Though they hold their cute snowman shape well, these cookies are still nice and soft. Kids love the design and everyone loves the chocolate flavor packed into the cookie.—Evangeline Bradford, Erlanger, Kentucky
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1-3/4 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 4-1/2 teaspoons meringue powder
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, optional
- Black, orange and brown paste food coloring
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually beat into creamed mixture. Divide dough in half. Shape each into a disk; wrap in plastic. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until firm enough to roll.
- Preheat oven to 350°. On a lightly floured surface, roll one portion of dough to 1/4-in. thickness. With a 2-in. round cookie cutter, cut out 18 circles. Repeat with 1-1/2-in. and 1-in. round cookie cutters. Place 1 in. apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake 7-10 minutes or until edges are set. Cool completely on wire racks.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine confectioner's sugar, meringue powder, 1/3 cup water and, if desired, extract; beat on low speed just until combined. Beat on high 4-5 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Add enough remaining water until icing no longer holds a peak. Keep unused icing covered at all times with a damp cloth. Using a pastry bag and #2 round tip, pipe icing over cookies. Let stand at least 5 minutes before gently stacking cookies to create snowmen. Let stand at room temperature several hours or until frosting is dry and firm. Using a new paintbrush, decorate snowmen as desired with food coloring. Yield: 3 dozen.
Originally published as Stacked Snowman Cookies in Cookies & Candies Bookazine 2016
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