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These second-place winning cookies are easily shaped into trees that are edged with glittery green sugar. Of her simple cookies, Pat Egan of Dolton, Illinois writes, "They're not a fancy or gourmet cookie, but a simple symbol of the Christmas season that is so close to my heart."
- Source: Chicago Tribune Annual Food Guide holiday cookie contest December 8, 1988.
- Preparation time: 20 minutes | chilling time: 4 hours | baking time: 10 minutes
- 2½ cups flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup butter or margarine
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp almond extract
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup green sugar crystals
- about ¼ cup confetti or nonpareil candy decorations, optional
- Put flour, sugar, butter, baking powder, salt, almond extract and egg into large bowl of an electric mixer.
- Mix together, using low speed.
- Dough will be crumbly.
- Then knead dough with hands until mixture holds together.
- Remove ⅓ cup of the dough; wrap and refrigerate.
- Divide remaining dough in thirds.
- Using hands, roll each into a 6-inch log. Note: the logs can be divided and shaped into 3 sizes and sliced to form a 3-tiered tree.
- Put sugar crystals on a sheet of wax paper.
- Roll each log in the sugar crystals to coat well; use the wax paper as a guide to press in crystals.
- Shape each log into a triangle, pressing gently on wax paper to give three sharp corners.
- Make sure to make 2 sides longer than the third side.
- Wrap each log well and refrigerate at least 4 hours or until dough is firm enough to slice.
- To this point, cookies can be made up to a week in advance.
- Heat oven to 350°F.
- To bake, slice logs crosswise into ¼-inch slices.
- Put slices about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
- For each cookie, shape about ½ teaspoon of the reserved ⅓ cup dough into a tree trunk.
- Attach to bottom underside of each tree.
- Sprinkle each cookie lightly with candy decorations, if desired.
- Bake until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
- Carefully remove to wire racks.
- Cool completely.