This cookie creation is almost too pretty to eat! And although it looks fancy, it’s really quite easy: just make the simple sugar cookie dough, cut it into star shapes, bake in the oven, and stack the treats up to create frosty, wintry trees.
These cookie trees will make for a dazzling edible display at your holiday party. You can also leaved them unstacked for sharing and gifting. But most of all, you should feel free to get creative with the decorations to give them a personal touch that makes them distinctly yours.
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.