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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Snow Cloud Cookies

Fairbanks is not a place that gets a lot of snow. This surprises some people, snow and cold automatically go together in most of our brains. I know it did in mine until I moved here. The one thing that surprises me is how just a little bit of snow (3 inches) can stick around for months. I grew up in Northern Michigan where the snow comes and melts, and repeats the cycle 10 times over the course of the winter.
This winter has been one of our coldest yet. We have had little reprieve from 30 below and colder temperatures all winter. Which means we have had very little snow, that is until last week. The temperature slowly crept above zero. We started getting spring fever. Then it happened...winter arrived. The warm temperatures brought the snow. More snow than I have ever seen in Fairbanks. Enough snow that would equal a pretty good storm where I grew up. Not only was there snow, but wind too. We are prepared for cold, we insulate our houses and the pipes that bring our water. But snow? Fairbanks didn't know what to do with the stuff. Being used to driving in these conditions I actually went to work Monday morning to find there hadn't been a plow on the road in the last 24 hours, nor had anyone else. It was actually kind of fun. That storm brought 18 inches or more of snow to some parts of Fairbanks, then on Friday we added 8 more.
Our poor pups didn't know what to think. They aren't fans of cold snow on their bellies. They stared out the window in amazement.
Me? I took the opportunity to make some snow cloud cookies. This weekend seemed like the perfect time.
Photo by David Gibbs

Snow Cloud Cookies
adapted from Flour by Joanne Chang

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. If using a stand mixer this should take about 5 minutes. You are going to build some muscles if using a wooden spoon. Scrape down the sides a few times as you go. Beat in the vanilla and the eggs for two to three minutes, until thoroughly combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl and the mixer paddle making sure the eggs are incorporated.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add dry ingredients to butter mixture on low speed. Continue until flour is totally incorporated and dough is evenly mixed.

Scrape the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap. Completely wrap the dough in plastic pressing down to form a 1 inch thick disk. Refrigerate dough for one hour or up to five days. If refrigerating longer than a couple of hours remove dough 20 minutes before using.

Position a rack in the center of the oven, heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Lightly flour a work surface, such as a large wooden cutting board. Place the dough on the floured surface and lightly flour the dough. Roll out to about 1/4 inch thick. Keep your rolling pin, dough, and surface floured to avoid sticking. Using a cookie cutter of your choice, cut as many cookies as possible. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart. Gather up scraps, re-roll, and cut more cookies. If the dough becomes too soft to work with, wrap in plastic and place back in the fridge until firm.

Bake 15 to 17 minutes, until cookies are golden brown on the edges. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for about 30 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.


3 cups confectioners' sugar
5-6 tablespoons light cream or half and half

Sift confectioners' sugar into a medium bowl and mix in enough cream to make stiff.

To frost cloud cookies use an offset spatula to apply frosting. Place about one teaspoon of frosting in the middle of each cookie, using a circular motion to spread the frosting to the edge of the cookie. Dust with edible glitter.

Makes approximately 30 cookies.


  1. How interesting that you don't get much snow there; I never would have guessed. Everything I know about Alaska I learned from watching Northern Exposure when I was 14. :)

    Also, I really think I need some edible glitter.

  2. Love the snowy photo, it reminds me of home! And the cookies look adorable!

  3. Cute cookies and cute pups:)

  4. Gorgeous cookies and even more gorgeous pups. I am HUGE dog lover and yours are adorable. Great photo of the two cuties.

  5. These are too cute for words. Thanks for sharing!


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