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A couple weeks ago I saw this video of Gail Dosik, of One Tough Cookie, making a Christmas tree out of cookies. I was totally inspired.
I immediately started searching Amazon for graduated cookie cutters and found a set of star-shaped ones from Wilton. I never make a holiday centerpiece. If we have one, it’s because Fiona took it upon herself to make one. So I decided that this year, our centerpiece would be a Christmas cookie tree!
I’m rather glad that I couldn’t find the kind of cutters that Gail used because her tree requires a kind of precision that I just don’t have. Maybe next time. If I take a Valium first.
Last night I made a massive amount of roll-out cookie dough, and this morning made the cookies. At first it seemed like the cookies would take forever, but once I got past the two biggest stars it went a lot faster.
I used Gail’s method for rolling out the dough. Before discovering her secret, I rarely made cut-out cookies because they always looked fairly terrible and tasted even worse, due to all the extra flour I’d have to use to keep them from sticking. But trust me, her method is genius. You’re crazy if you don’t use it.
I’ve never used icing on cookies, so I decided to give it a try. I wanted to outline the cookies in frosting then pour the icing on very thin and let it spread, but I just couldn’t get it thin enough. The recipe I was using said to just keep adding light corn syrup until it was the right consistency but I started getting afraid that it would taste funny. So I spread the frosting to the edges as best I could.
Assembly was really easy, since it didn’t have to be exact. I just had to check every few cookies and make sure the tree wasn’t lopsided.
You can see that some of the frosting near the top gushed out and dripped down. I decided that those looked like icicles and weren’t a mistake. :-)
I sprinkled the whole thing with silver-colored sugar, although I think it would have looked better if I’d done that before stacking the cookies.
I’m quite proud of myself, but this design left a lot of room for error. I’d like to try another one that’s not so haphazard. I think it may be time for some private lessons with Gail. :-)
I made way too much dough, so I let Fiona make some cookies (I think The Ass ate about half of them).
When she got tired of it I made some to share with the choir at Christmas Eve service.
And I still have about a third of the dough left. I might try making some smaller trees with it tomorrow – just the top five or six layers. Maybe I’ll make a whole cookie forest! And populate it with little gingerbread men! And the men will need a house…
I think this is the most relaxing Christmas Eve I’ve ever had. The presents were all wrapped days ago, and I did nothing today but bake.
I hope you all have a nice Christmas, filled with cookies and gifts and family. And if you don’t celebrate Christmas, well, at least your kids will let you sleep in tomorrow.
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