A rich chocolate cookie forms the blank canvas for your snowy sugar fantasies. Let the kids make stencils by trimming out snow angels, stars, or snowflakes from slips of paper. Then lay these stencils on the cookie’s surface and let the confectioners’ sugar snow gently drift down from above. If you want to hang them somewhere, take the cookies out of the oven while they are only half baked, stencil the still-damp dough, and return them to the oven. (If you stencil them before parbaking, the shapes will deform as the cookies spread.) As they finish baking, the sugar will stick. If you’re just eating them, though, you can stencil them after baking
- Yield: 2 ½ dozen cookies
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 0.33 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Confectioners’ sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and generously grease 2 baking sheets. With a mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, and then add the vanilla. Stir in the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt until combined.
- Lightly flour a work surface and roll out half the dough to about ¼ inch thick. Cut it into 2-inch squares or rounds (or any shape you prefer). Lift the cookies onto the prepared baking sheets and place them in the freezer for 10 minutes. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the cookies look dry and puffed. Do not let them brown. Cool them on a rack.
- While the cookies are cooling, cut out several squares of paper just larger than the cookies. Fold each slip of paper in half and cut a snow angel, star, or snowflake shape out of the seam side. When you open the paper, you’ll have a symmetrical design.
- To finish, put some confectioners’ sugar in a sieve or flour sifter. Lay either the shape you cut out or the paper square from which it was cut over a cookie and dust generously with the confectioners’ sugar. Carefully remove the paper to see your lovely design! Store the cookies between layers of wax paper in an airtight container for up to 1 week.