When I was a kid, the best part about going to visit my Grandparents at Christmas time was being able to eat tons and tons of special Christmas cookies that we never made at home. Growing up, one of my favorite parts about Christmas time was making cutout cookies, and eating the dough when my mother wasn’t looking.
Now that I am older and living far away from home, I always take time to make cutouts every Christmas, and ship some back home to my dad, who’s sweet tooth is as big as mine.
Last year, I came across the melted snowman cookie after I had finished all my Christmas cookies, but I vowed that I would make the following year! The time is now. There are several versions of this on the internet, I chose to make the marshmallow melted snowman cookies as originally done by Truly Custom Cakery . What better way to celebrate National Cookie Day than with some good old-fashioned sugar cookies?
These are pretty simple to make and are fun too. Start with your favorite sugar cookie recipe (scroll to the end for Nana’s sugar cookie recipe). I usually make a couple batches of dough and freeze them ahead of time so that I have it on hand for whenever I need during the holidays. For the melted snowman cookies, the dough works best when it is firm and cold.
Take about 3-4 tbsp of dough in the palm of your hand and flatten it in no particular shape and leave it a little lumpy. Bake according to the instruction.
To decorate, you will need a batch of Royal icing. I learned the Wilton method in my cake decorating classes. Also, I usually double the batch since royal icing (when stored properly) can be used several times. For Royal icing you will need:
6 tbsp Meringue powder (find at your local craft store in the baking section)
2 lbs. powdered sugar
12 tbsp lukewarm water
Remember that when working with meringue, all your utensils and storage containers need to be metal or grease free. I have special spatulas and storage containers that I use only to make as royal icing. Before I start, I clean my mixer with a little bit of white vinegar to remove any lingering grease.
Combine the meringue powder and powdered sugar in a mixer and beat until combined. Slowly add 1 tbsp of water at a time beating on medium speed. Beat for 7-10 minutes until the icing loses its shine and stiff peaks begin to form. Be careful not to over beat. The icing will be very thick at first, but as you add more water, it will turn into a stiff yet workable consistency.
Since this recipe has the meringue powder in it, the frosting will harden quickly. When working with royal icing, keep it covered in an air tight container and use a damp paper towel over your bowl to keep it from drying out.
Start with 2 cups of icing at once and slowly add 1 tsp of water at time to thin it out, mixing well each time. It will take a few minutes to get this thin enough to be the consistency that you want. Your icing will be thin enough once you able to drip a spoonful of icing into your cup and while counting to 10, your drip of icing disappears into the rest of the bowl. Test it on a piece of wax paper before you pour the icing into a piping bag if you are not sure it will be thin enough.
Fill your piping bag with your royal icing; I used a Wilton number 12 tip for mine. If you don’t have a piping bag, you can easily use a spoon to drip the icing onto your cookies. Pour 1-2 tbsp of icing over your cookies and allow it to run off the edges. This works best if you are able to put a wire rack over a cookie sheet. If your icing isn’t flowing off the cookies, you may have to help it along by tapping one side of the cookies with your hand. You can also add a little more icing on the sides to help push it along.
Once all of your cookies are dripping with icing, it’s time to make the marshmallow heads. Take a piece of greased parchment paper or a plate and place 6-8 marshmallows in the center. You will microwave for 15-20 seconds while watching them puff up. Stop the microwave before they double in size.
Generously grease your fingers and immediately transfer the marshmallows onto your cookies. Be careful; they’re hot.
Allow the frosting to set for a couple hours until it’s completely firm. Use your extra royal icing to mix a few different colors for the arms, nose and buttons. You will only need a couple tbsp of each color since there is very little icing used for each feature. I use Wilton #3 tips to decorate with. I also used black sugar pearls for some of the eyes and buttons but found that eventually the coating melts off due to the sugars in the frosting and the marshmallow. Allow the icing to harden once more before packaging.
Nana’s sugar cookies
I have been making this recipe since I was a little girl. This is the half recipe below. We usually double it for cutout cookies. For the melted snowman cookies, this makes 18-24 cookies depending on the amount of dough you use for each cookie.
1/2 C Butter
1/2 C Sugar
1/2 tsp Baking soda dissolved in 2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1 Egg beaten
Pinch of salt
2 1/2 C Flour
- Beat butter and sugar until sugar is dissolved and creamy
- Dissovle ½ tsp. baking soda in 2 tbsp milk
- Add baking soda/milk, vanilla, eggs and salt
- Slowly add flour ½ C at a time
- Chill in the freezer for at least 15 minutes
- Roll dough out on a well-floured surface in small batches. Keep in the fridge to keep the dough cool.
- Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes