I cherish holiday traditions, probably more than I really know how to put into words! They’re alive with memories, captured forever as though encased in a beautiful, glistening snowglobe. They’re warm, delicious, comforting, and funny.
They’re familiar and close.
I can remember baking Christmas cookies in my mom’s kitchen as a little girl. I rolled three balls of dough, aligning them on the cookie sheet to form the sweetest of snowmen. My mom warned me to not make the base too big, and I would laugh and twirl like a ballerina. My mom laughed too, okay with the fact that the snowmen would be jumbo-sized again this year.
My brother Matthew carefully pushed chocolate chip buttons into the snowmen, seriously proclaiming himself to be a carpenter who made cookies. He sighed and declared, “Isn’t this nice?”
Four-year-old-Sarah kept us all in line, standing on a kitchen chair and letting her plump belly hang over the kitchen table. And Dad caught it all on video.
That memory is ingrained in my mind forever.
Baking snowmen cookies was a holiday tradition back in the day, and my sister and I both — on our own — felt the need to bring that tradition back this year. A quick conversation over the phone, however, turned our individual plans into a baking day together. Just like the good ol’ days. 🙂
These snowmen cookies are always a huge hit. Not only are they adorable, but they’re absolutely delicious. I’ve yet to meet a child or adult who didn’t fall in love with them. And I’ve certainly yet to meet a cook who didn’t have fun baking them on a cold, winter’s day.
Festive Snowmen Cookies
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup butter
1 3-ounce package cream cheese, softened
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon almond (or vanilla) extract
¼ teaspoon coconut flavoring (optional)
Miniature semisweet chocolate pieces
Red cinnamon candies
¾ cup sifted powdered sugar
Cookie decorating frosting
Hershey kisses and peanut butter cups
In a medium mixing bowl, stir together flour and baking powder. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar; beat still fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, almond extract, and coconut flavoring, beat well. Gradually add flour mixture to creamed mixture, beating well after each addition.
Cover and chill overnight.
Shape dough into 3 balls: one 1-inch ball, one ¾-inch ball, and one 1/2-inch ball. Place balls on an ungreased cookie sheet in decreasing sizes with sides touching. Press together slightly. Press 2 chocolate pieces in small ball for eyes (pointy side down). Press 1 red cinnamon candy in the middle ball and 2 candies in the largest ball for buttons.
Bake 325 degree oven about 18 minutes or until edges are firm and bottom are light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on baking sheet. Carefully transfer to a wire rack. Cool.
With frosting, add scrarves to snowmen. Stick on the kisses and peanut butter cups as caps. Lightly sprinkle the snow people with powdered sugar.