Sugar Cookie Christmas Tree
Decorating cookies is a must during the Christmas season. This sugar cookie recipe is a classic that can be passed down through generations.
- 1/3 cup butter, softened
- 1/3 cup shortening
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- Dash salt
- 1 recipe Royal icing (see recipe below)
- Edible glitter
- 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 4 teaspoons meringue powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 to 2 tablespoons warm water
Preparation time 40mins
Cooking time 109mins
Adapted from bhg.com
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, and salt; beat until combined. Beat in egg, milk, and vanilla until combined.
Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Cover; chill dough about 1 hour or until easy to handle.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
On a lightly floured surface, roll a portion of the dough at a time to 1/4-inch thickness. Using start-shape cookie cutters, cut out six 4-1/2-inch stars, six 3-3/4-inch stars, four 2-3/4-inch stars, four 2-inch stars, and six 1-1/2-inch stars.
Place larger stars about 1 inch apart on one un-greased cookie sheet and smaller sizes on another un-greased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges are firm and bottoms are very lightly browned.
Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer to a wire rack, cool.
To assemble each cookie tree, place one of the large star cookies on a plate. Spread a small circle of royal icing onto center of cookie; top with two more of the large cookies, rotating each slightly (spread icing between cookies as you stack them).
Continue stacking with three 3-3/4-inch stars, two 2-3/4-inch stars, two 2-inch stars, and three 1-1/2-inch stars.
To decorate, pipe a small amount of royal icing down one side of tree, letting icing drip slightly from tips; sprinkle with edible glitter. Repeat on other sides of tree.
Stir together powdered sugar, meringue powder, and cream of tartar. Add the 1/4 cup warm water. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Beat on high speed for 7 to 10 minutes until very stiff. Add the 1 to 2 tablespoons additional water, 1 teaspoon at a time, to make desired consistency.