This week my daughter, granddaughters and I will be baking all of our Christmas cookies. We’ve started off with a beautiful Christmas Tree Cookie Stack that utilizes my favorite sugar cookie recipe. I’ve wanted to make a cookie stack like this for the longest time, and I’m thrilled with how this turned out. It’s a fabulous way to turn ordinary sugar cookies into a stunning centerpiece or special gift. I hope you like it!
To make this you’ll need your favorite sugar cookie recipe (I’ve shared mine below), a graduated set of star shaped cookie cutters, royal icing (recipe below), and white sparkling sugar sprinkles.
To make the sugar cookies, I used the same recipe I’ve been using for probably 20 years. It comes from a McCalls Cookbook I received as a gift back in 1987 (I know this because of the inscription). I used this Ateco 6-Piece Graduated Star Cookie Cutter Set which I purchased from Amazon for $11.31, although any graduated star shaped cookie cutters would work.
Sugar Cookie Recipe
4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dairy sour cream
1. Sift flour with baking powder, soda, salt, and nutmeg; set aside.
2. In large bowl of electric mixer, at medium speed, beat butter, sugar, and egg until light and fluffy.
3. At low speed, beat in sour cream and vanilla until smooth.
4. Gradually add flour mixture, beating until well combined.
5. With rubber scraper, form dough into a ball. Wrap in waxed paper or foil; refrigerate several hours or over night.
6. Divide dough into 4 parts. Refrigerate until ready to roll out.
7. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheets.
8. On well-floured surface, roll dough, one part at a time, 1/4 inch thick.
9. With floured star shaped cookie cutters, cut out cookies (minimum 3 to 4 of each size). Using spatula, carefully place cookies 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. If desired, re-roll trimmings and cut.
10. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden. Remove to wire rack; cool.
To Make Royal Icing you will need the following:
1 pound minus 1/4 cup of powdered sugar
5 tablespoons meringue powder
1/2 cup cool water
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, and mix on high speed for 7 to 8 minutes, until stiff.
To Create the Christmas Tree Cookie Stack:
Using a total of 18 cookies, I made my Christmas tree rather tall, but you can use fewer cookies and make it smaller if you like. I used 3 or 4 of each size of the six star shaped cookies.
Begin by selecting one of the largest cookies for the base. Using the royal icing as glue, stack another cookie of the same size or larger on top of the base cookie. You’ll rotate each cookie slightly, so that the points are exposed. Repeat this process until your tree is complete, using smaller cookies as you work your way up. Place and glue one of the smallest stars in an upright position, at the top of the tree.
Once your tree is built, using a leaf tip, add royal icing snow to the tip of each star. Sprinkle royal icing with white sparkling sugar sprinkles. Do this as you work your way up. If you wait, the icing will harden and the sugar sprinkles will not stick.