Each Christmas, my mother makes hundreds of amazingly delicious cookies. My favorite batch is always the sugar cookies because growing up, these were the cookies she always allowed my brothers and me to decorate. We'd dump sprinkles and squeeze gobs of frosting onto each cookie, carefully swiping a finger full of decadent icing each time. Luckily, like my hair styles and fashion sense, my decorating skills have vastly improved over the years, and the batch I made this year is almost too pretty to eat!
The great thing about sugar cookies is that you can shape, mold and decorate them however you'd like! The key to a unique cookie is to think outside of the box. For example, I used cake and cupcake icing to make the white puffs in the middle, which give each snowflake a totally unique look. In nature, no snowflake ever looks the same, so why not apply the same rule to your cookies? Plus, these cookies have almost half the amount of butter of normal sugar cookies, so you can eat without the guilt! (And help Santa shave some pounds off that giant gut of his!)
Low-fat snowflake cookie recipe
Yields: 24 cookies
5 tablespoons soft butter
3/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (you can also use almond)
In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla, mixing well. In another bowl, carefully whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to the creamed butter mixture, one cup at a time, mixing in between additions. *Dough will be crumbly; it'll harden up.
Form a dough ball with dough and wrap tightly in plastic wrap or wax paper. Place in refrigerator and chill overnight.
Once dough has chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet in foil and liberally spray with cooking spray. Then, on a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to about a 1/4-inch thickness. Lightly flour the edgles of a snowflake cookie cutter and cut out shapes. Re-roll dough scraps and repeat until all dough is used.
Place cookies at least one inch apart and bake for eight to 12 minutes, or until cookies are golden brown. Place on a wire cooling rack and cool compeltely before frosting.
While cookies cool, prepare buttercream as directed. Carefully scoop frosting into a piping bag (with a 108 drop flower decorating tip). When cookies are cooled, decorate to your preference. To make the giant puff of "snow" in the middle like I did, just squeeze the buttercream into the middle until the center is covered. Sprinkle with gold sprinkles and enjoy!