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Lemon Shortbread Trees

 Lemon Shortbread Trees
Here's a fun holiday recipe children can help with. And no cookie cutters are needed! I just shape the dough into a triangular log, refrigerate it and cut it into tree-shaped slices to bake and decorate. Broken pretzel sticks form the tree trunks. —Phyllis Schmalz, Kansas City, Kansas
44 ServingsPrep: 45 min. Bake: 10 min./batch + standing


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 22 pretzel sticks
  • 2-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 10 teaspoons water
  • 4 teaspoons meringue powder
  • Red and green paste food coloring
  • Assorted sprinkles


  • In a large bowl, cream the butter, confectioners' sugar and
  • cornstarch until light and fluffy. Beat in lemon peel and juice.
  • Gradually add flour and mix well.
  • Divide dough into two portions; shape each into two 6-in. logs.
  • Flatten top and push in sides at an angle to form a 2-in. x 2-in. x
  • 1-1/2-in.-triangle. Wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for 4 hours or until
  • firm.
  • Unwrap and cut into 1/4-in. slices. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased
  • baking sheets. Break pretzel sticks in half; press into short side

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Lemon Shortbread Trees (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • of each cookie for tree trunk. Bake at 350° 10-12 minutes or
  • until set. Remove to wire racks to cool.
  • In a large bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, water and meringue
  • powder; beat on low speed just until combined. Beat on high for 4-5
  • minutes or until stiff peaks form. Remove 1 cup and tint red. Tint
  • remaining icing green. (Keep unused icing covered at all times with
  • a damp cloth.)
  • Frost and decorate cookies as desired. Let dry at room temperature
  • for several hours or until firm. Store in an airtight container.
  • Yield: 3-1/2 dozen.
Nutritional Facts: 1 cookie equals 97 calories, 4 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 11 mg cholesterol, 37 mg sodium, 14 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 1 g protein.
Wine: Sweet White Wine: Enjoy this recipe with a sweet white wine such as Moscato or a sweet Riesling.