Gingerbread Star Cookie Tree
Bake, stack and bite your way to a crowd-pleasing Gingerbread Star Cookie Tree. Soft gingerbread cookies cut into graduated-sized stars tower ten high for an edible holiday centerpiece. Steadied with raspberry jam and dusted with powdered sugar, this cookie tree is the perfect December dessert.
Thanksgiving came and went and once again I didn’t survive unscathed. There was scathing aplenty. The gravy boiled over, a stick of butter blew up in the microwave and then I cockspatched my spatchcocked turkey. In case you’re wondering that means, I removed the turkey’s breastbone instead of the backbone then roasted it upside down in a grateful-day gaffe.
By some cosmic miracle, the bird was still fit for consumption.
Normally I would find humor in the situation, but sadly this isn’t the first time I made a turkey upside down by mistake. It says something about my brain that I cannot distinguish a turkey boob from a turkey back. In short, it says cooking is not my calling.
Baking probably isn’t my calling either, but I love making cookies too much to care. With a fresh Christmas tree in my living room and holiday music piping throughout the house, it’s the perfect time to whip up a batch of gingerbread cookies. Soft in the center and warmly spiced, gingerbread cutouts are so easy to make–especially when you can skip the icing.
You heard correctly, no icing required because I’m making a Gingerbread Star Cookie Tree. It’s an edible centerpiece held together with raspberry jam and decorated with snowy powdered sugar to save tons of time. As long as you have star-shaped cookie cutters in graduated sizes, you can pull off this recipe too.
Gingerbread Star Cookie Trees are the best because they double as a dessert and a holiday decoration. Sweetened with molasses and dark brown sugar then baked to perfection, gingerbread cookies are always delicious. But they’re even better stacked and showcased as a towering treat.
Gingerbread Star Cookie Tree
- 3 1/4 cup all-purpose flour unbleached
- 1 Tbsp ground ginger
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp sea salt fine
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 2/3 cup dark brown sugar packed
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1/2 cup unsulphured molasses
- 1 tsp vanilla pure
- 1/4 cup raspberry jam
- powdered sugar for dusting
Gingerbread Cookie Stars
- Whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, cloves, nutmeg and salt until combined. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, beat butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (approximately 2 minutes). Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.
- Add egg, molasses and vanilla and beat on high until combined (approximately 2 minutes).
- Incorporate dry ingredients with wet, mixing on low until combined. Note: dough will be sticky.
- Divide dough in half, cover each with plastic wrap then use your hands to flatten dough into disks. Refrigerate for three hours or overnight. (Overnight is preferred).
- After dough has chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment and set aside.
- Remove one dough disk from the refrigerator and roll out to 1/4 inch thickness on a floured work surface. Cut into stars with graduated-size cookie cutters. I used the star-shaped Twinkle Tree 10-Piece Cookie Cutter set from Sur La Table.
- Place cookies on prepared cookie sheets 1 inch apart and bake for 8 minutes. Note: larger cookies may need an additional minute of bake time.
- Cool cookies for 5 minutes on baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat process for second dough disk.
- Stack gingerbread stars on a flat surface, largest to smallest, placing raspberry jam in between each layer for stability. Dust tree with powdered sugar.
- Store cookie trees at room temperature up to 2 days.
- This recipe calls for unsulphured molasses, do not substitute blackstrap.
- Gingerbread cookie dough must be chilled in the refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours. For best results, chill overnight.
- This recipe used the 10-piece Twinkle Tree Cookie Cutter set from Sur La Table. I got my set on clearance for less than two bucks.