While Halloween is all fun and games, I’m excited for the real holiday season to officially begin! I am such a sucker for Christmas: I think it’s the only holiday that allows you to bask in its glory for a whole month: the excitement and planning starts in November, but from December 1st through to the 25th, the fun and games and excitement just keeps building up.
And, what other holiday allows you to keep the decorations in your house for another week or two after it has passed? Just say it with me: Christmas is the best time of year. But if you don’t agree with me, which is okay, tell me what YOUR favourite holiday/time of year is, and why =)
I bought all new decorations this year, for the tree and for my home, since I’m moving at the end of the month (another great thing to look forward to for December!!). A new beginning at the end of the year. It’s pretty fantastic. So I bought new decorations, but I’ve also been making decorations as well. The paper stars you see in these photos are the product of my arts & crafts frenzy. But let’s not digress, the paper stars are pretty amazing, but the real stars of this post are the ridiculously cute sugar cookie Christmas trees!
Anna and I were at Crate & Barrel (our weakness, addiction, dream store, etc), and we saw these star cookie cutters that allowed you to make these very adorable and very epic Christmas trees. Just use your favourite cookie recipe, as long as it holds its shape, and off you go: roll, cut and bake. Put on royal icing, sprinkles, let dry, and assemble. Tada!
Endless decorating possibilities, and endless fun are guaranteed. If you want super neat and tidy royal icing, then use the flooding method on each individual star, let dry completely before assembling. To assemble, just put a bit of royal icing on the centre of each star before topping it off with the next level.
For a whimsical look, use the flooding method, but start assembling right away. The weight of each added layer causes the royal icing to spread out just enough to look like snow is drooping off each layer.
I used sanding sugar for added texture, and tinted my royal icing green for a classic Christmas tree look. I also just used simple icing sugar to get a freshly snowed on look – which also adds minimal sweetness for those who are not a fan of royal icing. Dragees are super cute, and act as ornaments. I only had silver ones on hand, but go crazy! To get the star-topped look, just use half a toothpick to get the star to stand up.
As for the cookies, I did one batch with my all time favourite sugar cookie recipe. The key here is not to overbake – you want the cookies to be just baked through and firm, but no brown edges. Let the cookies cool completely before icing them. For the second batch, I used my snickerdoodle recipe, but made a few tweaks to get a firmer cookie since snickerdoodles are fairly melt-in-your-mouth.
You don’t need to run out and buy the Crate & Barrel kit, any set of star cutters will work just fine for these mini Christmas trees that measure about six to eight inches in height. The awesome thing about the kit, though, is that you can create beautiful large cookie centre pieces. The big Christmas tree was made as to the instructions that came with the cutters: 1 cookie of each of the four large cutters, and then 3 of each of the remaining cutters. The tree ended up being about 12 inches or so in height.