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Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Sugar Cookie Christmas Tree
To be honest, I haven't really don't that much baking this year for Christmas. Usually I do loads of baking to give away as gifts, to bring to work and to serve at our holiday party. But this year I haven't really had the chance to do any of that. Things have been so crazy around here with my new job, my weekend "job" taking children's photos, being pregnant (oh yeah, that little thing) and a slew of other things going on that I'm not quite ready to tell you about (check back after the New Year though!).
We are leaving this weekend for an extended Christmas vacation (more on that later this week), so my holiday baking time is being cut even shorter. A few weeks ago I ordered a few things from Lakeland.com - including a brand new cupcake carrying case (SO excited!! Seriously, what a huge nerd I am). I was getting ready to check out when what to my wandering eyes should appear?
|photo from Wilton.com|
Well, something similar to this, just not Wilton brand (Lakeland must have sold out of their version because I can't find a photo on their website!)
A Christmas tree made out of stacked star cookies?!?! SOLD! In my basket it went.
Over the weekend I finally had a chance to try this puppy out. I have my moms sugar cookie recipe that I usually use for the holidays, but since I didn't know exactly how much dough I would need I decided to go with the recipe on the box. It made just the perfect amount of dough to make two of each stars. I made an extra one for me to snack on and it tasted great!
After all of the stars were baked I took a day off (well, not really, I was taking more children's photos, but more on that later!) and spent all afternoon on Sunday frosting these guys up. It was my first time using Royal Icing and I have to say, I was a little intimidated. I didn't have any quick access to meringue powder, so I found a recipe that used powdered egg whites (can't use raw egg whites now that I'm prego!) and it worked like a charm! I even had a bunch left over thanks to the majority of my frosting being one solid color.
Even though the royal icing process was relatively painless, it did take a while! First you have to outline each cookie with slightly thicker royal icing to create a border. Once that dries (I found that by the time I was done with the last cookie the first few were already dry) you have to thin down the rest of your icing and flood the cookies. And then you have to wait for them to dry before you can stack them. And then...ok never mind, that was the last step.
I put a circle of icing in the middle of each cookie before stacking the next smallest one on top. The only thing that I would change is that next time I will add the lights on after all the layers are stacked. Some of the lights got in the way, especially on the smaller ones towards the top, and the cookies didn't want to lay quite flat. But all in all it was a success! I can't wait to make a gingerbread version with all white icing, how pretty will that look?! Brian took the cookie tree to work today, fingers crossed his coworkers liked my tree as much as I did!