Chasing Delicious | Gingerbread Snowflakes
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Gingerbread Snowflakes at Chasing Delicious - from @rvank

Gingerbread Snowflakes

Every winter I fall in love with the cold, quite mornings. I find myself staring past bare branches into the damp grey clouds that linger in the barely-frigid air. I watch as they morph and flow from one shapeless mass to the other. I wait and watch. And I wish for them to fall to the ground in a flurry.

As long as I can remember I’ve been watching wintertime clouds. Sometimes a cup of cocoa warms my hands, other times a pair of tight, wool mittens. Sometimes my ears are bare and red and sometimes they’re draped in the soft comfort of an old scarf. But always, no matter where I am whom with, I stare at the sky and I wish.

I wont get to watch the sky fall in a mist of white specs, or feel the fleeting chill of a snowflake landing on a cheek. I wont feel a fresh field of snow crunch and fall beneath my feet or the burn as I scoop a pile of snow into my hands. I may not get to sled down a hill or find myself lost in the damn white blur of a blizzard but this year I can still share a snowflake with my friends. I can still hand my brother a one of a kind, glimmering white treat. I can surprise my mother with a custom-created, just for her, gingerbread snowflake.

No two snowflakes are alike. And that’s just how I like my cookies too.

This is the season of sharing and giving. Visit Molly over at CakeFYI for a delicious, inspiring Holiday Treat Party. Not only will find a delicious collection of holiday treats but there is a great giveaway too! So check it out. 

Decorating Cookies: While decorating gingerbread cookies can be a simple task, it often requires a lot of time, intense concentration and an abundance of patience. For that reason I’ve labeled this recipe as difficult. Approach this task with an open mind, a generous amount of time to spare, and when you’re at your most patient. The time and concentration spent on these cookies are well worth it. Of course no one will want to eat them when you’re finished, no matter how delicious they are. Below the written instructions is a visual representation of the steps to help you.

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Gingerbread Snowflakes a

y 2 dozen decorated gingerbread cookies
d Difficult

t  2 hours+

o Tools:

Piping bags
Round piping tips (02, 04 & 08)
Tweezers

i Ingredients:

3 dozen Snowflake-Shaped Gingerbread Cookies (recipe below)
12 ounces White Royal Icing (recipe below)

White or Silver Dragees, for decorating
White or Silver Sprinkles, for decorating
White or Silver Sanding Sugar, for decorating
Powdered sugar, for decorating

n Instructions:

1. Prepare the ingredients: Bake the cookies according to the instructions and set aside to cool. Prepare the royal icing according to the instructions. Fill three piping bags, each fitted with a different size round piping tip, with equal amounts royal icing.

2. Start by converting two dozen of the cookies into 12 stacked cookies: Choose the same or a differently shaped cookie to stack onto another  cookie, slightly offset as to give the snowflake a more intricate appearance. Do this by piping a small blob of royal icing ontop of one of the cookies. Press the second cookie onto the first and set aside to let the royal icing dry, about 30 minutes.

3. For Fully Covered Cookies: Using the 04 round piping tip (medium size), pipe an outline close around the edge of the cookie.

 3. For Stick Figure Cookies: Using the 04 round piping tip (medium size), pipe the basic or skeleton lines of the snowflake, down the center of any of the snow flake’s arms. Also, place a dot of icing anywhere you plan to put a dragee.

4 . For Fully Covered Cookies: Using the 08 round piping tip (large size), fill in the inside of the outline, You can leave a small amount of spacing in between lines as the icing should filing the gaps as it settles. If gaps are still visible, pipe additional icing into the spots.

4. For Stick Figure Cookies: Using the 02 round piping tip (small size), pipe additional detail lines branching off of the skeleton lines, or in blank spaces.  These lines will help give the snowflakes a more realistic look.

5. For Both Types of  Cookies: Place dragees, sprinkles or sanding sugar on while the icing is still damp.

6. For Both Types of Cookies: Let the icing on the cookies dry completely, about 30 minutes.

7. For Fully Covered Cookies:  Using the 02 round piping tip (small size) pipe a second layer of detail lines over the base layer of icing. This will give the cookie a 3D appearance and make the snowflakes more realistic.

