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- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- ROYAL ICING:
- 2 pounds confectioners' sugar
- 6 tablespoons meringue powder
- 3/4 cup warm water
- Sky blue gel food coloring
- In a large bowl, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and extracts. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix well.
- Divide dough into fourths. Cover and refrigerate 1-2 hours or until easy to handle.
- Preheat oven to 375°. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one portion to 1/8-in. thickness. (Refrigerate other portions until ready to use.) Using a variety of sizes of floured snowflake cookie cutters, cut out snowflakes.
- Carefully place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Using small decorating cutters, cut out desired shapes to create designs in some of the snowflakes. Use a toothpick to help remove the cutouts. With a plastic straw, poke a hole in the top of each small cookie.
- Bake medium and large snowflakes 6-1/2-7 minutes and small snowflakes 6 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool. Repeat with remaining dough.
- For royal icing, in a large bowl, combine confectioners' sugar and meringue powder. Add warm water; beat on low speed 1 minute. Beat on high 4-5 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Tint half blue. Leave remaining icing white; cover and set aside.
- With blue icing and a round tip, outline half of the cookies; fill in centers with blue icing and let dry completely. With white icing and a round tip, outline each blue-colored cookie and create snowflake designs. Let dry completely.
- On the remaining cookies, repeat process using white icing on white frosted cookies. Thread a ribbon through the hole in each small snowflake and through the cutout in each medium and large snowflake.