I’m hopeful that this might just be the year for a snowy winter. I’m not looking for multiple blizzards or anything crazy but a few inches every now and then brings me some simple joy. It’s enough to make a snowman and settle in for some hot chocolate and cookies afterwards.
While V has been obsessed with these very cool Star Wars snowflakes, I’ve been obsessed with the snowflake cookie cutters I picked up in a clearance sale last year. They came in a set with three snowflake sizes plus smaller pieces to cut designs.(Just like the one you see here) You can even make interesting designs with other things if you look around your kitchen. For example, I made these small holes with a plastic straw and just snipped off the part of the straw with dough in it to make more holes.
Speaking of cookies, tis the season for peppermint! Is there a better way to enjoy it than through baked goods? Peppermint + Chocolate + snowflake cutters = a cookie that screams winter. The recipe makes cookies that are crisp, refreshing and oh so beautiful. They are great for entertaining, cookies swaps, or gifting. In fact, I made them two weeks ago for the NYC Cookie Swap to benefit City Harvest and they were a big hit.
You can decorate these cookies anyway you want. I like to sprinkle them with shimmering gold and silver sugar. You could easily pipe on some royal icing too for some beautiful contrast with the chocolate cookie.
Remember though, as with any shaped cookie, your process really counts. When making these cookies, it’s important to chill the dough before cutting. This will help you cut them without getting dough stuck in the cutter. Freezing the cookies before baking will help them retain their shape while baking in the oven.
Chocolate Peppermint Snowflake Cookies
(adapted from Elisa Strauss’ Confetti Cakes Cookbook)
Yield: about 12 three inch cookies
11 oz all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
6 oz bittersweet chocolate
8 oz unsalted butter
8 oz sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda and set aside. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat. Stir until completely melted and set aside. In an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy on high speed. Add the egg and beat until combined. Add the extracts. Set the mixer to low speed and add the melted chocolate. Add the flour mixture in two batches, scraping down the bowl in between. Beat until the dough just comes together. Form the dough into a ball and wrap it in plastic. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Place the dough between two sheets of parchment and roll it out to a 1/4 inch thickness. Chill the dough for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the cookies out into the shapes you want. If the dough becomes sticky while you are cutting, put it back in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Place your cookies as you cut them on a sheet pan that will fit in your freezer. If you are using sugar sprinkles you can sprinkle them on now. Freeze the cut cookies for 15 minutes. If you need to transfer them to another sheet so they are evenly spaced do so now. Bake for about 8-10 minutes. Let the cookies cool.