Well, technically it's still November 30th but that's close enough for me. I am batshit crazy over Christmas, even though it is the busiest time of the year for me in terms of my job as a pastry cook. So, I kinda hate Christmas 'cause it means 12 hour days every day, but I also love it so so so much because, well, it's CHRISTMAS!!
I made Christmas snowflake sugar cookies (and gingerbread cookies) last year but this year I have upped my game! I bought new snowflake cutters back in March and have been absolutely itching to use them ever since. You'd think that buying snowflake cookie cutters in March would mean they're cheaper, right? Nope. Still cost me $40 for 4 cutters. But I neeeeeed them.
So this is the first post that will kick off the Christmas posts. All the posts from now until Christmas will be Christmas posts! Last year, I managed to do two posts per week but I am telling you right now that I am not doing that this year. I don't know how I managed to get the time to do that last year 'cause this year, I'm barely able to get the one-a-week out. I want to do two per week, I really do, but it ain't happening.
If these cookies look super intimidating - don't freak out!! They're actually really easy, especially if you use sanding sugar like I did. With sanding sugar, it makes everything look way better. If you're lines are a bit crooked or your dots are a bit lumpy, it just gets covered in sparkly sugar and it looks great! And the designs can be completely made up, like mine are. I just did some basic lines and then added some more lines and then some dots without really planning ahead.
So get your decorations out, put on the Christmas music, and start making your Christmas cookies!
150 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
112 g icing sugar
1 g salt
5 g vanilla extract
50 g eggs
250 g all-purpose flour
20 g cornstarch
400 g icing sugar50 g egg whites
Sanding sugar and silver dragées for decorating
For the cookies, cream the butter, salt, and icing sugar together on medium speed in an electric mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix until a homogenous mass is obtained, about 2 minutes.
Stop the mixer, add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix for a few seconds on low speed until the eggs are completely incorporated.
Stop the mixer, add the sifted flour and cornstarch, and mix for a few seconds, pulsing the mixer at first to keep the flour in the bowl. Mix just to obtain a homogenous mixture.
Shape the dough into a flat square and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill for 1 hour.
For the royal icing, combine the icing sugar and egg whites in the bowl on an electric mixer. Beat with a paddle for a few minutes. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with the smallest circular tip you have.
Preheat the oven 325 F.
Remove the dough from the fridge and let it sit out for 10 minutes. Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of parchment or 2 silpats to 5mm thick and cut out your desired shapes. Remove the surrounding dough, leaving the cookies on the parchment or silpat. Gently slide the parchment or silpat onto a baking sheet and refrigerate until firm, about 10 minutes.
Bake the cookies until lightly golden brown around the edges, about 10 minutes, depending on the size of your shapes. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
Pipe your desired designs onto the cookie using the royal icing. While it is still wet, place the cookie icing-side down in a shallow container of sanding sugar. Shake the container a little, take the cookie out, and brush off any sugar the has stuck to the cookie (sugar granules with mess you up when piping later). Pipe any additional designs. If you want to put on a dragee, do so while the icing is still wet. Let everything dry completely.