250g Stork Baking Margarine, at room temperature
75g (⅓ cup) castor sugar
Zest of 4 naartjies
25g (40ml ) corn flour
245g (2 ½ cups) cake flour
20ml (4 tsp) ground cinnamon
½ tsp almond essence (optional)
Demerara sugar, for sprinkling
1 large egg white
300g (2 cups) icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting
15ml (1 tbsp) water
squeeze of lemon juice
Gold balls, to decorate
Step by step method
- Preheat the oven to 180˚C (160˚C fan-forced).
- Line two large flat baking trays with baking paper.
- Cream the STORK Bake, sugar and naartjie zest together until light and fluffy - about 8-10 minutes. Add the dry ingredients and almond essence to form a soft dough (add a little water, if necessary, to bring it together).
- Roll out the dough to ½ cm thick on a lightly floured surface.
- Use star cutters to cut out four 2cm stars, six 4cm stars, six 6cm stars, six 8cm stars, six 10cm stars and six 12cm stars from the dough, rerolling the dough if necessary.
- Place the cookie stars on the prepared trays and sprinkle with the demerara sugar.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until light golden and crisp. Set aside on the trays to cool completely.
- To make the royal icing, whisk the egg white gently then add the icing sugar until a stiff paste forms.
- Add the lemon juice and stir. Add a few tsp of water while whisking until you reach a consistency that is stiff but still oozes enough to create a drip.
- Place in a piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle.
- Decorate the points of the stars with icing to form drips. Set aside for 3-4 hours or until set.
- To assemble the tree, dot a bit of royal icing in the center of one of your 12cm stars and place another on top, rotating stars slightly as you assemble.
- Continue glueing the remaining stars, in decreasing size, finishing with a 2cm star glued with icing upright at the top of the tree
- Pipe extra icing on the stars to create a snowy look and decorate with gold balls.
- Dust with icing sugar and serve on the same day.
- TIP The cookie dough freezes very well so make a big batch and store in a ziplock bag or wrapped in cling wrap in the freezer.