Dreaming of a white Christmas? Well, with a weekend that’s going to peak at 80 degrees, it’s looking unlikely we will see snow in Virginia’s capital city any time soon.
This year I decided to take matters into my own hands and made my version of a Richmond winter wonderland. My cookie snow globe is filled with sugary white hills and gingerbread houses covered in a layer of fluffy powdered sugar. Star-shaped sprinkles light up my cookie Christmas tree. This is the edible Christmas of my dreams.
The cookie snow globe is a great alternative to the traditional gingerbread house and can be customized to contain your ideal wintery landscape. I modeled my cookies after the statuesque row houses found in Richmond’s fan district.
Cookie Snow Globe
Glass terrarium, about 12 inches X 9 inches (but use whatever size you like - you will just have to scale your cookies to fit your vessel)
About half a 4 pound bag granulated sugar
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 recipe for gingerbread cookies (any recipe will work - pick your favorite)
1. Purchase your glass vessel/terrarium. I bought a terrarium at Ross for $12.99. It’s measurements are about 12 inches tall and 9 inches wide.
2. Make molasses cookie dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refridgerate for about an hour.
3. While your dough chills, draw the design for your cookie houses. You want the cookies in the front row to be about 1/2 - 2/3 the size of the cookies behind them. I made the following:
3 large houses for the back row – about 6 inches tall
3 medium sized houses for the middle row – about 3-4 inches tall
2 small houses for the very front row – about 2 ½ inches tall
1 Christmas tree – about 3 inches tall
4. Once the dough is chilled, roll it out to about a ¼ inch thickness. Be sure to heavily flour your work surface so the dough doesn’t stick.
5. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
6. With a paring knife, lightly etch your design (from step 3 above) into the dough without cutting through it. Once you are happy with your cookie houses, cut out the shape of your homes with your knife. Next use a butter knife to impress the details of your houses (doors, window, etc.) into the dough (again, don’t cut through it). You want to press your design about a third of a way through the dough.
7. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Carefully transfer your cookies onto the cookie sheet, leaving about an inch of room between the cookies.
8. Bake for about 15 minutes.
9. Cool the cookies. Once cooled, sift powdered sugar on top of them until they are completely covered. Next wipe the powdered sugar off the cookies. The sugar will stay in the impressed details.
10. Fill the bottom of your terrarium with granulated sugar until it is about 3-4 inches deep. Place your finished cookies into the sugar so they are standing upright.