Brrr! It’s snowing outside!
Whether you are four years of age, 14, or even an adult – when you’re in the company of newly fallen snow, nothing in the world can compare to making tracks through it, sticking out your tongue to catch falling snowflakes, or packing together a perfectly round snowball with your mittens.
Why do we get so excited about the snow?
Snow brings change, newness, and a fresh take on the world. Travel is disrupted, meetings are cancelled, and school closes early. It makes us take a step back from the routine and for once, take the time to smell the coffee (and build a snowman).
Snow is all we talk about when it arrives, and the thrill and anticipation of snow days is not just for the kids. Snow play is magical and exciting for children and adults alike, leaving imprints in the snow and in their hearts. And most importantly, perhaps, snow brings out our inner child.
However, outdoor play can only last for so long before heading indoors with wet gear and red noses. A snowy day may be just the opportunity you need to pass on some kitchen skills and enjoy quality time (indoors!) surrounded by those who spread warmth.
The moral of the snow story is: make the most of the Big Freeze – it won’t last forever.
COZY SLIPPER COOKIES
Cooking and prep: 2 hours 10 minutes
Cozy slippers are the ones you want to slip into on a cold night. Creating cozy slipper cookies in honor of the cold weather is a great snow day activity.
Not only are these cookies adorable, they taste great too!
You will need:
- Your favorite recipe for cut-out cookies
- 1 batch homemade fudge (recipe below)
- Pink candy melts, melted
- Pink baking chocolate, grated
- Peanut-butter-flavored baking chocolate, melted
- Peanut-butter-flavored baking chocolate, grated
- White baking chocolate, grated (optional)
- Shredded coconut (optional)
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons nougat filling
1 tablespoon oil
2 tablespoons whipping cream
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
Prepare the Cookies
1. Prepare cut-out cookie dough according to recipe directions.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
3. Divide dough into four parts. Roll out one part at a time, refrigerating the others until needed.
4. Using a round cookie cutter, cut circles with a diameter between one and three-eighths of an inch and one and a half inches.
5. Elongate the circles into ovals to create a slipper shape. Pinch the center to create the arch of the slipper.
6. Bake eight to 10 minutes, checking for doneness.
Prepare the Fudge
1. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine peanut butter, nougat filling, oil, whipping cream, and salt.
2. Microwave on high for 30 seconds and stir. Microwave 20 more seconds and stir again. If the mixture is not yet melted, continue microwaving in 10-second increments until melted.
3. Add confectioners’ sugar, mixing to incorporate. If the fudge is wet to the touch, add more confectioners’ sugar.
1. Scoop balls of fudge. Working with one at a time, place a fudge ball on one end of a cookie. Press onto the slipper, matching the cookie’s shape and making sure it sticks well to the cookie.
2. Using a thin stick or the handle of a piece of silverware, make an indentation in the fudge like a tunnel, making it look like a slipper.
3. Freeze cookies until firm to the touch.
4. Dip the top of each cookie in melted chocolate. Immediately roll it in grated chocolate (or sprinkle grated chocolate on top).
5. Set aside to dry. Repeat with the rest of the cookies.
Tip: To give these slipper cookies an authentic Ugg look, add white grated chocolate or shredded coconut around the opening of the slipper. Nice and cozy!
Cooking and prep: 2 hours
Pizza is delicious anytime, so why not a snowman pizza for a cold winter day? And since white is the theme for a snow-white day, try your hand at homemade white pizza sauce. Mmm…sure smells good…
You will need:
- Your favorite pizza dough recipe
- White Pizza Sauce (recipe below)
- Shredded mozzarella cheese, for sprinkling
- Handful of black olives, for the snowman’s eyes and buttons
- 1 baby carrot
- Marinara sauce or sriracha hot sauce, for the snowman’s mouth
- Grated Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling
White Pizza Sauce
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 and 1/4 cups milk
1 and 1/4 cups whipping cream
1 clove garlic, minced
salt, to taste
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Shape the Dough
1. Prepare pizza dough according to recipe directions.
2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
3. Roll out dough, forming three circles graduating in size from smallest to largest. In diameter, they should measure about four inches, five to six inches, and seven to eight inches.
4. Place the largest circle on the bottom half of the baking sheet. Place the medium circle so that it just overlaps the larger one to create the body of the snowman. Place the smallest circle on top to form the snowman’s head.
5. Pinch the edges of the circles to form a thin rim to hold the sauce.
Prepare White Pizza Sauce
1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together butter, flour, milk, and whipping cream until smooth.
2. Add garlic and salt. Continue cooking, stirring until sauce thickens.
3. Remove from heat. Add 1/3 cup Parmesan, mixing quickly to incorporate. Use sauce immediately or refrigerate for later use.
1. Spread White Pizza Sauce onto each circle of dough. Sprinkle with mozzarella.
2. Decorate the snowman, using olives as eyes and buttons and the baby carrot for the nose. Be creative and add embellishments such as scarves made out of pepper strips or earmuffs made with cauliflower florets. Add a mouth with marinara or sriracha sauce.
3. Bake 15 minutes, until crust is light golden or the cheese begins to bubble. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve warm.
MELTED CHOCOLATE SNOWMAN
Cooking and prep: 15 minutes
Puddles of creamy white chocolate harden into wintertime delights. These yummy melting snowmen are a super-cute, no-bake winter treat. Feel free to experiment with different candies and toppings. Have your clan create their own creative little “men” without freezing their toes in the process! And remember: have you ever seen two melted snowmen that look alike?
You will need
- Yellow food coloring
- White fondant
- White baking chocolate, melted
- Pretzel sticks
- Black and colored M&M candies
- Sour Belts
- Licorice twists
- Mini chocolate chips
- Mini candy pearls
- Chocolate peanut butter cups
- Sugar crystals
Prepare the Fondant Carrot Noses
1. Pour a few drops of yellow food coloring into a cup. Knead into white fondant until it turns deep orange.
2. Pinch off small pieces of fondant and roll into mini logs. Working with one at a time, pinch one end of the log to narrow it until it is pointed.
3. Flatten the other end slightly so that the nose will stay in place on the snowman.
Prepare the Melted Chocolate Snowmen
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour spoonfuls of melted chocolate onto the parchment, three to four at a time (chocolate hardens quickly). Spread out in a circular motion to create the shape of a melting snowman.
2. Working quickly, make your snowmen come alive with the prepared fondant noses and other toppings of your choice. Scatter the body parts and clothing items near where they would be on a real snowman, but not exactly in the right spots.
3. To make puddles of water for your melting snowmen, sprinkle sugar crystals at the bottom of each snowman.
I hope you all enjoy these snow-day treats as much as my family does! If you decide to make any of these please let us know in the comments below!