lightly sprinkle clear sanding sugar, tap off the excess sugar, and you're done! Go light on that flood though, or the weight of the sugar will make your snowflake melt and icing will run all over the place. Not pretty.
4. Airbrushed Stencil
Airbrushing stencils is really big in the cookie world right now. Although my stencil collection is steadily growing, I keep coming back to this quatrefoil stencil from The Cookie Countess on Etsy. For this cookie, I started with a dried white base, and airbrushed Amerimist Gold Sheen over the stencil. Accent with some sugar beads and you're done!
5. Piped Details
This is probably my preferred way to decorate snowflakes. I love the white-on-white (although I have been know to paint over the piping with gold). Start with really stiff consistency icing, and a Wilton #1 tip. I like to mark the center of the snowflake, and then work on each arm of the flake. What is sneaky about this technique, however, is that it's easy to get caught up in it. I will be piping away and look at the clock and realize that 15 minutes has passed. . . and I am still on the same snowflake. Maybe I need to set a timer. But then I would jump when it sounded and I would mess up and have to start all over.
I love to create needlepoint cookies. I would make a needlepoint design on any cookie that I could get a hold of. But that would result in me creating about 10 cookies over an 8 hour time frame, and that wouldn't be so good for business. I thought that the needlepoint design on the snowflake was just pretty and delicate. Kinda like the real snowflakes that I wish I could watch from my kitchen window. . .
So I hope you have enjoyed my Tour de Snowflakes. May you find some snowflake magic in your holiday season- whether it's the frozen type, paper type, or sugar type. And stop over to see my cookie friend Nancy at Seasons of Joy- she makes beautiful gingerbread snowflake ornaments for decorating your home!
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I'm Amy. Wife, Mom, former science teacher- and now full time cookie baker on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Pull up a chair and we'll create! I'll bring the coffee- maybe Mike (The Cookie Widower) will make it for us.