A few years ago, when I was baking full time, I made these and sent a picture to Kevin. He then posted it to Reddit and got more upvotes than he ever had before, proving that buttercream humor is highly appreciated on the web. Or perhaps it’s just because they look like cookie versions of SNL’s famous Mr. Bill.
Regardless, these will put a smile on your face and Crisco in your heart – and isn’t that what the holidays are all about?
Because there is a ridiculous amount of icing on these, it would be easy to put a store bought or break-and-bake sugar cookie underneath the mounds of buttercream.
I used a variation of Rebecca Rather’s Sugar Saucers from her excellent recipe book, The Pastry Queen. The cookies themselves are perfect with absolutely nothing, and they rank as one of my top comfort foods. They’re dense, soft, chewy, buttery, and completely satisfying.
I’m not sure if Scripture mentions these being in Heaven, but surely they are, waiting by the dozen next to a pitcher of heavy cream. Because Jesus also conquered calories.
I chose to use buttercream to decorate the cookies for a few reasons. For one, royal icing is a royal pain in my royal butt, and I have never enjoyed using it. Sure, it looks cute on cookies when done right, but I find no enjoyment in the preparation, cleanup, or taste of it. Milk-based icings are lighter and a bit less deadly, but you can’t get the same precision of detail.
So buttercream wins.
You needn’t have experience in decorating, or any shmancy equipment to get the same look. Just buttercream and food coloring.
And if you start to feel sad about all the melting snowmen meeting their delicious demise, just pipe a smile on their face.
Melted Snowman Cookies
Cookies (From The Pastry Queen)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening (Crisco)
- 1 stick of unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Then, one at a time, add the vegetable oil, sugar, egg, and vanilla. With the mixer running, add the flour, baking soda, and salt in increments until combined.
- Refrigerate dough for an hour, or freeze for 15 minutes.
- Roll dough into slightly large golf balls and press onto a prepared baking sheet with the palm of your hand until it’s about an inch thick.
- Bake in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 15-17 minutes, or until golden around the edges. Let cool completely before decorating.
- Add plain white buttercream to a piping bag with a 2A tip. If you don’t have a piping bag or tip, just use a gallon or quart-sized plastic bag, fill with icing, and cut one of the corners with scissors so it makes a penny-sized hole. With a prepared cookie, firmly hold the bag and cover with buttercream in a circular motion, starting on the outside until you reach the center. Use a butter knife to smooth the icing, rinsing with hot water when needed. At the top of each cookie, firmly hold the bag and press out a marble sized dollop of buttercream to make the head. Use your finger to flatten.
- Take 4 small bowls and fill with 1/4 cup of icing in each. Mix red, green, orange, and black coloring in the respective bowls. Like with the regular icing, fill a small piping bag (or plastic bag) with a #5 tip, or cut a hole that is roughly 2 centimeters wide with each color.
- With the black bag, Place two dots for eyes, a circle or smile for the mouth, and 2 right-angled arms with three fingers. With the orange, hold firmly in the center of the snowman’s face, press the buttercream out, and lift up slightly to create the carrot nose. Alternating the green and red, pipe all the way around the circumference of the head and add two swiggly lines to create a scarf. Pipe three dots in the other color to be buttons.
- With clean hands and a glass of water, go back to each cookie and slightly flatten any icing that may be standing up or uneven with – water on the tip of your finger helps smooth the surface.
- If transporting, transport flat with nothing stored on top.