Happy December! I’ve really gotten into the swing of Christmas baking. So I’m ready to share the perfect, keep-its-shape, slightly crispy, peanut buttery goodness cut-out snowman cookie recipe. A little twist on the usual holiday cut-out cookie, they pair nicely with vanilla royal icing and are ideal for decorating and gifting.
The key to these cookies keeping their shape lies not only in the combination of ingredients (exact measurement in baking is important) and omission of the leavening agent (i.e. baking powder), but in some crucial points in the process.
Use the best quality butter you can find (unfortunately usually the most expensive). Higher quality butter has less water content, and therefore spreads less during baking. When creaming your butter and sugars, mix only until just incorporated. Traditionally, creaming the butter and sugar means whipping it until it becomes light and fluffy, but doing this will incorporate too much air for this cut-out cookie… perfect for cakes and cupcakes though. Also chill your cookie shapes to almost the frozen point (even frozen works if you have the time) before baking.
The Perfect Peanut Butter Cut-Out Snowman Cookies For Christmas 2017
1 cup (200 g) smooth peanut butter
1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
1 cup (212 g) light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, cold
2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla extract
4 cups (508 g) all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon (4 g) salt
On low speed, mix peanut butter, butter and both sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, until incorporated.
On low speed, add eggs and vanilla and mix until just combined.
Sift salt and flour together and add to the mixture, stirring on low speed. (Tip - Before you mix, cover your bowl losely with a large tea towel, ensuring the tea towel does not get pulled into the machine, to trap the flour inside and prevent spilling). Mix until the dough collects around the paddle attachment.
Roll your dough between two sheets of parchment paper and chill in the fridge for at least one hour.
Cut your cookie shapes out and re-roll as needed. Note that shapes which are re-rolled tend not to keep their shape as well, even if you follow all the correct steps. Keep your cookie shapes with most detail for the first round of cutting.
Place cookie shapes at least 1/2 an inch or 1 cm apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Place tray(s) of cookies in a fridge or freezer until thoroughly chilled; at least one hour.
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 8-12 minutes. Larger shapes will need more time and smaller shapes less. Look for slightly golden brown edges.
Once cookies have cooled, decorate as desired!