I've always loved the look of macaron trees, they are just so pretty! But since my daughter is allergic to nuts, I tend to only make macarons for other people. And although I have made nut-free macarons before, I don't want her to get used to the idea of eating macarons in case she starts to think that regular macarons are okay for her to eat! So for Christmas this year, instead of making a macaron tree, I made one out of sugar cookies!
For the cookies, I used my favorite sugar cookie dough (recipe in my book, The Hello Kitty Baking Book!), and used a small round cookie cutter that was approximately the same size as macarons. Then I baked them at 350F for about 10 minutes, until the cookie edges were golden.
I also made sure to cut out several star-shaped cookies, that would go on the top of the tree.
For the royal icing (recipe also in my book!), I tinted it leaf green, and used stiff icing to outline each cookie.
Then I flooded each one with runny icing, and let it dry overnight.
I also iced the star cookies with white icing and same approach - stiff icing to outline the cookie, and runny icing to fill each cookie.
Once the icing was dry, I mixed edible gold dust with clear vanilla extract, and then used a food-safe brush to paint the stars gold.
When I was ready to assemble my cookie tree, I covered a styrofoam cone with waxed paper, and then used royal icing "glue" to carefully attach my cookies.
After several rows though, my cookies started to fall off (eeek!) from the weight of the other cookies, so I used a thick silk ribbon to keep the rows in place until the royal icing "glue" had time to dry.
The final touch was the gold star on the top of the tree. I used two of the gold star cookies, and sandwiched them around a bamboo skewer, using royal icing to "glue" them together.
A perfect centerpiece for the table!
Hope you had a Merry Christmas!!!