Monday, December 27, 2010

Melting Snowman Cookies

There was a time in my life, where I looked forward with glee to snow days. Snow days meant sleeping late, missing school, sitting inside in my pajamas, watching bad movies and seeing the snow plows drive by. Unfortunately today I am an adult older, and huge snowfalls means canceled plans, missing work, commuting woes and other unpleasant things. In fact, I think it's safe to say, that I don't really like snow at all anymore. Except, perhaps, when it comes in uber-adorable cookie form. 
That's right, these cookies are in fact super cute melting snowmen. (I can't take any of the credit for the idea, it came from here and here.) And you don't need any crazy ingredients or fancy techniques to make them. So let me show you how.
Start off, with some sugar cookie dough. I used my favorite recipe, which I shared below, but you could use any you want. I then pinched off pieces of the dough and flattened them into slightly misshapen blobs. You could also roll it out and cut blobby shapes out - or even normal circles.

After your cookies have baked, whip up a batch of royal icing. I provided my recipe below - you could use any, as long as you thin it out so its fairly runny. Then, with your cookies on parchment paper,  spread the icing over each of the cooled cookies, making sure that a little drips over the sides in a few places. You don't want too much to pool on the parchment paper, just a little puddle.
Right after you finish with the icing, place the marshmallows on a microwave-safe plate, and zap them for 20 to 25 seconds. You want them to puff up considerably, but not explode (obviously). While they're microwaving - grease up your fingers (I sprayed mine with cooking spray). Pull them out, then carefully lift each one and place them on the cookies. 
Now comes the fun part - decorating. I used an edible ink pen (you can find them at most craft or baking supply stores) to draw on the arms, and the faces. For the buttoms, I used a combination of icing, mini chocolate chips, and sugar pearls for some variation.
Some of the snowmen seemed quite happy with their impending deaths..some were sad, some were pretty shocked at the occurence. 
Luckily I think there will be hundreds of new snowmen formed today. 

This is what the view out my front door looked like at around 1 a.m. this morning.  

And this is at 8:30 a.m., when I realized that I was stranded here for the day. 

P.S. I realized when I was editing photos for today's post, that I have several "process" photos for the honeycomb candy from last week that I forgot to post. For such a 'technical' recipe, I thought they would be helpful, so I've updated the original post if you think you'll be making it. (And I recommend you do).


Tip of the Day: When using royal icing to decorate cookies, think out  your timing carefully. If you want some chocolate chips or sprinkles to adhere, it's best to drop them on before the icing has set. If you're not careful though, you could mar the smooth surface. And if you want to draw on the icing with edible pens, it needs to be completely and totally set.


Recipe: Makes 15 to 20 Melting Snowman Cookies
Sugar Cookies (recipe below)
Royal Icing (recipe below) 
15 to 20 marshmallows
Edible pen
Mini chocolate chips


Make and bake the cookies and icing as per the below recipes. Let the cookies cool, and spread the thinned out icing over the cookies, letting some drip over the edges. 
Place the marshmallows on a microwave-safe plate and zap them for 20 to 25 seconds until puffed out. With greased fingers, carefully place them (and smoosh down slightly) on the cookies, trying not to disrupt the icing. 
If using mini chocolate chips or pearl sprinkles, carefully place three in a row below the marshmallow. 
Let the icing dry completely - at least an hour. 
Using the ink pen, add on arms and faces to your cookies. Enjoy!



Sugar Cookies:
1/2 cups (1 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Beat together butter and sugar until light and creamy. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
Gradually mix in flour, baking powder and salt. Shape the dough into two balls, flatten, and wrap in plastic wrap. Freeze for an hour or two (or refrigerate overnight). Either pinch of pieces of dough and flatten or roll it out and cut out shapes. Bake the cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet for 10 to 13 minutes at 350F, without letting them get brown. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

Royal Icing: (makes more than enough)

3 egg whites
3 teaspoons lemon juice
1 pound confectioner's sugar

Beat the egg whites and lemon juice together.
Gradually add in the sifted sugar on low speed until smooth. Beat for several minutes until shiny.
Use immediately or cover and refrigerate or it will begin to harden.
For this recipe - thin the icing out (with water) until you can swirl a spoon through it, and the mark will disappear in a second or two. Only add a tablespoon or so at a time.

16 comments:

  1. i seriously want to eat these. right now. but i'm too many miles away. please save some? or make them with me later?

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  2. They're all gone Sarah... they were delish and adorable.

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  3. Joanna from ColoradoDecember 29, 2010 at 2:32 PM

    So cute! And you guys are taking all our snow. We've barely gotten a dusting. I was seriously thinking about bike riding 2 days ago. :)

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  4. Joanna - You can have it back. I'm happy to ship some over to you.

    -Amy

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  5. That is too cute!!! Very clever.

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  6. You could seriously use those pictures as Christmas cards! I know it's a pain, but how beautiful!

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  7. how much icing does the recipe make? im just wondering if i can use less sugar because i will only be making a small batch of cookies and dont want to be left over with a bunch of icing.

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  8. If you're only making a small batch of cookies you could definitely cut it down - try with only 2 egg whites perhaps. It's hard to give a more definite answer since I don't know what a "small batch" is and everyone's "snow puddles" will be different. If you're making, say, a dozen cookies, you could probably use just one egg white and adjust the rest of the ingredients accordingly.
    -Amy

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  9. I am sorry to be so complicated but what is an edible pen? I'm not an expert lol but I was planning on making about 60 cookies for my daughters JK/SK class.

    Thanks a bunch

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jamie -
      Edible pens are pens filled with edible ink that you can buy at most craft stores or specialty baking shops. I have the Wilton brand: Wilton Extra-Fine Foodwriter Markers

      If you really can't find them anywhere you can probably use a tooth pick dipped in some black food coloring to make the eyes, though it may not be as exact.
      Good luck, tell me how it goes!
      -Amy

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  10. Can these cookies be frozrn for later use?

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    Replies
    1. I'm not really sure as I've never tried - I don't think marshmallows really freeze so well, so you could do all the steps up to the marshmallows and then they'd freeze nicely.
      Thanks!
      -Amy

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  11. Did you draw on the marshmallows afyer you set the on cookies?

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    Replies
    1. Yup, I let them set on the cookies for a couple minutes (so they're no longer warm out of the microwave) and then drew on them.

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