While our options for festive baked goods are just about endless this time of year, there's one perennial staple that cannot be missed: The tried and true sugar cookie. And what better way to decorate the perfect, delectable sugar cookie than as a sparkly, frosted Christmas tree? So pretty -- to keep or to share!
Check the recipe out ...
Sugar Cookie Christmas Trees from Better Homes & Gardens
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees 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.
4. Place larger stars about 1 inch apart on one ungreased cookie sheet and smaller sizes on another ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges are firm and bottoms are very lightly browned.
5. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer to a wire rack, cool.
6. 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).
7. 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.
8. 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.
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