Disclaimer: I am not a cookie maker. I make cookies, but I am not a ‘cookie-maker’, if ya know what I mean. There are some chicks out there that make these types of cookies professionally and they are mind boggling works of art! Examples of this amazingness are HERE, HERE or HERE to share just a few. But as with most of the things you get from me, this is the sugar cookie for the cheater, for the people that like to pass the test by shady methods rather then studying really hard to get an A. Im ok with owning up to that, hopefully you can reach deep down inside yourself and find your inner under-achiever too ;)
Luckily for us, it is commonly known that when you lack the necessary skill and/or patience to do something that is great, you can still shine by being clever and creative! And that is what we are doing here today: simple, clever, creative, not a high level of difficulty. Otherwise known as “smoke and mirrors”. Essentially, we are going to take a very very simple thing and present it in a very very impressive manner, thereby tricking those who will enjoy them into thinking we are geniuses in the kitchen!
First things first, make your dough and chill it. Sugar cookie dough is super simple to make but it does need to be chilled before you can roll it out and cut it or its just a flobby mess. My favourite recipe is this one HERE. Get that made and chilled and then roll it out and start cutting out circles. Size is relative so just use whatever you’ve got for a circle cutter or even the rim of a cup. These are the bodies of our sad melty men so bake them and set them to cool. Then move on to the heads.
For the craniums I just use a ball of rolled up cookie dough. I have seen these done with marshmallows or whoppers and such but honestly I think it looks weird and wouldn’t be very nice to eat. Plus this is the best way to use up all the in-between spaces leftover from your circle cut outs! Roll some heads and bake them in the same temp as the bodies but for just a minute or two more.
This gratuitous before and after shot offers no visual instruction…
Now its time to discuss something very important to me…and that is store bought icing for cookies. There is nothing in this world that is more palate-offensive to me then the taste of bottled cookie icing and I firmly believe that anyone who uses it has either never had the simple homemade stuff or just actually has demented taste buds. Yeah you heard me, demented taste buds!! I don’t understand why people would go to the work of making the cookies and decorating them just to have them taste like nasty, chemicals by tainting their work with store bought cookie icing!! All you need to make the good stuff is powdered sugar, honey and milk. Most people have that readily available so there are no excuses. The ratio I use is 1 cup of powdered sugar, 1 tbsp honey and 1 tbsp milk. Fine tune it as needed with either more sugar or more milk to get the right consistency and you’re golden! Its the easiest thing ever! So no need for the store bought non-sense! Do your friends a favour and make the good stuff, then they don’t have to lie to you anymore about liking your cookies with the gross icing ;)
Back to cookie making: Half fill a small piping bag with your HOMEMADE icing. I use a #3 wilton tip in my bag but #2 works, #4 works, cutting a hole in the corner of a ziploc bag works, anything works so long as you have the ability to pipe. I pipe a dot to glue the head on, though I figure when you cover the whole thing in icing it attaches everything, it makes me feel more crafty to do this step. Then I pipe a wobbly line all around the cookie. In essence, you could just dump icing all over these dudes and you would get a more organic melted effect, but I just think its looks too messy. I want them to look melted on purpose, not like an actual accident.
Once your dam has set up a bit, you just spoon your icing over the cookie and push it around until its spread out. Then you have to wait for it to be TOTALLY dry to decorate it! I usually leave mine overnight but if you are in a rush then test the icing by touching it after 3 hours or so.
I use a food writer like the one in the picture above to draw on the arms and such, they are available at Michaels and most cake supply stores but if you don’t have one, black gel food colouring and a fine paint brush can do the trick too. The marker really is the way to go though, it’s inexpensive, lives in the fridge and you will find a surprising amount of uses for it once you have it.
Draw on some skewed arms, buttons and a sad face, add a carrot nose and your unhappy snowman project is complete! Super easy and darn cute if I do say so myself. And just for fun, every year we make a few hundred of these little dudes and just one of them gets a smile, can you spot him?
Happy sad snowman baking everyone! Shoot me a message if you need help of I’ve left something out! Ooh and lets not forget to thank Frances for her awesome food photography <3