the first snow is always something magic. even as a grown-up, the magic of the first snow does not fail to amaze me. i can’t wait to dance in the snow and dig my fingers in it. maybe even touch a handful with my cheeks. to feel falling snowflakes on my lashes, melting quickly upon getting in touch with warm skin. is it just me or is fresh snow turning people into more pleasant – romantic spirited, sometimes even – fellows?
i wanted to capture the true longing for the first snow with these snowflake or ice crystal pepper cookies. i made some typical gingerbread men shapes, too, because we used them for place cards on a family gathering. and because the snowflakes were a bit of a piece of work, really. but the output is fairly decent.
i can’t wait for the snow to be here. and while we play the waiting game, this is the perfect song to live to while we’re longing for and dreaming of a white christmas.
ps: sweet paul makes the best things. i simply adore him.
snowflake pepper cookies
recipe adapted from sweet paul magazine, issue 19, winter
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. white pepper, ground
2 tbsp. ginger, ground
2 tsp. allspice, ground
1 tbsp. cinnamon, ground
1 tsp. salt
250 g butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 muscovado dark brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup molasses
2 tbsp. honey
for the glaze:
1 – 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
a little milk
whisk together the flour and spices. beat the butter with the sugars until creamy and fluffy. add egg to the butter and beat to combine. add vanilla, molasses and honey and mix until thoroughly incorporated. add the flour mixture in 2 batches, mixing just until combined. turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into discs. wrap nicely with cling film and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight, ideally (play the waiting game, again).
preheat the oven to 160 c / 350 f and line two baking sheets with parchment. working one disc at a time, roll the dough on a lightly floured surface. cut with cutters of your choice. then place on the baking sheets and repeat with remaining dough. save your scraps! they can be patched together and re-rolled. bake until just set and crisped at edges, about 10 minutes. transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
for the glaze, mix together confectioners’ sugar with as much water as needed for your desired consistency (mine was rather thick, not runny). fill into a small piping bag with a tiny nozzle or simply into a plastic zip lock bag, where you cut off the tip to create a pipe. decorate the cookies with ice crystal designs or your gingerbread men with buttons or whatever your heart desires. let set and dry. then store in an airtight container.
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