In my family, any holiday is a good excuse to make cut-out cookies. I literally have boxes of cookie cutters and a cabinet full of sprinkles! I admit we may go a bit overboard, but it’s such a fun tradition to make and to eat these yummy cookies!
Gluten-free, dairy-free and even vegan (yay-we can all eat the scraps of dough!), this is truly one of my favorite do-anything recipes. And now I’ve found something new to do do with this dough: make a Cookie Tree! This set of star cutters make great cookies in their own right, but stack them on top of each other and you have a super-cute cookie tree for a centerpiece or edible treat!
Sugar Cut-Out Cookies
- 1/2 cup shortening (Earth Balance® Shortening Sticks)
- 1 cup granulated cane sugar
- 1 egg or egg substitute (see below*)
- 1/4 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Food coloring (optional)
- 2 1/4 cups Jules Gluten Free™ All Purpose Flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Gluten-free sprinkles or colored sugar (optional)
(*Egg Substitutes: e.g. Ener-G Egg® Replacer or whisk together: 1 Tbs. milk powder or DariFree™ Milk Powder + 1 Tbs. cornstarch + 2 Tbs. warm water)
Cream shortening and sugar until very fluffy. Add egg (or egg replacer), vanilla extract, milk, and food coloring, beating until integrated. Add the dry ingredients last, mixing until evenly blended. Form the dough into a ball and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate or freeze until cold and no longer sticky, at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375ºF (static) or 350ºF (convection).
Lightly flour the rolling surface, rolling pin and cookie cutters with Jules Gluten Free™ All Purpose Flour. Roll the dough to approximately 1/8-inch thickness and cut shapes, re-rolling dough scraps to utilize all the dough.
Place cut-out cookies onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet and decorate with colored sugar or sprinkles, if desired. Bake approximately 8–10 minutes, but remove before they begin to brown at the edges. When baked and cooled, frost with Easy Cookie Icing, if desired.
To make cookie tree, bake at least 3 of each size star. Once cooled, ice them and stack, using a dab of icing between star layers to help them stay in place. Set each star atop the one below by turning it so the points are not directly on top of the star points below, making the star points look like random branches. Ice one of the smallest stars with yellow icing or yellow sanding sugar and set atop the tree like a star tree-topper.
Yields: 2 dozen cookies, depending on size.
*This recipe and over 149 more, also available in my new cookbook, Free for All Cooking: 150 Easy Gluten-Free, Allergy-Friendly Recipes the Whole Family Can Enjoy!