Soft Batch Melting Snowman Buttercream Sugar Cookies – Add some sweet and tasty fun to your table this winter with these adorable and delicious little snowmen cookies!
My wish for this winter is that we get lots of snow. With all of the social distancing restrictions, I’m not looking forward to cold, dark winter days with my kids cooped up inside. What do you do for 3 months with a nine- and four-year-old when socializing is ill-advised, it’s 30ºF outside, and you live in a small townhouse??
Overall, my family has coped well with the COVID restrictions up to this point. We played outside all spring, summer, and fall, but the winter is going to be another story entirely. Unless, of course, we have piles of fluffy, white snow for sledding, making snow angels, throwing snowballs, and making snowmen. That would make winter infinitely better!
I live in the Philadelphia area and winter time snow is hit or miss. Some winters we only get a couple of inches for the entire season, other winters we get dumped on multiple times, sometimes as much as a foot or more of snow at a time.
Luckily for me, my wish for lots of snow just might come true this winter! As I’m typing this, the first flakes of a snowstorm are beginning to fall outside. The weather report is calling for six-to-ten inches, and the kids and I are ecstatic. It’s not just the promise of playing in snow, it’s also that it’s Christmas time snow!
When I planned to make these Soft Batch Melting Snowman Buttercream Sugar Cookies, I had no idea that it was going to snow. I had the idea of making festive holiday cookies more in mind. It turns out, however, that these cookies are perfect for Christmas and for snowy days as well.
The secret to this style of cookie is the use of more refined ingredients like cake flour and confectioner’s sugar instead of regular flour and granulated sugar. The addition of corn starch and cream of tartar also gives them a unique soft batch texture.
One challenge in making snowman cookies was creating a recipe that makes the cookies and frosting look as snowy white as possible. What gives these cookies their white appearance is the use of egg whites and clear vanilla flavoring. I probably could have made them even whiter by using shortening instead of butter, but the taste of butter won out (obviously).
The batter is softer than traditional sugar cookie dough. That said, in order to more easily shape the cookies I recommend using a piping bag to shape them on your baking sheet. Then, just smooth them over with a spoon (see the image above, left).
I also used a piping bag to frost the cookies, so as to get a melting snowman appearance. For the head, butter cream frosting was pillowed over a mini marshmallow. The details were added with decorating sugar, writing gel, and one orange-colored sunflower seed candy for the nose.
I experimented with a number of candy decorations from colored buttons to hats and scarves, but landed on this simple design because it was the most delicious.
Whether you’re looking for a Christmas cookie recipe or just something tasty to do on a snow day, I think you’re going to love these cookies! They’re a perfect way to help pass the time over a dull, socially distanced winter. With a piping hot cup of cocoa, of course!
Soft Batch Sugar Cookies
- 4 C cake flour
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 Tbsp corn starch
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 C butter (2 sticks), softened
- 3 1/2 C confectioner’s sugar
- 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
- 1 C sour cream
- 2 tsp clear vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1 C salted butter, softened
- 4 C confectioner’s sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp clear vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 4-5 Tbsp heavy cream
- pinch of salt
- decorating sugar
- 1 tube black decorating gel
- 36 orange-colored candy coated sunflower seeds
- Two hours before starting, take 2 cups of butter (4 sticks), and 2 eggs out of the refrigerator so that they can come to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- In a small mixing bowl combine the dry cake ingredients - the cake flour, baking powder, corn starch, cream of tartar, and salt. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl cream 1 C (2 sticks) of butter for one minute. Once the butter is smooth, cream in the confectioner's sugar, 1 C at a time, until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Next, slowly beat in the lightly-beaten egg whites until evenly combined. Then beat in the sour cream, clear vanilla extract, and almond extract until the mixture is evenly combined and smooth.
- Once the wet ingredients are combined, beat in the dry ingredients by intermittently beating in about one cup at a time until evenly combined.
- The batter is softer than traditional sugar cookie dough, so to more easily shape the cookies I recommend using a piping bag to shape them on your baking sheet, and then just smooth them over with a spoon. If you don't have a piping bag, just scoop the batter, 1 heaping tablespoon at a time, onto the baking sheet, and then smooth them over.
- Bake in a 350ºF oven for 7-9 minutes. The cookies are done baking once a toothpick inserted into the center of the cookies comes out clean. Allow the cookies to cool completely on a baking rack before decorating.
- While the cookies are baking make the frosting. In a large mixing bowl beat the remaining cup (2 sticks) of butter and a pinch of salt. Next, intermittently add in the powdered sugar and heavy cream until the frosting is light and creamy. Beat in the clear vanilla extract and the almond extract until evenly combined, and then set aside.
- To decorate, first draw the outline of the melting snowman on the cookie. Next, fill the outline in with frosting, and then smooth it over with a frosting knife. To make the snowman head, place a mini marshmallow on the cookie and then coat with frosting.
- For the final touches, sprinkle with decorating sugar, draw on the eyes, mouth, arms, and buttons with black decorating gel. Finally, give the snowman an orange candy coated sunflower seed nose.
- Allow the cookies to sit out for a few hours to allow the butter cream to set. Store in sealed container at room temperature for up to 5 days.