Snowflake Sugar Cookies

Continuing with our holiday baking are these snowflake sugar cookies! The thing I love about sugar cookies is that they are so versatile. Sure… they may look and taste plain at first, but they are essentially a blank canvas for you to decorate! This christmas, I decided to make snowflake sugar cookies because quite frankly… my cookie cutter selection is quite limited so I worked with what I had.. I definitely want to stock up on more cookie cutter shapes next year!

Decorating sugar cookies is quite the art – one I have yet to perfect. Just recently did I get the consistency of the royal icing just right so that it doesn’t run all over the cookie upon piping it. What I still currently struggle with is having the right control when piping the outline. In essence, I have trouble staying inside the lines when coloring -_- Luckily, there were enough cookies that by the time I decorated the last few, I finally started to get the hang of it!

This sugar cookie recipe is my go to. It usually makes a pretty large batch but I try to either halve it or just freeze the rest for another occasion. These sugar cookies are not only perfect for the holidays, but can be great for bake sales or any other occasion where you have an excuse to be creative. For instructions, see below.

Snowflake Sugar Cookies

Yield: 15

Snowflake Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Royal icing to decorate

Instructions

  1. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Then, beat in eggs and vanilla.
  2. Stir in the sifted flour, baking powder, and salt and mix until combined.
  3. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
  4. Preheat oven to 400. Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or Silpat.
  5. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven until the edges start to brown a little. Make sure not to overbake them or they won't retain their white/creamy color. Cool completely (approximately 15 mins).
  6. Once fully cooled, you can decorate them with royal icing.
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Gingerbread Cookie Bars

Tis the season for holiday baking! I love to bake all year round regardless of the time of year but I feel extra festive during Christmas 🙂

One of my favourite holiday treats are gingerbread cookies. I love the kick that the spices have to offer and the opportunity to decorate them make it extra fun. While I was browsing Pinterest (my muse and inspirational god), I stumbled across gingerbread bars and thought “Oh how cool is that, I’ve never really made a cookie bar before” and given all the Christmas dinners we have coming up, now is the best time to make them.

These gingerbread cookie bars have the texture of a chewy brownie and the flavour of a gingerbread cookie. They actually taste fine on their own but if you want to be extra festive, the cream cheese frosting serves a a beautiful canvas to your holiday garnishing/decorations. I opted for the christmas-y sprinkles and crushed candy canes.

We have a lot of friends who don’t like cream cheese (or frosting for that matter) so I decided to half the batch of cream cheese frosting so that some bars have it while others don’t. It worked out really well!

I would’ve eaten more bars but today was full of non-stop eating. However, I always have an extra stomach just for dessert and was able to squeeze in a small piece but I just wish I had space to eat more 🙁

This is going to be a tough month with all the christmas dinners and gatherings – I’ll be busting at the seams 24/7. Does not help that my gym membership is also expiring end of this year…. O_O

To find out how I made these bars, see recipe below which I adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything. I increased the amount of ground ginger by 1/2 tsp as I personally like it more gingery. I also halved the cream cheese frosting recipe listed below given a number of our friends don’t like it.

If you don’t want these bars to be too dry, be sure to underbake them a little bit as the residual heat from the pan will cook the rest without drying them out 🙂

Gingerbread Cookie Bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 24

Gingerbread Cookie Bars

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    Cream cheese frosting
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Christmas sprinkles/crushed candy canes to garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13-inch baking dish with parchment paper for easy removal once you're done baking.
  2. In a Kitchenaid stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and molasses on medium speed until creamy and somewhat pale. Then, add the egg and stir until completely incorporated.
  3. Add baking soda, flour, spices, and salt and mix until well combined. Spread dough evenly into prepared pan using a rubber spatula making sure to press the dough to the edges of the pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes, ensuring not to overbake. Once the top starts to flatten I do a quick toothpick test and take it out to cool. The residual heat from the pan usually cooks the rest.
  4. When bars have cooled, you can leave it as is or frost with cream cheese frosting.
  5. Cut into squares and serve.
  6. For the frosting: Cream together the butter and cream cheese. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Slowly mix on low and then beat it on high until fluffy.
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