Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. For the cookies

  2. 13-1/2 oz. (3 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more for rolling

  3. 2 tsp. ground ginger

  4. 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder

  5. 3/4 tsp. baking soda

  6. 1/2 tsp. table salt

  7. 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

  8. 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

  9. 1/4 tsp. ground cloves

  10. 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

  11. 3 oz. (6 Tbs.) unsalted butter, softened

  12. 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses

  13. 1 large egg, at room temperature

  14. 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

  15. For the decoration

  16. 1/2 lb. (2 cups plus 2 Tbs.) confectioners' sugar

  17. 2-1/2 Tbs. meringue powder

  18. Blue food coloring

  19. Edible silver dragees

Instructions Jump to Ingredients ↑

  1. Make the cookies In a large bowl, whisk the flour, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves; set aside. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the molasses, egg, and vanilla until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture until just combined.

  2. Divide the dough in half, shape into two balls, and wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 2 and up to 8 hours.

  3. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment.

  4. Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll it on a lightly floured piece of parchment until it’s about 1/8 inch thick. Put the parchment and dough onto another cookie sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Cut out cookies with a 5-inch snowflake cookie cutter. Remove excess dough from around the cutouts and transfer them with a spatula to the prepared sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart. You can gather and reroll the scraps up to 2 times.

  5. Bake one sheet at a time until the cookies begin to darken around the edges, 6 to 8 minutes.

  6. Cool on the sheet on a rack for about 15 minutes. Transfer the cookies directly to the rack and cool completely.

  7. Decorate the cookies In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix the confectioners’ sugar, meringue powder, and 1/4 cup cold water on low speed until blended. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the icing holds thick, soft peaks, 3 to 4 minutes. Test the icing’s consistency by piping a small amount through a piping bag fitted with a straight #2 tip. If it’s too thick, add a few drops of water to the mixture in the bowl. If the icing seems too runny, add confectioners’ sugar, a tablespoon at a time, beating on low speed to blend. Don’t over-beat, or the icing will stiffen and lose its gloss. Keep the icing covered with a damp cloth or plastic wrap until ready to use, and use the icing the same day it’s made.

  8. Put about three-quarters of the icing in a clean 1-quart container. Put the remaining icing in a small container and tint with the blue food coloring. (Stir in coloring a bit at a time until the desired shade is reached.)

  9. Put a small amount of the white icing in a piping bag fitted with a straight #2 tip and pipe the outline of the cookie.

  10. Stir water, a few drops at a time, into the remaining white icing until the icing no longer stays peaked when piped but creates a smooth surface. To test, put a small amount in another piping bag with a #2 tip (the icing will drip, so have a cloth ready). Fill in the lines on each cookie, allow the icing to spread, and be careful not to overfill—use a small paintbrush to help spread the icing if necessary. Let the cookies air dry until the icing is set; 2 to 3 hours.

  11. When the white icing is completely dry, put the blue icing in a clean piping bag fitted with a #2 tip and pipe branched lines connecting opposite tips of the snowflakes. Decorate with dragées while the blue icing is wet.


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