December 5, 2022| By

Snowflake Cookies

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
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These festive snowflake cookies will put you right in the holiday spirit! Not only are they beautiful but they're buttery and delicious, too! Bring in the holiday season with this simple shortbread recipe and be the talk of your holiday cookie exchange!

For more cookie recipes, try these chocolate chip cookies and sprinkle sugar cookies!

a snowflake cookie standing up on a table with christmas bulbs around the cookie.

Can I just say that I've had christmas music on, my pine candles burning, and all of the christmas light decorations on all day? I am fully in holiday mode and I just adore this time of year.

This is my 8th cookie recipe for 12 days of cookies and I am not tried yet. In fact, this may be one of my favorite cookie recipes for this time of the year. Can you tell that I'm a bit of a cookie lover?

The cute snowflake shape with the snowflake piping designs on top - these cut out snowflake cookies are just too adorable. They may even be too pretty to eat - just kidding. In addition to being cute, they're absolutely delicious!

snowflake cookies arranged on top of a wooden table.

The cookie itself is a buttery vanilla shortbread cookie flavored with a little bit of almond extract for added flavor, similar to my sprinkle sugar cookies. The icing on top is a royal icing - perfect for decorating cookies with a nice sugary flavor.

What's awesome is that you can really get creative with these festive cookies. Don't worry if cookie decorating isn't your thing, this is an easy way to let your hair down and have some fun in the kitchen. Remembe

What You'll Need

  • Snowflake Cookie Cutter
  • Cookie Sheet
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Electric Mixer or Stand Mixer
  • Piping Bag
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Sprinkles (optional)

Ingredients

ingredients to make snowflake cookies - flour, salt, egg, egg yolk, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract, and butter.

Many snowflake cookies recipes call for a sugar cookies dough, however, for this recipe, we're making shortbread. I like shortbread because it's sturdier, doesn't spread in the oven, and is an easy dough to assemble. Here's what you'll need:

  • Unsalted butter - make sure to use softened butter for this recipe!
  • Sugar - for sweetness
  • Brown Sugar - I added just a tiny bit for moisture and flavor.
  • Egg and Egg Yolk - that extra egg yolk adds a nice chewy texture to these cookies and enhances the buttery flavor.
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Almond Extract - to add another bit of flavor to the cookies.
  • All Purpose Flour
  • Salt

For the royal icing recipe, you'll need three simple ingredients:

  • Powdered Sugar - be sure to sift your powdered sugar prior to using, it will eliminate any clumps and allow for the icing to come together easily.
  • Meringue Powder - if you can't find meringue powder, try using this royal icing recipe instead. It uses egg whites instead of meringue powder.
  • Water

Variations

Make these the best holiday cookies ever by adding your own spin. Here are some ideas:

  • try adding a little orange or lemon zest for a little citrus flavor.
  • add a bit of peppermint extract instead of almond extract to make these cookies taste like candy canes.
  • add a little bit of cinnamon and allspice to make these taste like gingerbread cookies (gingerbread snowflake cookies sounds delicious, doesn't it?)
  • try adding a little cocoa powder for a chocolatey spin!

Tips

  • When icing the cookies, remember that less is more. You only need a small amount of icing to create the cookie designs.
  • Practice on a piece of paper prior to adding your snowflake design to the cookies. It'll help map out the design in your head so that it comes out perfectly on the actual cookie.
  • If you don't like piping bags, you can also use a squeeze bottle when a funnel tip.

How to make Snowflake Cookies

Make the shortbread cookies

  • Cream butter, sugar, and brown sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix for 3 minutes, then add the egg and egg yolk and continue to mix. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add vanilla extract and almond extract. Mix for another minute. (Image 1)
butter and sugar creamed together in a mixing bowl.
  • Add your dry ingredients - flour and salt and mix until just combined. (Image 2)
flour added to the wet ingredients in a mixing bowls.
  • Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for one hour. (Image 3)
cookie dough covered in plastic wrap.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Add dough to a lightly floured work surface. Use a rolling pin to roll out the chilled dough until it's about a half inch thick. Use your snowflake cookie cutters to cut out shapes in the dough. Re-roll and repeat as needed. (Image 4)
cookie dough rolled out onto a surface with a snowflake cookie cutter pressed into the dough.
  • Place the snowflake cookies onto a baking sheet, spaced about 2 inches apart. These cookies won't spread much but still need enough space to cook. Do not overcrowd the baking sheet. I baked 8 cookies on each sheet. (Image 5)
snowflake cookies on a baking sheet.
  • Bake for 13-15 minutes, until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden brown. Allow the cookies to cool completely on the baking sheet.

