Spicy Snowflake Cookies

These spicy snowflake cookies call for cloves, cinnamon, and ginger for a bit of spice in each bite. Christmas cookies that are as dramatic as they are delicious.

Three spicy snowflake cookies on a white background.

These classic Christmas cookies, just like the winter cold, are ever so slightly like a light slap in the face from all the spices. In the most inviting possible way. Sorta like waking you up. Not just to their flavor. To the magic of the season. Originally published November 23, 2008.Renee Schettler Rossi

LC Cookie Decorating Diva Note

We confess. We didn’t decorate that stunning snowflake cookie, that’s for darn sure. If you’re seeking some expert advice, we suggest you take a cue from Tish Boyle. You can sample her style by taking a look at the decorating instructions in her recipe at Tish Boyle’s Snowflake Cookies. And be patient with yourself. If yours don’t appear exactly as hers, bear in mind, they shouldn’t. After all, no two snowflakes are alike.

Spicy Snowflake Cookies

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 1 H
  • 1 H, 30 M
  • Makes about 30 intricate cookies
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In a large bowl, beat the shortening and sugar with a standing or handheld electric mixer until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the molasses and beat, scraping the sides of the bowl, until well blended, about 1 minute.

In another large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the molasses mixture and blend on the lowest speed. Add another third and blend, and then add the final third and blend. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and leave on the counter overnight. (Letting the dough stand overnight allows the moisture to be evenly spread, which in turn ensures there are no wet spots that stick to the rolling pin or work surface and also that there are no dry spots that tear. This is vital for a crisp cookie which requires that the dough be rolled as thinly as this one.)

Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C). Adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven.

On a lightly floured work surface, take about 1/3 of the dough and shape it into an 8-inch disc about 1 inch thick. Keep the rest of the cookie dough tightly covered. If the disc of dough is sticky, use a large, lightly floured flour sack towel as a surface to roll out the dough or simply roll the dough between a couple large sheets of plastic wrap. You want to use only the smallest amount of flour possible as you roll the dough to keep the dough from sticking. This takes practice. Ideally you’ll roll the cookie dough to 1/8 inch thickness. The closer the dough is to 1/8 inch, the less it spreads when rolled, which makes it ideal for intricate cut-out cookies to retain their shape when baked.

Cover a baking sheet with Silpat or parchment sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Cut the cookies with a 2 1/2-inch cookie cutter and place on the baking sheet, about 1 inch apart. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until edges just begin to color. (The longer you bake the cookies, the crisper they become. Our findings were that at 8 minutes the cookies are chewy, at 10 minutes sorta chewy in the center and crisp at the edges, and at 12 minutes crisp throughout. Follow your heart.)

Transfer the Silpat or parchment and the cookies to a wire rack to cool for 2 minutes, then transfer the cookies sans Silpat or parchment to a rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

These cookies are perfect! Crisp and crunchy with a nice bite from the spices. The equal amount of spice results in a wonderfully balanced cookie with notes of ginger, cinnamon, and cloves in every bite. It’s hard to stop at just one. I love all things ginger.

I left the dough on the counter overnight wrapped in plastic. The next day I divided the dough into thirds and started rolling. I used 2 pieces of plastic wrap to roll out the dough as I didn’t have a flour sack. This worked well to keep the dough smooth and I was able to tell easily when it was the right thickness. I cut out 46 cookies that were 2 1/2 inches.

Heady with holiday spice, these spicy snowflake cookies perfume the air with Christmas.

While my star cutouts were softer-edged than the recipe photograph, I was happy with the flavor. After rolling the dough, I let it cool in the refrigerator so it was easier to handle. The cookie was chewy when I baked it for 8 minutes, slightly less chewy at 10 minutes, and crisp at 12 minutes. I liked the crisp results best.


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