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I saw this idea on a Baking/Decorating show on television. I thought it was a wonderful idea and wanted to share it. For ease of explanation I am going to tell you how to do this as if you were making Christmas tree cookies. Of course you could make whatever shape cookies you want and color however you wish. I have used a variation of a recipe from Sandra Lee's Semi-homemade show. However you can use any of your favorite cut-out cookie recipes or even premade refrigerated dough. It is the instructions for cutting and decorating which are unique.
- In a large bowl, stir together all ingredients until they form a ball.
- Chill for 30 minutes.
- Remove 1/4 to 1/3 of the dough and set it aside in a sealed container.
- Color the remaining cookie dough with green food coloring to desired color shade.
- Roll cookie dough onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.
- Cut trees with a tree shaped cookie cutter and remove the outside pieces of dough. (knead outside pieces into a ball so that you can redo this same process on the next cookie sheet).
- Taking out the portion which you set aside in step #2, divide it up into small groups depending on the number of colors you want your balls/garland to be.
- Color each small group with food coloring and add tiny amounts of milk until it gets to the consistency that it can be piped through a pastry/decorating bag.
- Pipe your balls/and or garland colored cookie dough unto the unbaked trees. Bake in a preheated oven to 375 degrees Farenheit for about 12 minutes.
- You will have beautifully decorated cookies without the added frosting and everyone will wonder how you did it.
I used recipe 70641, Shortbread Cookies, and thinned the coloured dough with milk. It worked out fantastic! I can't wait to try it again, except I'll be more elaborate this time. I think Christmas trees will look beautiful, and it makes transporting the cookies much easier since there isn't any icing to smear. I think maybe even adding some mint or other flavourings to the coloured portions would be an interesting variation.