Sunday was a day for baking, a wet, dreary December day and close enough to Christmas that I could finally use my new snowflake cookie cutter. Craving chocolate, I looked for traditional cut-outs with a twist and stumbled on an old gem from Deb at one of my favourite food blogs (and books), Smitten Kitchen. She shared this recipe back in 2008 that her mom traditionally made for Hanukah every year. Um, brownies and cookies merged together? Yes, please!
And they didn’t disappoint. Jorge said they were “suberb”. Deb didn’t frost hers, but I added an easy cream cheese frosting and a sprinkling of icing sugar on top (like snow).
The dough was a bit hard to work with as it cracked and crumbled, but it was worth the fuss in the end.
At any rate, I would definitely recommend these. They’re thick and crunchy at the edges yet slightly soft in the centre (depending on how long you bake them) and it’s fun to break off each of the snowflake points which make for perfect bite-sized pieces. As with most cookies, they’re best with a cup of tea.
- 3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose (plain) flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup (225 grams) lightly salted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 (300 grams) cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
Whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
Combine butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and cocoa. (I don’t have a mixer, so I did this by hand, but I’d definitely recommend using a mixer if you have one!)
Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet.
Form your dough into a nice ball, wrap in plastic wrap and pop it in the fridge for at least an hour.
Pre-heat the oven to 350F / 175C.
Flour a flat surface and roll out your cookie dough till it’s about 1/4 inch thick (or even slightly thicker). I found this easiest to do in small batches.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper and pop your cookies in the oven for anywhere from 8-11 minutes depending on thickness and how soft you want the insides. Keep watch till the edges are firm and centres a bit puffy.
Cool on a wire rack.
They cool pretty quickly, so in the meantime, go ahead and make the frosting. I went with cream cheese, but you can use whichever recipe is your favourite.
- 1 package Philadelphia Cream Cheese
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
Combine cream cheese and butter, then add icing sugar and vanilla till creamy.
Frost away and shake on a sifted layer of icing “snow” if you wish.