Here’s a sweet-salty project that will charm Santa or any cookie lovers at your house: sugar cookie “angels” with mini pretzel wings and almond hands/songbooks. Start with your own homemade dough (find the Almond Angel Cookies recipe at wapo.st/cookiegenerator , or use logs of sugar cookie dough from the store. Follow the steps on this page.
You’ll need colored sanding sugar for coating the dough logs, mini pretzels, flat almond slices and tubes of writing icing or gel in colors you like. Have fun drawing the angel hair and faces!
Adult help: Yes
Kitchen gear: Plastic wrap, cardboard paper-towel tube, cutting board, sharp knife, parchment paper, baking sheets (for homemade dough: measuring cups and spoons, mixing bowl, stand mixer or handheld electric mixer, spatula)
Makes: About 44 cookies
Hands-on time: 1 hour total
Total time: 3 to 4 hours, including dough chilling, baking and decorating
STEP 1: Roll the logs of cookie dough in colored sanding sugar. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, or up to 2 days. To help maintain their shape, place inside split cardboard tubes (from paper towel rolls). (You also wrap and refrigerate ⅔ cup of dough for shaping the angels’ heads.)
STEP 2: Cut each log of dough into ¼-inch-thick rounds. If the dough gets soft, put it back in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to firm up. Lay the cookie dough rounds flat.
STEP 3: Pinch together each round of dough at the top; this will create the angel’s body. Or you can wait and do the pinching once the body is atop its wings, in the next step.
STEP 4: Place pairs of mini pretzel wings back to back on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet so that the double-rounded edges face outward. Place each angel body atop a pair of wings, pressing gently.
STEP 5: Gently press a pair of almond slices on each angel body, about where the hands or songbook would be.
STEP 6: Use the reserved ⅔ cup of dough to roll into 44 dime-size balls. Press one into the top of each angel body, flattening it a bit, to make the angel’s head. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 12 to 14 minutes, then cool completely.
STEP 7: Use small tubes of colored icing (the kind used to write on cakes) to decorate the heads on the baked Almond Angel Cookies. Let dry.
STEP 8: Store the finished cookies between sheets of wax paper in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to 1 week.