12/11/08

8 Super Soft Sugar Snowflake Cookies {VIDEO}

Snowflake Soft Sugar CookieIt's only *gasp* two weeks till Christmas and I have been thinking of snowflakes. More importantly, sugar cookie snowflakes.


Everyone has their favorite sugar cookie recipe. Some people like thin, crispy, buttery cookies. Others like thick, soft cookies. I like them both, but this is the recipe that my mother used and I use for my family. Keep the tradition. Keep the memories.

UPDATE! I have created a video of making these Sugar Cookies! Enjoy!



Put 1 1/2 c. sugar and 1 c. shortening in mixing bowl.












Add eggs and mix well. Look at that color!












Measure 1 c. milk.








Put your dry ingredients in a bowl. When measuring the flour, I use the stir scrape method. I 'swirl' my measuring cup in the flour to lighten it and scrape the top with the flat edge of a table knife. Then add baking powder and salt.








Now, alternate your milk with your dry ingredients.
This means a little milk, mix well; a little bit of flour, mix well; and repeat till all ingredients have been thoroughly mixed in. Kind of like lather, rinse, repeat.








This is what it should look like. Oh, I forgot to put the vanilla in!
Should have put that in with the eggs, but don't worry, it's fine.








Now put plastic wrap over the top of the bowl and let that baby rest in the fridge for at least an hour...time to give yourself a break!

(Check out my newest trick for perfectly rolled 1/4" cookies...every time! )



Flour a clean surface and plop down half of your dough. Smooth it out with your hands and form a small disc.

You may have to pick it up to make sure you have enough flour under your dough. Remember that you don't want to add too much flour which will make your cookies heavier.









Using this TIP is even easier to make perfectly even, 1/4" cookies... every time!

Remove the excess cookie dough and slide your baking mat onto the bottom of a large cookie sheet.









Now comes a fun part. Dip your cookie cutter in flour and cut your rolled out dough. If you are lucky enough to have it stick to the cutter, gently shake it onto your greased baking sheet.
If not, slide a thin metal spatula and gently lift cut cookie onto baking sheet.



I found a darling 5" snowflake cookie cutter. I found out that I had to press firmly with both hands to ensure that I cut all the way around.

If you are trying this recipe for the first time, I suggest that you use a simple design to help with the transfer to the baking sheet.



(or...check out this tip for ROUND COOKIES: you can use a cookie scoop...just flatten the tops with a floured drinking glass...so easy!)

Roll up the scraps and put them in plastic wrap and put in the fridge. We want this to stay cold for easier rolling and cutting!

Repeat with other half of dough. Put scraps together with 1st heap of scraps. Roll, cut, scrap, repeat!




Bake until they are very light in color and not brown. You can test the cookie by touching it lightly. If an indentation stays, you need to bake for 1-2 minutes. Watch carefully! They can over brown in less than a minute.

Oh, look how cute! Don't worry about the fold lines...that one was made from scraps and will be frosted soon.....unless...you want to eat it without frosting....they're good that way, too!


Look how nice and golden brown it is on the bottom. Oh, and NEVER put cookie dough on a HOT baking sheet (they will over bake)....I put my hot cookie sheets in the cold air for a couple of minutes to cool down.

Now here's a fun part. Put on some Christmas music. Get the kids to help. It's time to decorate them!

I found this mini Wilton squirt decorating bottle for less than a dollar at our local craft store. I just squirt the frosting on and spread, spread, spread. Looking good so far...I let them dry before putting on the decorative lines on top and then sprinkle with some colored sugar sprinkles.




















Sugar Cookie Tips
AMAZING FROSTING BAG TIP!  easy fill, change colors, etc.

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Super Soft Sugar Cookies
Soft, cake like cookies that melt in your mouth are irresistible and can be enjoyed year round. Make sure you don't over mix the dough, chill it completely and it will be easier to roll out. Use only a light dusting of flour when rolling out - the more flour you use, the more dense the cookies will be.
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups all purpose flour, stir flour, measure and level with table knife
Instructions
1. In a mixing bowl of stand mixer, mix shortening and sugar until creamy.2. Add eggs and vanilla extract.3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.4. Alternate milk with dry ingredients, a little at a time.5. Cover and chill the dough for at least an hour. I prefer to chill the dough over night.6. Divide dough in half. Lightly flour a clean surface and roll out the chilled dough 1/4" thick.7. Using a floured cookie cutter, cut into desired shapes and place on a lightly greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking sheet. 8. Bake in a 3575°F preheated oven for 7-10 minutes, until set, but not overly brown. To test, lightly touch the tops of the cookies. Cookies should not leave an finger indentation. If there is an indent, add 1-2 additional minutes to cook time.  9. Allow cookies to cool on the hot baking sheet for 5 minutes. Remove from baking sheet to finish cooling on a wire cooling rack. 10. Frost as desired. 
Frosted cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Freeze cookies for up to 3 months. Cookie dough will only be good in the fridge for 24-48 hours and I do not recommend freezing the cookie dough.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 dozen (3") cookies



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Buttercream Frosting
A simple American style buttercream frosting mixes easily and will frost about 3 dozen (3") sized cookies. Make sure your butter is room temperature for easier mixing and decorating. The more powdered sugar you add, the stiffer your frosting will be. Whole milk and evaporated milk will give you a creamy texture.
Ingredients
  • 6 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 4 1/2 - 4 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk (can be whole, 1%, skim, or evaporated milk)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Instructions
1. In a small mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy.2. Gradually add about half the powdered sugar, beating well.3. Beat in the milk, a little bit at a time, till incorporated. Add the vanilla extract.4. Gradually beat in the remaining powdered sugar, a little bit at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Add additional milk, if necessary to make frosting a spreading consistency. Icing will keep at room temperature for 3 days. Put in fridge for up to one week. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Details
Prep time:10Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 pound, 5 oz


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Sugar Cookie Glaze
A smooth frosting that looks like a glaze, but pipes well for decorating. Tastes better than Royal icing, in my opinion!
Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons water
  • 1 Tablespoon butter, room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Instructions
1. Combine all the ingredients in a mixer bowl and mix until smooth and shiny.2. Place glaze in decorator bag or plastic squirt bottle and pipe the outline of the cookie. Allow to dry for 5 minutes.3. Using the squirt bottle or icing bag, fill the center of the cookie, "flooding" it with icing.4. Using a toothpick spread the icing into the corners and edges of the cookie. Allow to dry.
Details
Prep time: 5Cook time: Total time:5Yield: 
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