Sunday, December 11, 2011

Contest Finalist: Snowfall Sugar Cookies

Another cookie contest finalist!!

Like Krista said, it's been difficult to pick the finalists for our cookie contest ... so many tasty options!  But this one (from loyal blog-follower Terry) is a no-brainer:  a perfect sugar cookie that can be baked to a tender chewiness or a delicate crisp.  You may be thinking, "Meh, who needs another sugar cookie recipe?"  YOU do.  This one.  Honestly.

Even though we only received the recipe a couple of weeks ago, I've already made them twice. The first batch, Mr. Wendy and I gobbled up an embarrassing number, and then I took the rest to work.  I sent them to a staff meeting with a co-worker and sat back and waited.  Within five minutes of the meeting ending, I had three e-mails (all from women who have serious baking chops) praising these wonderful darlings.  The subject line of the first says it all:  O. M. G.

The second batch went with me to a department Christmas party last night.  My dear friend Lisa (who is a far better cook and baker than I could ever hope to be) gave these two thumbs up.  She even offered them the ultimate compliment:  they're as good as her mother's!  Dang.

Now, here's the tricky thing.  I don't have the gift for food photography that many of my colleagues have.  And these cookies?  Well, they're basically round and beige.  So I'm afraid that their wonderfulness will not translate in the photos.  I tried rolling some of the first batch in colored sanding sugar, but the sugar was too coarse and they ended up looking horrible.  I thought about adding some food coloring to the dough, but that would have destroyed the "snowfall" effect.  So you're just going to have to trust me that extraordinary things come in humble-looking packages.

Here's what Terry said in her submission:  "Here's a recipe for cookies you all may like. Hope so, because everyone who has eaten them loves them. This particular recipe came from the Just Cross-Stitch magazine in 1999. It was given by a Cross-Stitch designer - Stephanie Pearson.  Have been making them since then."

Snowfall Sugar Cookies

I love my KitchenAid!  Only bowl I used for this recipe.
1 c. margarine
1 c. powdered sugar
1 c. granulated sugar
1 c. oil
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
4 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
 1 tsp. cream of tartar

extra granulated sugar for rolling cookies

Cream margarine, sugars, oil, and eggs.  Add vanilla.  Sift dry ingredients together and then add to creamed mixture.  Refrigerate dough for an hour.  Roll dough into 1" balls and then roll in granulated sugar.  Place on a greased cookie sheet 2" apart and flatten using the bottom of a glass.  Bake for 8-10 minutes in a 350* oven.  Makes 2 dozen cookies.

Voila:  In ball form, flattened with the glass, and then right out of the oven.

Wendy's Notes:

  • When I first made these, I thought I'd done something wrong because the dough was so soft.  Don't be alarmed, it's really o.k.
  • Terry said this makes more than 2 dozen, and she was right.  I made pretty big cookies and still got closer to 3 dozen.
  • Definitely roll in granulated sugar instead of coarser sanding sugar.
  • I used a silicone baking mat instead of a greased cookie sheet, and it worked well.
  • I found that dipping the bottom of the glass in sugar kept the glass from sticking to the cookies.
  • These cookies spread a lot, so really space them well.
  • If you only flatten the cookies to about 3/8 of an inch and bake on the short side, the cookies stay soft when they cool.  Flatter and the full 10 minutes gives you a perfectly crisp (but not hard) cookie.
Psst ... Terry!  E-mail me through Facebook with your snail mail address so I can send you the cute-as-a-button cookie cutters I have for you!!  And thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe.


Wendy is the author of the Mysteries a la Mode. Visit her on the web or on Facebook. She also writes the Pet Boutique Mysteries under the name Annie Knox; you can follow Annie on Facebook, too!


  1. Wow. That's quite an endorsement for these cookies, Wendy! Sugar cookies are always popular, aren't they? I'll have to try baking these.

    ~ Krista

  2. I'm ashamed of how many of these I personally consumed. But, dang, they were yummy. ;)

  3. Congrats, Terry! I'll be trying these too. Thanks for all the tips, Wendy! Always helpful.

  4. I knew you guys would love these cookies. Sorry I did'nt mention that the dough is a little wet. When I make them, as soon as the first batch come out of the oven, my Aunt and I ALWAYS eat a couple of them while they are hot. Thank you guys for giving them a try.

  5. Thanks, Terry, for the recipe. I will be baking them, today.

  6. Wendy and Terry!
    Thanks for the wonderful recipe! I think the photos are wonderful...they do look like snowflakes on the red silicone mat :-)

  7. I am going to make these for the holidays this year. Thanks :)