7. For Stick Figure Cookies: Sprinkle additional sprinkles, sanding sugar or powdered sugar on top of the cookies for additional character.

8. For Both Cookies: Let the second layer icing or additions dry and settle completely, about 30 minutes.

r Store at room temperature in an air-tight container. This cookies should last a few days.
a Mix and match your favorite colors, sprinkles, and decorations to make these gingerbread snowflakes more festive.
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Gingerbread Cookies: Gingerbread cookies are one of my favorite parts about the holidays. Not only are they insanely delicious but they are a blast to decorate. The best part is they are perfect little edible gifts to share with friends and family. In my recipe I use a mix of all purpose and whole wheat flour to give the cookies an earthy, hearty base for the spices. As for the spices I stay simple and use only ground ginger and ground cinnamon. Also, instead of using molasses, which I find a bit too pungent, I use cane syrup. Cane syrup is very similar to molasses but it much sweeter.

[print_this]

Snowflake Shaped Gingerbread Cookies n

y 3 dozen gingerbread cookies
d Easy

t  1 hour

o Tools:

Various snowflake or flower cookie cutters

Baking Sheets
Parchment Paper
Stand mixer with paddle attachment or a bowl and spoon
Bowl
Rolling Pin
Cooling racks

i Ingredients:

8 ounces all purpose flour
4 ounces whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces unsalted butter, at room temp.
3 ounces sugar
3 ounces brown sugar
1/4  cup pure cane syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg

n Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

2. Mix the dry ingredients (all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon and salt) together in a bowl and set aside.

3. Cream together the soft butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix at medium speed.

4. Add the cane syrup and vanilla and mix until completely blended in. Mix at medium-low speed.

5. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition until completely blended in. Mix at medium-low speed.

6. Add the dry ingredients and mix until a thick, dry dough forms. Mix at low speed.

7. Place the dough on to a large sheet of parchment paper. Flatten the dough slightly into a disk. Wrap the dough in the parchment paper and refrigerate until the dough is firm, about 30 minutes.

8. Divide the dough into halves. Keep the half you’re not working with in the fridge. Roll the other half out on a slightly floured surface to about 1/8″ inch thick. Using snowflake or flower cookie cutters, cut out variously shaped cookies and place them on a baking sheet.

9. Press the remaining dough together and mix it into a ball. Roll it out again and cut additional cookies from the dough. Continue this until the dough is gone.

10. Repeat steps 8 and 9 with the second half.

11. Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for about 11 to 15 minutes or until the edges just start to brown. Cookies baked for 11 or 12 minutes should still be soft. Cookies baked any longer will be more firm. Cookies baked for 15 minutes will be crisp.

12. Let cool on the baking sheet a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

r Store at room temperature in an air-tight container. This cookies should last a few days.
n Avoid adjusting the ingredients in this recipe.
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Royal Icing: Like most icings, royal icing is quite simple to make. It does require egg whites though to help set and harden the icing. I suggest using pasteurized egg whites though in a pinch raw egg whites straight from the egg shouldn’t hurt. Use as little vanilla as possible to keep from discoloring the icing. You’ll also notice this recipe calls for a variable amount of sugar. Many factors including just how large the egg whites are, the humidity in the air, among other things, can determine how fluid the icing becomes. Because a specific consistency rather than an amount is required, some testing is necessary.

Testing Consistency: After mixing the icing, place a drop on a cool cookie. Wait 5 to 10 minutes to see how the icing settles. The icing should barely spread at all and should form a small dome. If the icing runs or spreads, add more sugar. If the icing forms a point and does not spread at all, add a little more egg white.

[print_this]

White Royal Icing n

y about 12 ounces royal icing
d Easy

t  10 minutes

o Tools:

Bowl and spoon

i Ingredients:

8 to 10+ ounces powdered sugar
1 1/2 fluid ounces egg whites, about 2 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 drop lemon juice

n Instructions:

1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl.

