Memories of Christmases of our childhood are magical. In my family, it is not just celebrating Christ’s birth, lighting the advent candle, singing Christmas songs or rehearsing for school concerts, it’s a month-long season of baking Christmas Snowflake Cookies.
My children love these cookies. I actually like them without the icing but my children love the decorated cookies. My daughter and I have a lot of fun decorating these cookies. We run an efficient assembly-line operation with me squirting on the icing and she puts on the sprinkles before it dries. Every year we look forward to making these cookies and recently we started baking with my niece E too, making it a fun activity at Thanksgiving when the family got together.
I know people will say Crisco is bad for you, and I have tried substitutes for it in this recipe but it was not quite the same. Like others have said, do everything in moderation. Besides, we only make this around Christmas, what’s a little indulgence?
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup Crisco shortening
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
powdered sugar or icing sugar
food coloring-red and green colors
1. Mix the sugar, Crisco shortening, eggs and vanilla.
2. Stir in the flour, baking powder and salt.
3. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
4. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C)
5. Roll dough 1/8 inch thick on lightly floured surface.
6. Cut into shapes.
7. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake until light golden brown, about 6-8 minutes.
8. Remove cookies from the cookie sheet and allow to cool on a rack.
9. Decorate with icing if desired.
Blend, using a spoon, a few Tbsp powdered sugar and a few drops milk in a small bowl. Very little milk is required. If the icing is too watery, just add more powdered sugar. Stir in 1 or 2 drops of food coloring into the icing mixture.
(This recipe “Snowflake Cookies” is from the 1982 edition of Betty Crocker’s Cookie Book – a gift from my brother KH)
- In Taiwan where I live now, Crisco is not available and I found that using clarified butter works great, using the same measurements as Crisco. However, the cookies turn out a little bit harder but are still delicious.
- For easier cleaning up, roll out the dough between 2 large pieces of baking paper. Firstly, lay one piece of baking paper (the size of your rolling area) on the kitchen counter, dust it lightly with a bit of flour, then place the dough on the floured paper, next cover the dough with another piece of baking paper. Press on the top piece of paper to flatten the dough and apply the rolling pin back and forth over the top piece of baking paper. Lift off the baking paper to check on thickness. When it is of the right thickness (about 1/8th inch thick), you can cut out shapes using cookie cutter shapes like a Christmas tree shape or a star shape.
Coating the plastic spatula makes it easier for the cut shape to be transferred to the baking sheet.