Snowflake cookies

When my sister messaged asking what my husband wanted for Christmas, he answered all he wanted was “white Christmas” and world peace. She probably rolled her eyes and decided to give him a pair of socks.

I, of course, would love to fulfill his wishes. World peace is somewhat out of my reach, but I might try to do a snow dance when the time is right. In the meantime, I made snowflake cookies. They might help, too, you never now. It’s kind of a “cookie visualization”.

The cookies are from my favorite Christmas-cookie-baking-book. What? you don’t own several Christmas-cookie-baking-books? Well, I do, and I can tell you, this is a really good one– recipes for cookies both classic and original, always tasty and always pretty. It’s in German though and that might make it kinda incomprehensible to most of you, but I’m here to mediate. By the way, out of the 6 books I have ever bothered to read in German two were cookbooks, 3 were gardening/permaculture books and one is a novel – one of my all time favorite novels (available in English).

The cookies contain a little grated almonds and zest in the dough, and are both glazed and decorated. That might make them seem a little complicated, but they ‘re not difficult. And pretty pretty is worth a little effort, right?

Note on icing: the recipe will make more than you need and I use one batch to decorate both these cookies and gingerbread cookies.

One year ago: Star tower cookies

Snowflake cookies

Adapted from Christa Schmedes: Weihnachtsbäckerei

the recipe said it would make 45 cookies, I got 90 – probably because my cookie cutters were smaller

250 g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
50 g ground blanched almonds
75 g (1/3 cup) sugar
zest of ½ lemon
175 g (1 ½ sticks) butter (cold), in small pieces
1 egg

Glaze:
100 g (3,5 ounces) icing sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice

Icing:
1 egg white
170 g (7 ounces) icing sugar
1 tsp lemon juice

In a large bowl, mix flour, ground almonds, sugar and lemon zest. Add cold butter and egg and mix everything quickly into a coherent dough. Wrap in cling film and put into fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius (350 F). Roll the dough on a well floured surface into the thickness of 3 mm (1/8 inch). Cut out shapes of your choice and put them on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes, until just beginning to color, but still pretty pale.

For the glaze:

In a medium bowl, mix icing sugar with lemon juice. If you think the glaze is too thick, you can add a little bit of water. Using a pastry brush, spread the glaze on the cookies and leave to dry.

Icing:

Mix the egg white with sugar and lemon juice until smooth and shiny. If the glaze is too thin, add a little sugar. If it is too thick, add a little lemon juice. Put the icing in a small, but firm plastic bag. Cut off one corner, making a tiny opening for the glaze. Pipe your design on the cookies by applying a steady pressure on the bag.

Let the icing dry completely before putting the cookies in an air-tight container and storing them in a cool room.

The cookies can be made 3 to 4 weeks before Christmas.

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