For the fourth day of 12 Days of Cookies, we’ve got a recipe that’s almost too pretty to eat! That’s because it comes from FreshDirect’s own food stylist Emerald, who is a master at making dazzling creations.
As fancy as these creations look, they’re really quite easy: after baking what are essentially just simple sugar cookies cut into star shapes, you just need to stack them up to create adorable trees.
Don’t forget to enter the 12 Days of Cookies giveaway for the chance to win a $100 FreshDirect gift card. Head to the giveaway post on the @freshdirect Instagram and tag a friend in the comments to submit your entry. See the full contest rules here.
Sugar Cookie Trees
What you’ll need:
For the cookies:
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
½ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
1¼ cups chilled unsalted butter, cut into smaller pieces
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Six 5-point star cookie cutters in different sizes
2 large egg whites
2 cups icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
Warm water, if needed
Dragges and sanding sugar for embellishing.
What to do:
To make the cookies: Whisk salt, baking powder, and flour in a small bowl. Using stand or hand mixer on high, cream butter and sugar in another bowl until well combined, about 3 minutes. Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla; beat until just mixed together. Reduce speed to low and mix in dry ingredients until just-combined, adding half at a time. Form dough into two ¾-inch-thick disks and wrap in plastic. Chill at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Let 1 disk of dough sit at room temperature until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Roll out on a lightly-floured sheet of parchment paper until about ¼-inch thick, dusting with flour as needed (if dough gets very soft, chill on parchment until firm). Use floured cookie cutters to cut cookies into a variety of sizes and transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets.
Bake cookies in oven until edges are golden, 12–16 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through. Transfer to wire racks and let cool.
To decorate: Beat icing sugar and egg whites in a medium bowl until mixture becomes thick and smooth (like toothpaste), about 5 minutes. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a thin metal tip. Outline each star with icing, then decorate with dragges or sanding sugar.
Starting with the largest star, stack cookies giving each a quarter turn to make a twisting shape. Use icing as “glue” in-between each layer. Let completely dry.
Let it snow by sifting extra icing sugar over top of trees.
P.S. Show us what you’re baking this holiday season! Use the hashtag #FD12DaysOfCookies on Instagram.