Happy end-of-holidays, everyone! Who has baked up a storm in the past month? I certainly have. I wanted to share the treats I’ve made lately and particularly these melting snowmen cookies. They take time, but if you break up the cookie baking and cookie decorating into different days, they’re relaxing and fun to make. And heart-warmingly cute! I meant to post the recipe earlier since clearly these are Christmas/holiday cookies, but since they’re snowmen I suppose you could make them anytime it’s snowy. 🙂
In the past month I’ve made not one but two batches of cake batter cookies with green and red sprinkles, pecan bark, these snowmen cookies, chocolate-dipped pretzels, and a lot of homemade cinnamon pop tarts. Not to mention a baum kuchen, two rum cakes and these salted dark chocolate cookies. Things have been good. 😉
I was especially excited to try making these melting snowmen cookies after seeing some adorable ones on Instagram. I started by making these sugar cookies and topped them with Alton Brown’s royal icing. Because I get lazy after work, I made the dough one night, chilled it, baked the cookies another night, then iced them on a Saturday. I’d recommend splitting it up like that. Too often I have set out to make something carefully — for example, the Thanksgiving pie below! — then by the time I get around to the fun part (e.g. making a pretty lattice in the case of the pie) I’m too tired, hungry or over it to fully enjoy the fun/decorating part. I wanted these cookies to have their best shot at looking good so I made sure to thwart my own laziness by planning ahead.
So gobble up some melting snowmen cookies this winter — they’re easy, fun to make and you’ll love them! Decorating them would be a great holiday activity for young kids too.
- ¾ cup butter at room temperature
- ¾ cup white sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
- 3 egg whites, or about 3 oz egg whites
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups confectioner's sugar
- Red, blue and green food dye
- Large marshmallows
- Brown icing for the twig arms
- Black icing for the coal eyes
- Orange sprinkles for the nose or orange icing
- Optional: sprinkles for glittery scarves
- Beat the room-temperature butter on medium to high speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar and beat on high until light and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla extract and almond extract and beat on high until fully combined, about 2 minutes.
- Mix dry ingredients together in a separate bowl, then add them in two increments to the wet ingredients. Mix on low until just combined.
- Cover the dough and refrigerate for one hour, or up to 3 days.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Between two sheets of parchment paper, roll out the chilled dough with a rolling pin to about ⅛" thickness. Cut into circles; you can use the top of a glass as a guide.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the cookies are lightly colored on the edges and top.
- Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.
- In a large bowl, combine egg whites and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until frothy. Mix in confectioner's sugar on low speed until combined and shiny, then increase speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form, at least 5 minutes. If the icing is too thick, thin it with a little warm water, but note that it should be pretty thick: We're going to pour it slowly over the cookies and let it ooze slowly into a natural melting-snow puddle shape.
- Take a small portion of the icing and divide it into small bowls for dying red/blue/green/brown/black, to make the snowman scarves, eyes and arms.
- Cut a large marshmallow diagonally and place it off-center on a fully cooled cookie. With a large spoon, pour royal icing over the cookie and marshmallow. The marshmallow will create the melting-head shape. Let icing fully set.
- Once the royal icing has hardened, you can decorate your snowmen. Add black coal eyes, brown pine-cone buttons, an orange carrot nose, a colorful scarf around the neck, etc. To make a glittery scarf, pipe a little icing around the neck, then generously cover with sprinkles. Over a plate, shake off excess sprinkles. To add a carrot nose using an orange sprinkle, dab a small amount of icing onto the "face" as glue, then delicately place the orange sprinkle onto it.
- Let everything set and serve! If storing, you might not want to stack these since the faces may get smeared. However, if you must, place a piece of parchment paper between layers and store in an airtight bin. These can be frozen, but the royal icing tends to separate a little and get blotchy looking upon thawing.