Triangular Tree Sugar Cookies

Divide Royal Icing into three portions and tint with food coloring to make three gradient green hues. Use a decorating bag to precisely create a matrix of branches for a minimalist but festive treat that looks so good you won't want to eat it (but you will).

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  • Makes: 36 servings
  • Serving Size: 1 cookie
  • Makes: 36 to 48 cookies
  • Prep: 35 mins
  • Chill: 2 hrs
  • Bake: 7 mins 375°F per batch

Triangular Tree Sugar Cookies

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg, milk, and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill about 2 hours or until dough is easy to handle.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, roll one dough portion at a time to 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Using a 3- to 3-1/2-inch triangle-shape cookie cutter, cut out most of the dough. Using a paring knife and remaining dough, cut a rectangular trunk from cookie dough scraps for each triangle cutout. For each tree, overlap a triangle over a rectangle on cookie sheet. Place tree cutouts 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  3. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until edges are very light brown. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool.
  4. Using a decorating bag fitted with a ribbon tip (rippled side down), pipe brown-tinted Creamy Frosting in a strip down the center of each tree for a trunk. Divide some frosting-consistency Royal Icing into three portions; tint portions light green, medium green, and dark green. Using a separate decorating bag fitted with a small round tip for each shade, pipe the green-tinted icings on trees for branches.

From the Test Kitchen

To Store:

Layer cookies between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Royal Icing

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl stir together the powdered sugar, meringue powder, and cream of tartar. Add the water and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined; beat on high speed for 7 to 10 minutes or until icing is very stiff. If not using right away, cover bowl with a damp paper towel and cover paper towel with plastic wrap; chill for up to 48 hours.

From the Test Kitchen

**Tip:

Meringue powder is a mixture of pasteurized dried egg whites, sugar, and edible gums. Look for it in the baking aisle of your supermarket or at a specialty food store.

Creamy White Frosting

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl beat shortening, vanilla, and almond extract with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add about half of the powdered sugar, beating well. Beat in 2 tablespoons of the milk. Gradually beat in the remaining powdered sugar and enough of the remaining milk to reach spreading consistency.

Nutrition Facts (Creamy White Frosting)

  • Per serving:
  • 298 kcal ,
  • 16 g fat
  • ( 4 g sat. fat ,
  • 0 mg chol. ,
  • 2 mg sodium ,
  • 38 g carb. ,
  • 0 g fiber ,
  • 0 g pro.
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Nutrition Facts (Triangular Tree Sugar Cookies)

  • Per serving:
  • 74 kcal ,
  • 4 g fat
  • (2 g sat. fat ,
  • 0 g polyunsaturated fat ,
  • 1 g monounsaturated fat ),
  • 15 mg chol. ,
  • 49 mg sodium ,
  • 10 g carb. ,
  • 0 g fiber ,
  • 4 g sugar ,
  • 1 g pro.
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