2. Test the consistency and adjust accordingly. Check the notes above for how to determine if the icing is correct.

r Store covered in the refrigerator. This icing  should last a few days.
n Avoid adjusting the ingredients in this recipe.
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Enjoy!

This is the season of sharing and giving. Visit Molly over at CakeFYI for a delicious, inspiring Holiday Treat Party. Not only will find a delicious collection of holiday treats but there is a great giveaway too! So check it out. 

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AUTHOR - Russell van Kraayenburg

Founder of Chasing Delicious, and author of Haute Dogs, Russell's works have been featured in Southern Living, Men's Fitness, Redbook, TRADHome, and Real Simple magazines and on various sites including Lifehacker, Fast Co., Business Insider, The Kitchn, Live Originally, Quipsologies, Explore, and Fine Cooking. Follow Russell on Twitter @rvank and Instagram. Get more delicious @chasedelicious.

81 Comments

0
  • Reem

    This is pure joy..
    All I need is pure cane syrup n I’m all set to make these…
    Im loving ur illustrations. . You rock at this!

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    So gorgeous, each snowflake is a mini work of art!

  • Chellie

    What a great post. Thanks and Happy Holidays…

  • Conor Bofin

    Lovely photos and a fantastic Christmas feel to the post. Ho, ho, ho!
    Best,
    Conor

  • thyme (Sarah)

    Love, love, love these Russell. So beautiful

  • Stef

    Gorgeous photos – simply stunning! And – of course, the cookies sounds great too!

  • Maria

    WOWZERS! These are beyond pretty! Nice work my friend!

  • Amy

    Such a lovely post, and a wonderful way to bring a ‘White Christmas’ with you wherever you are. I live in Australia so these are the closest I’ll get to snow this year :)

  • Sarah

    What a beautiful gift! Perfect for bringing a little white Christmas to your home. It’s summer here, so it’s even more poignant for me!

  • jaime @ sweet road

    I love the drawings! I only wish it would start snowing instead of having to walk through this misty-rain!

  • Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen

    Such gorgeous shots! I love everything about them. The light sprinkling of ‘snow’ just puts it over the top…

  • Kathyal

    A lovely take on the most Christmassy of cookies. Beautifully set and photographed.

  • SweetSugarbelle

    Wow! This makes me so happy! I love coming here and seeing the unexpected…COOKIES! You did a beautiful job and photographed them beautifully! Wow!

  • Debie Grace

    Thank you for being so generous to share this masterpiece! When I have complete tools for this, I’ll make one and give to my friends as well. Maybe next year :)

  • Joanna @ Chic & Gorgeous Treats

    Love your composition & the story. Makes me feel like I am there, a bystander looking over a friend. These gingerbread cookies are a gem and they are so perfectly decorated. Great clicks to wow me every single time. Happy Holidays my friend! xoxo

  • Michael Toa

    Russell, you are brilliant! Love the set and the photographs are so beautiful, as always. Hope you are enjoying the holiday season… Nice work my friend.

  • Fork and Whisk

    You really have a talent for making all of your baked goods look incredible. Those cookies are beautiful and I am sure they are delicious as well. Merry Christmas.

  • Molly Allen

    Thanks so much for bringing these cookies to the “table” Russell. They’re gorgeous!

  • john@heneedsfood

    These really are gorgeous. It may be summer in my part of the world right now but I would never say no to something like these beauties.

  • thelittleloaf

    Beautiful beautiful post – you’ve got me feeling super festive now!

  • Kathryn

    A perfect holiday cooking – the whole wheat flour gives the cookies such a lovely colour and really makes the snowy-white of the icing stand out. Love these!

  • Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies

    Beautiful! And you did illustrated instructions! This is why I love you.

  • Sommer@ASpicyPerspective

    Gorgeous, Russell! I would feel really special if someone gave these to me this year. (Not trying to hint, just sayin’.)

