Born and raised in a tropical country means that snow is a magical event that happens only in films, cartoons and fairy tales. Years ago my husband and I had a pleasure to spend our Christmas in the charm city of Munich. We were walking in the middle of Marienplatz, just few hours before midnight in December 24th, when it started to snow. There was a huge Christmas tree all lined with beautiful lights, and the square was also totally decorated. And then everything became beautifully white. Could you image a better scenario to see snow for the first time? That was certainly one of the most beautiful and magical Christmas of my life.
The first snow of this winter in Beachwood was last Saturday. I could stay hours and hours watching the light snowflakes falling and slowly touching the branches of the trees and the last leaves of the autumn. That moment made me hypnotized because I always remembered my Christmas Eve in Munich and also my visit to the Bavarian Alps and The Schloss Neuschwanstein.
So I made these snowflakes cookies to celebrate this moment. Sugary cookies decorate with peppermint royal icing are perfect Christmas treats.
I wish you and yours a very wonderful Christmas!
Snowflakes Cookies Decorated with Peppermint Royal Icing
(from Martha Stewart Website)
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Assorted candies, sprinkles, or colored sugars, for decorating (optional)
In large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture; beat until combined. Divide dough in half; flatten into disks. Wrap each in plastic; freeze until firm, at least 20 minutes, or place in a resealable plastic bag, and freeze up to 3 months (thaw in refrigerator overnight).
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment. Remove one dough disk; let stand 5 to 10 minutes. Roll out 1/8 inch thick between two sheets of floured parchment, dusting dough with flour as needed. Cut shapes with cookie cutters. Using a spatula, transfer to prepared baking sheets. (If dough gets soft, chill 10 minutes.) Reroll scraps; cut shapes. Repeat with remaining dough.
Bake, rotating halfway through, until edges are golden, 10 to 18 minutes (depending on size). Cool completely on wire racks.
Peppermint Royal Icing
2 pounds confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons meringue powder
Scant 1 cup water, plus more if needed
1/2 tablespoon peppermint oil
With an electric mixer on low speed, beat ingredients until fluffy, 7 to 8 minutes. Use immediately, or transfer to an airtight container (royal icing hardens quickly when exposed to air) and refrigerate up to 1 week. Stir well with a flexible spatula before using.
Thin icing as needed by stirring in additional water, one teaspoon at a time. For piping designs, add just enough water that icing is no longer stiff; for floodwork, add water until icing is the consistency of honey.