Make the royal icing

royal icing whisked together in a mixing bowl.
  • Next step, make the royal icing. In a large bowl, combine powdered sugar, meringue powder, and 7-8 tbsps of water. Whisk for about 2 minutes, until the icing becomes thick (you can use a hand mixer if the icing becomes too thick to whisk).

Decorate the Cookies

  • Time to decorate! Once the cookies have cooled completely, add the royal icing to a pastry bag, fill about ½ way so that it's easier to pipe. Refill as needed. Use any remaining icing to either dip the cookies into as a bottom layer of icing. You can also split the icing into two bowls and add gel food coloring for a little color.
  • Cut a small slit off of the bottom of bag and begin piping your favorite design on the cookies. You can also use a piping tip here, just make sure it's a very small round tip.
snowflake cookies scattered around on a table.

Recipe FAQs

How do you make snowflake cookies without cookie cutters?

You can create your own stencil by drawing out a snowflake shape on a piece of paper. Cut out the shape and place on top of the cookie dough. Use a knife to cut the shape of the stencil into the dough.

What can I use instead of royal icing?

You can use cookie icing instead. It will take a bit longer to dry but it's a great alternative to royal icing.

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Let's stay connected on social media and continue to cook together! Also, if you decide to make this recipe, please leave a star rating on the recipe card and leave a comment below! Tag @BritneyBreaksBread on Instagram and hashtag #britneybreaksbread so I can see your creations! I hope that you love this recipe as much as we do!

a snowflake cookies in front of a tea cup filled with christmas ornaments.

Snowflake Cookies

These festive snowflake cookies will put you right in the holiday spirit! Not only are they beautiful but they're buttery and delicious, too!
Serving: 20 Cookies
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Chill Time 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 35 mins
Calories: 276kcal

Equipment

  • 2 Baking Sheets
  • Stand Mixer or Electric Mixer
  • Piping Bag or Ziploc Bag
  • Snowflake Cookie Cutter
  • Sprinkles (optional)
  • Food Coloring (optional)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Unsalted Butter (softened)
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • ¼ cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 large Egg
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • ½ tsp Almond Extract
  • 3 cups All Purpose Flour
  • ½ tsp Kosher Salt

Royal Icing Recipe

  • 3 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 2 ½ tbsps Meringue Powder
  • 7 tbsps Water

Directions

Make the Shortbread Cookies

  • Cream butter, sugar, and brown sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix for 3 minutes, then add the egg and egg yolk and continue to mix until eggs are combined.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add vanilla extract and almond extract. Mix for another minute.
  • Add flour and salt and mix until just combined. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for one hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Add dough to a lightly floured work surface. Use a rolling pin to roll out dough until it's about a half inch thick. Use your snowflake cookie cutters to cut out shapes in the dough. Re-roll and repeat as needed.
  • Place the snowflake cookies onto a baking sheet, spaced about 2 inches apart. These cookies won't spread much but still need enough space to cook. Do not overcrowd the baking sheet. I baked 8 cookies on each sheet. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden brown.
  • Allow the cookies to cool completely on the baking sheet.

Make the Royal Icing

  • Next step, make the royal icing. In a large bowl, combine powdered sugar, meringue powder, and 7-8 tbsps of water. Whisk for about 2 minutes, until the icing becomes thick (you can use a hand mixer if the icing becomes too thick to whisk).

Decorate the Cookies

  • Time to decorate! Once the cookies have cooled completely, add the royal icing to a piping bag, fill about ½ way. Cut a tiny opening off of the bottom of bag and begin piping your favorite design on the cookies.
  • You can also dip the cookies into the royal icing and place them onto a wire rack. Let them dry for about 20 minutes and then pipe designs on top. Drizzle with sprinkles (optional).
  • Once you're finished decorating the cookies, let them sit at room temperature uncovered to dry for at least an hour.

Notes

  • When icing the cookies, remember that less is more. You only need a small amount of icing to create the cookie designs.
  • Practice on a piece of paper prior to adding your snowflake design to the cookies. It'll help map out the design in your head so that it comes out perfectly on the actual cookie.
  • If you don't like piping bags, you can also use a squeeze bottle when a funnel tip.

Nutrition

Calories: 276kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 65mg | Potassium: 32mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 310IU | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Anytime, Christmas, Cookies, Dessert, Holidays
Cuisine: American

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