Regardless of presents, food and glittering tinsel, only one thing makes Christmas Day itself perfect for me. Snow! Beautiful thick white flakes, falling from the sky, erasing the landscape and brightening our days. In mere hours, falling snow turns our environment into a Winter Wonderland. Alas, it is rare that we experience a White Christmas. So, to ensure some Sparkling, I have made these Peppermint Sparkling Snowflake Cookies.
While these cookies do not taste of snow, they are cooling and refreshing, due to the peppermint flavour. Added to both the cookie and icing, the taste is balanced by the buttery flavour of the cookies. Perfect for serving after a large meal, these sparkling wonders are not at all heavy.
Cookie swaps are a common tradition in the U.S. and Canada. Everyone bakes up batches of their festive, Holiday cookies and then shares them with neighbours, friends and work colleagues. What a brilliant idea! Not only is there a whole lotta love baked into each cookie, new recipes and different flavours are swapped and shared.
Now that’s a tradition I’d happily see start over here!
Baking and icing these cookies is really so much fun. Since no two snowflakes are the same, you can really let your creative juices flow whilst decorating them. The semi-hard royal icing won’t break any teeth, yet it will set hard enough for these cookies to be stacked together. Perfect for packing into festive cellophane bags, tied with ribbon. Resulting in a beautiful edible gift, that anyone would be happy to receive.
My friend Liz, over at Teta Lizza’s Kitchen, baked a huge batch of cookies last year to take into work. She presented them so beautifully in a gorgeous basket. The overall effect was not only amazing to look at, but also incredibly enticing. I wanted to put my hand through the screen and grab
a handful one, of her fantastic bakes. Why not pop over to her beautiful website, where you’ll find her love of sweet things inspires some incredible cookies?
Recipe: Peppermint Sparkling Snowflake Cookies makes 15-20
225g/8oz Unsalted Butter softened
150g/5oz Caster Sugar
1/4tsp Salt – I use Maldon
1tsp Vanilla Extract – I only use Nielsen-Massey extracts
1tsp Peppermint Extract
1 Whole Large Free Range Egg
275g/10oz Plain White Flour
For the icing:
200g/7oz Sifted White Icing Sugar – or royal icing sugar
2tsp Meringue Powder (omit if using royal icing sugar)
2tsp Peppermint Extract
Silver balls and edible white glitter
You will also need a snowflake shaped cookie cutter approximately 10cm wide from tip to tip. A star cutter would also be effective.
Method: Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan, gas mark 3.5
- First of all, line 3 large baking trays with baking parchment.
- Next, in a large bowl whisk together the butter, sugar and salt until pale and creamy.
- Now add the whole egg, vanilla and peppermint extracts and whisk to fully combine.
- Sift the flour into the bowl and then stir with a spoon until the mixture comes together in large clumps.
- Wipe the worktop with a clean, wet cloth and then lay over a good sized piece of cling film. The wet worktop will cause the cling film to ‘stick’ and stay in place.
- Using your hand, bring the dough together and tip out on to the cling film.
- Form the dough into a disc shape and then wrap in the cling film.
- Now place the dough into the fridge and chill for at least an hour.
- On a lightly floured worktop, roll out the chilled cookie dough to approximately 1/4 inch/7mm thick. Note – the dough gets stickier the warmer it becomes. Use a dusting of flour to keep it moving, whilst rolling out.
- Cut out the cookies, placing them on the lined baking trays, spaced well apart. I placed 3 cookies on each tray.
- Place the baking trays into the preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. Rotate the baking trays halfway through baking. This ensures an even bake.
- While the first batch of cookies are baking, pull together the leftover cookie dough, wrap and place back into the fridge.
- The cookies are baked when they are golden in colour.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and allow to firm up for a couple of minutes, before transferring to a cooling rack.
- Allow the baking trays to cool completely then, flip over the baking parchment.
- Remove the cookie dough from the fridge, roll out and cut out the remaining cookies. Bringing the pieces of cookie dough together and re-rolling, until it is all used up.
- Bake the cookies as before.
- Allow the cookies to cool completely before icing.
- Preparing the peppermint icing:
- While the cookies are cooling prepare the icing to decorate with.
- Into the bowl containing the sifted icing sugar, add the meringue powder (not neccesary if using royal icing).
- Next add 2 teaspoons of peppermint extract and enough cold water 2-3 tablespoons to form a thick paste.
- Transfer the icing to an icing bag fitted with a small, round writing nozzle. Alternatively, use a disposable icing bag, just prior to icing snip the very end off to leave a small hole.
- Icing the cookies: –
- Note – have a butter knife, cocktail stick, kitchen roll and decorations to hand prior to starting.
- Touch the tip of the icing bag to the cookie, keeping even pressure on the bag, pipe a line across the cookie. Effectively drawing a line from one point to its opposite. Repeat, until you have a criss-cross design. Place a silver ball in the centre and the cookie is decorated. To continue decorating, starting at a smaller point on the edge, touch the tip of the piping bag to the cookie and pipe a star shape. Joining to the already piped criss-cross lines. Finish by adding final detail to the points of the cookie. Add silver balls to create different finishes on each snowflake cookie. Please see the photos for reference.
- Decorating tips – use a butter knife to remove accidental/dripped/wobbly icing. Ensure the silver balls are added before the icing sets, so that they stick. To fill in a piped star, pipe icing inside the already piped lines, then use a cocktail stick to spread it to the edges.
- Finally, dust the iced cookies with edible glitter and allow to set.
These Peppermint Sparkling Snowflake Cookies are almost hypnotic, with their beautiful sparkle, under the spotlights in our kitchen!
Store the cookies for up to one week in an airtight container.
Serve with a smile and for an indulgent treat a whipped cream topped hot chocolate 😉.
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Christmas is such a special time of the year. I’m fairly sure that it didn’t snow when the baby Jesus was born. Similarly I cannot imagine Mary and Joseph wishing for snow! Yet for me, snow on Christmas Day, really is the icing on top of the cookie!
I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and hope that you will take time, during the exciting festivities, to remember the real reason we celebrate it.