Sweet Easter Tree
ALTHOUGH this full-flavored tree buds bright in time for Easter, its roots reach back to another holiday—Christmas! Here’s how those two happy occasions came together in one fun project: In a recent letter, Sue shared several of her family’s holiday traditions, including how she and her children annually make a favorite cookie for Christmas decorating and eating. Once we’d read over her tempting recipe, we had to try it. And the results were even sweeter than expected. Sue’s cookie tasted so good, you see, we couldn’t wait until Christmas to feature it. So we adapted it to fit the current season—as part of our latest “Crafting with Taste”. We hope it helps you and your family have a very merry Easter!
Total TimePrep: 1 hour Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling
MakesYield: 7-8 dozen 2-1/2-inch cookies
- Materials needed:
- 15 yards of 18-gauge wire
- Wire or side cutters
- Flat wooden ovalsone 4-3/4- x 6-1/2-inch and one 7- x 9-inch
- Tacky (white) glue
- Drill and 1/2-inch bit
- Epoxy enamel spray paint
- 11- x 16-inch oval or similar-size platter
- 1/2-inch ribbontwenty-seven 10-inch pieces in a variety of colors
- Easter grass
- DECORATED EASTER COOKIES::
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- Food coloring
- Decorator's gel
- Directions: Cut twenty-seven 20-in. pieces of 18-gauge wire. At one end, bring all wires together so all ends are even. Use masking tape to tape wires together at this end.
- Divide wires into three groups of nine wires each and braid together until 7-1/2 in. from taped end.
- Divide again into four groups of six wires each and one group of three wires each and braid for 2 inches.
- Divide into groups of three wires each and braid for 1-1/2 to 2 in.. Fold ends back.
- For base, holding the smaller wooden oval centered on top of the larger wooden oval, use a 1/2-in. bit to drill a hole through the center of the smaller oval and a 1/4 in. deep hole into the larger oval. Use tacky (white) glue to glue plaques together with hole centered. Remove tape from tree and tacky-glue into drilled hole in base.
- In a well-ventilated area, place the tree on a surface protected with newspapers. Paint entire tree and wooden base, applying two
- or more coats of epoxy enamel spray paint, following manufacturer’s instructions. Let dry.
- String ribbon through holes in cookies, tying bows 2 to 3 in. above each cookie. Hang cookies on branches, bending wires to
- hold cookies as desired. Place tree on platter and cover base with
- Easter grass. Place additional cookies around
- the base of the tree.
- COOKIES: In a bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, water and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Cover and chill for several hours. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with an egg-shaped cookie cutter (or cutters with other Easter themes such as
- chicks and rabbits). Make a hole with a straw or toothpick in the top of at least 27 cookies. Place on greased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.
- For glaze, combine sugar, water and corn syrup until smooth. Depending on how many colors are desired, divide glaze into several
- small bowls and tint with food coloring. Using a small brush and stirring glaze often, brush glaze on cookies (or leave some plain if desired). Allow glazed cookies to harden for at least 1 hour. Add designs with tinted glaze or decorator’s gel, referring to photo for ideas. Allow to dry.
Crafterthought The cookie tree handily serves as a centerpiece for an Easter meal—and a dessert as well when dinner is done. For edible place markers, tie small stacks of the decorated egg cookies with ribbons and position near each plate. Of course, you’ll want to save the recipe for the cookie—and use it at the end of the year for Christ mas baking, just like Sue does! Finished size: Tree is 16 inches wide x 18-1/2 inches high.
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