Servings: makes about 4 or 5 stacked trees, depending on the size and number of ‘branches’
- 1¾ cups Pamela’s All-Purpose Flour Artisan Blend
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup butter*, shortening or butter substitute
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 egg*, large or egg replacer equivalent
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ¼ tsp almond extract (optional)
- *recommended for best results
- Vanilla Frosting Mix, prepared (leave it white for snow or color it green for an evergreen feel)
- large sugar crystals
- red hots or pearls of sugar
- Set of 5 star cookie cutters in graduating sizes
- In a medium bowl, whisk together first four dry ingredients and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter until soft, add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, and extract, and mix until well combined. Add dry ingredients and mix on low until dough is completely mixed, scraping down dough as needed.
- Divide dough in half. Roll each piece of dough between two sheets of parchment paper into rectangles approximately ¼” thick. Place dough with parchment on cookie sheets and chill until firm.
- Preheat oven to 350° with rack in top third of the oven. Cut sets of stars making more stars for taller trees, and less stars for smaller trees (use the three smallest cutters). If you want trees the same size, use all five sizes for each tree. Bake for 13 to 17 minutes, until the cookies are starting to turn a golden color on the edges. Cookies should be crisp so they will hold up as decorations.
- Frost and decorate the smallest cookie (the top of your tree first) and set aside. Frost and decorate the next smallest and place the first carefully on top of the second, positioning it slightly rotated (do not line up the star arms of the tree). Do this for all the layers. Set tree aside for a few hours to completely harden the frosting, making a secure tree that won’t topple over.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://mycookingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/judi.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]A graduate of Johnson & Wales, Judi has managed restaurants and owned restaurants in the northeast and was the founder of a successful dessert company. Today, she is a sought-after restaurant consultant, TV cook on the ABC affiliate in her hometown, and culinary editor of a city magazine. Her personal passions are culinary travel to exotic places and holiday cooking in her home for huge gatherings of friends and relatives. Her guilty pleasure? Bruce Springsteen concerts. “I follow him around the country and have for years,” she admits. “But, in every city where Bruce sings, I do check out new restaurants and talk to up and coming chefs. I want all the food news I can get.”[/author_info] [/author]