My Mom has a collection of Christmas decorations called S'mores. They are so cute and I got to thinking, the only thing that would make them better, would be if they were actually edible! Edible is always better!
A cute little snowman cookie sitting on top of a homemade graham cracker and a faux chocolate candy bar cookie. Delicious and adorable. These cookies are time consuming, but definitely worth the extra effort!
Step 1: Prepare the Shortbread Cookies
There are three different cookies required to make the S'mores: Shortbread Cookies, Chocolate Rolled Cookies and Graham Crackers. They are all very easy to make but each dough MUST rest in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight. Don't skip this step! You'll have a sticky mess of dough that you can't work with. Also, I'll probably tell you "I told you so." And nobody likes that.
-2 Sticks Unsalted Butter, softened
-1 Cup Confectioner's Sugar
-1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
-1 1/2 teaspoons Almond Extract (Optional)
-2 1/2 Cups Flour
-1/2 teaspoon Salt
Cream butter and sugar together in large bowl. Add the egg and blend well. Add the extracts and blend. In a separate bowl, mix together flour and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture until completely incorporated. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Dough will be sticky and soft. It will firm up in the fridge.
After the dough has chilled, roll the dough out on a floured surface, keeping it pretty thick, about 3/8". You may also only want to work with only about 1/4 of the dough at a time.
Since I didn't have a cookie cutter that was the shapes I wanted for my snowmen, I made templates. To do this, I draw my design on plain, white printer paper. Cut the design out and place contact paper on both sides. The contact paper is not necessary, but it allows me to keep and reuse my templates. I made a separate piece for each snowman's head and body, and put them together on the dough if I wanted to create a full snowman. Cut around the templates and place cookies on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 375oF for 8-9 minutes. Larger cookies may take up to 20 minutes. Cookies are done when they are golden brown on the bottom. Let cookies cool on a wire rack.
Makes approximately 2 dozen 2" cookies.
Step 2: Prepare the Graham Crackers
Homemade Graham Crackers:
-2 cups plus 2 Tbs. All Purpose Flour
-1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
-1 Cup Dark Brown Sugar, Lightly Packed
-1 teaspoon Baking soda
-3/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
-7 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, cut into cubes and frozen
-1/3 Cup Clover Honey
-5 Tablespoons Milk
-2 Tablespoons Vanilla
Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Cut the butter in with a pastry blender until the mixture has the same consistency of course meal.
In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, milk, and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture and mix until the dough barely comes together. It will be very soft and sticky. Put the dough onto a lightly floured sheet of plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
After dough has chilled, roll onto a floured surface, working with only half at a time. Dough will still be pretty sticky, so add flour as necessary. Roll to approximately 1/4" thick. Cut into 2"x2" squares, either with a pizza slicer or a cookie cutter. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
Use a bamboo skewer to make an imprint of a line down the middle, then use the large end of the skewer to make holes. Mist lightly with water and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Chill until firm, about 30-45 minutes in the fridge or 15-20 minutes in the freezer. Bake at 350oF for 15-25 minutes until slightly firm to the touch. Be careful not to burn them, it's hard to tell if they are getting too brown since the dough is dark! After taking them out of the oven, you might have to use the skewer to re-poke the holes again. Especially if you put a lot of cinnamon sugar, like me! Place crackers on a wire rack to cool.
Makes 48 2" square crackers.
Step 3: Prepare Chocolate Cookies
Rolled Chocolate Cookies:
-2 Sticks Unsalted Butter, Softened
-1 Cup Granulated Sugar
-1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
-2 Cups Flour
-1/2 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
-1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
-1/2 tsp. Salt
Cream butter and sugar together. Add the egg and vanilla and blend. Mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the sugar and butter mixture. Mix until completely incorporated. Cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
After dough has chilled, roll out on a floured surface (or between 2 sheets of wax paper) to 1/4" thick. Cut into 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" squares. Using a toothpick, cut to size, create the imprints to mimic that of a chocolate bar.
Bake, on a parchment lined cookie sheet, at 375oF for approximately 8 minutes. Cookies are done when the edges are crisp. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
Makes 1 dozen cookies.
Step 4: Prepare the Royal Icing
-4 Tablespoons Meringue Powder
-1/2 Cup Water
-7-8 Cups Confectioner's Sugar
-1 teaspoon Vanilla
-2 Tablespoons Crisco
-2 Tablespoons Light Corn Syrup
Whip the meringue powder and water on high speed until fluffy and stiff peaks have formed. Gradually add the confectioner's sugar until the desired consistency is reached. The icing should be very thick. Remember it can always be thinned down later. Add remaining ingredients and mix until combined. The Crisco and corn syrup can be left out, but they help the icing dry with a pretty sheen.
Divide the icing into separate containers to be colored. Use food coloring to get the desired colors (in this case white, black, orange, red and green). Mix well and allow the set. Allowing the icing to set, helps the colors develop and become darker and more vivid. Make sure to set some of the thick, uncolored icing aside to be used as the glue when it's time to assemble the S'mores!
After your icing has set and you are ready to begin decorating, you can thin your icing. Add a tiny bit of water, I'm talking a few drops at a time, and mix until you reach your desired consistency. I use piping bags for the thicker, outlining icing and the squeeze bottles for the thinned down flood icing.
Step 5: Decorate the Snowmen Cookies
Decorate the Snowman cookies however you like. I tried to stay pretty close to the original S'mores design, with a few extra touches!
Use the thicker icing to outline the shapes and fill in with the thinned icing. Allow to dry overnight, and add eyes, buttons, etc.
Step 6: Assemble the S'mores
Using the royal icing that was set aside for the glue, attach a "chocolate bar" to each graham cracker. Use a big dollop of icing and push down firmly. Allow to set for at least a couple hours.
After the graham crackers have dried, use the same icing as glue to attach the snowmen cookies. Run some icing along the bottom of each snowman and press. You may have to hold the snowman steady for awhile until it feels like it it set enough to stand on it's own. I love how any icing that squishes out the bottom looks like melted snow!
Step 7: Assemble Your S'Morenaments...
into a S'more army!
(Or a smarmy if you think yours look particularly sycophantic.)