  • Carolyn

    Works of art, all of them!

  • Brooks at Cakewalker

    “…stare at the sky and I wish.” Perfect, Russell. Gingerbread cookies sing holidays to me and how I wish I had a flurry of these beautiful snowflakes to nosh on. The illustrated decorating graphics are delightful and the narrative about royal icing is spot on. A lovely post from start to finish…Happy Holidays to you & yours!

  • pam

    Oh Russell! You have completely melted my heart with this post! Thank you for going above and beyond and going to so much effort here to actually teach how to create gingerbread snowflake cookies! I am not very proficient when it comes to cookie decorating – not on this level anyway. Most times all we are given lots of pretty pictures but no solid how to. YOU have provided a very useful post to make them. Again, thank you!!!

  • Cheria

    Your recipes are always so pretty and delicious looking!!! Thanks!

  • Diane (createdbydiane)

    these are so beautiful,
    wonderful photos and I love the instructions too :)

  • Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.

    great looking!!! You are SO creative

  • Molly @ Toffee Bits and Chocolate Chips

    Love the infographic! These are beyond cute! I could totally see making a cute little christmas tree and hanging these as ornaments. I think they’d all get eaten before that happened though. haha

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  • Denise

    These are incredible! You are such an artist.

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  • Jeanette

    What a beautiful post Russell, and your snowflake cookies are so pretty! Wish I had the patience to decorate my cookies as nicely as yours.

  • jamie @ green beans & grapefruit

    Oh my, these are stunning! Please be my friend.

  • Shanna@ pineapple and coconut

    I love these! So gorgeous!I make snowflake sugar cookie cut outs every year and I try so hard to decorate them al differently so I usually have them all spread out on my counter as I deco to make sure no pattern was repeated. Love your photos of these too – just stunning

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  • Family Table Blog

    Gorgeous!! I so admire your patience and attention to detail!

  • Rhonda

    I would so much rather eat a gingerbread snowflake than a head or an arm or leg. I bet no two are exactly alike!

  • Rachel

    Absolutely beautiful. Snowflakes are always my favorite cut-out shape. Love them in the gingerbread.

  • Viviane Bauquet Farre

    Gosh, what a heart-warming and aesthetically pleasing gift idea. Your food photography and arrangement never cease to inspire, Russell. Happy holidays to you and yours!

  • Amy

    Thanks for the beautiful post! I’m making these now, and your ingredients say 1 egg, but instructions say add eggs one at a time. How many eggs should one use to make the 3 dozen recipe?

    • Russell

      Hi, Amy. It’s just 1 egg! I’m sorry about the confusion – bad proof reading on my part.

      Let me know how you like them and how they turn out!

      • Amy

        Thanks Russell! I figured it was just one egg, so that’s what I went with. Made dough yesterday and the day got away from me. I’ll let you know how they turn out once I bake and decorate! Your photos are beautiful…totally irresistible.

  • Carol | a cup of mascarpone

    I have been staring at these phenomenal photos and cookies for nearly a week! They are just gorgeous…what a beautiful talent you have!!!

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  • Adriana @ FoodCocktail

    I think I found the perfect moment to read your post, since it’s snowing so peaceful outside and I’m looking at gingerbread snowflakes!

  • RavieNomNoms

    This is amazing! This used to be a tradition that my mom and I would do back when I was little. I have to say I love the smell of gingerbread, love decorating, but I don’t enjoy the taste. BUT, they make excellent gifts for sure!

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  • Beth

    These cookies are gorgeous!! So perfectly Christmasy.

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  • Winnie

    How did I miss these beauties? Happy New Year, Russell ;)

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    Why would you give your mom a cookie thst you placed on the floor ?

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  • Stefani

    Wow, these are stunning. I’m thinking I’ll have to pick a day when it’s snowing, I can blast Christmas music, and not worry about leaving the house! Thank you for the detailed instructions! I would have no idea how to begin without them, and my frosting would be looking very elementary! These would make gorgeous gifts for the neighbors.

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