Over the past few years, a lot of baking bloggers have inspired me with their cookie wreath photography. I had gawked, admired and planned to try something similar until I finally implemented it last week. I made these soft almond orange snowflake cookies. These cookies have the richness of almond and a subtle orange taste. The icing that I used is super easy with just two ingredients.
This holiday season, I am in a totally different rhythm. I am baking cookies like never before and thankfully every single recipe is working out magically. Of course, my little fella is over the moon happy with his Mommy’s new favorite activity. He is always looking for what I am baking next and even started making some requests. His requests often include either chocolate or creamy frosting. As much as I love baking with him, I had to tackle these almond orange snowflake cookies while he was at school.
Handling the cookie dough!
Sugar cutout cookies, as we all know, needs to be chilled before cutting. You want to keep the dough cold all the time for easy cut out. With this cookie dough, it was a little difficult as the almond meal made the dough extra buttery. So, I had to chill the dough several times – after the dough was ready, after rolling the dough and again after cutting the dough into desired shape. It was not tough but I just had to make some space in the fridge and go along with the waiting game.
Few Key Points to Remember!
- Do not knead the dough. Use the paddle attachment of your stand mixer and just bring the dough together. Then, wrap it tightly in a clear wrap and let the dough cool down completely in the refrigerator.
- When you are rolling the dough, place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper. Flour the dough a little bit as you continue rolling. If it starts to get sticky, put it back in the fridge and let it cool down once again.
- When you are cutting the rolled dough, flour the cutter a little bit to avoid it from sticking.
- Make sure to cool the cut out cookies before baking. If you don’t follow this step, the butter will melt and the cookies will not retain its shape.
Its just powdered sugar with a little bit of milk that’s whisked to make the icing! I kept the consistency of the icing thick as I only did outlines. If you want to fill the cookie with more icing, add a tad bit more milk to loosen the consistency.
If you enjoy the flavor of almond, you will surely enjoy these cookies a lot! We loved it and so did our guests. This recipe was adapted from Laura’s Almond Sugar Cookies! I just had to change the measurements as I wanted to bake a smaller batch.
- 1 stick, ½ cup softened butter
- 2 tablespoon cream cheese
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange zest
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup almond flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Using a paddle attachment in your stand mixer, beat the soften butter, cream cheese with sugar until it’s smooth. Then, add the orange zest, almond extract and beat it once again.
- In a separate mixing bowl, sift the flour, almond flour, salt and baking powder. Whisk the dry ingredients to combine everything.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, little by little, and bring the mixture together to form a dough. It will be very sticky dough but don’t add any more flour.
- Layer clear wrap on the kitchen counter or on a chopping board and drop half the dough mixture into it. Flatten it a bit and tightly wrap the dough. Repeat the same for the rest of the dough. Keep all the wrapped dough in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or until it’s hardened.
- After 2 hours, if the dough feels hard enough, start working with one cookie dough at a time. Take two sheets of parchment paper, sprinkle little flour on one sheet, unwrap the dough and place it on the floured sheet. Sprinkle more flour on the dough and place the second sheet on top. Gently but firmly, start rolling the dough and keep turning the sheet around. Without removing the parchment paper, place the rolled dough back into the fridge for 30 minutes. Repeat the step with the second dough.
- After 30 minutes, take a plate and add some flour into it. Layer a parchment paper on the cookie sheet and keep it ready. Take out one rolled cookie dough and remove the top parchment paper. Dip the cookie cutter in the flour and press it firmly on the dough. I used only the snowflake cutter. Carefully remove the cut out and place it on the cookie sheet. (If you wish to make hanging edible ornaments, poke a hole on top using a straw or end of your piping tip at this stage). Once you are done cutting out all the cookies, place the cookie sheet back in the fridge. Gather the remaining dough and bring it together into a disc. Sprinkle a little bit of flour and place the parchment paper back on top. Roll and place it back into the fridge. Work with the second rolled out cold dough the same way.
- Allow the cut out cookies to cool down in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Then, bake them in the middle rack of the oven, preheated at 350 F, for 8 minutes (Please note that based on the size of your cutout, it might need more or less time).
- Once the cookies are baked, take them out of the oven and leave them on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes before placing them on the wire rack to cool down completely.
- Icing can be started only after the cookies are completely cooled down. To prepare the icing, whisk the powdered sugar with milk until it comes together into a smooth icing. Because I did only lining on the cookies, I kept the icing thick. If you want to cover the cookies, add an extra 1 teaspoon of milk and loosen the consistency.
- Pipe the icing as per your liking and add some sprinkles. Allow the icing to set completely before storing the cookies in an airtight jar.
Read all the notes that I mentioned above in the post for the best result and easy baking.
I love to see your creation from my blog, so if you make this spice mixes, tag me on social media @playfulcooking.