This is a traditional cookie recipe that I have been using to decorate my Christmas tree for decades. Decorating a juniper bush for Christmas is an activity that I adored as a child, and I loved passing on this tradition to my children and grandchildren as they were growing up.
The Kitchen 2 Kitchen Christmas Cookie-Thon starts at 11 a.m. EST on NJ on Air and ChristmasFlix, available on Roku. It will also livestream on the Kitchen 2 Kitchen Facebook page and ChristmasFlix Facebook page.
Technique tip: If you do not have a star cutter, you can use this recipe to make other Christmas-inspired cookies. A simple circle will allow you to make Christmas ornaments.
Special equipment: This requires a 2- or 3-inch fluted star or snowflake cookie cutter.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.2.
Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes, then beat in yolk and vanilla.3.
On low speed, mix in flour mixture just until a dough forms.4.
Divide dough in half, flatten each piece into a disc and then chill them, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, 2 to 3 hours.5.
Preheat oven to 350 F with racks in top and bottom thirds when you are ready to bake.6.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out 1 piece of dough between sheets of parchment paper into a 14- by 10-inch rectangle (1/8-inch thick).7.
Cut out as many stars as possible, reserving and chilling scraps, then quickly transfer cookies to the baking sheet, arranging them 1/2 inch apart. If dough becomes too soft, return to freezer until firm.8.
Bake it until firm and slightly puffed, about 10 minutes. Cool on baking sheet, 5 minutes, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely (the cookies will crisp as they cool).9.
Make more cookies with remaining dough and scraps, rerolling scraps only once. The finished cookies can be decorated with icing.
Recipe from Nonna Tell Me A Story: Lidia's Christmas Kitchen by Lidia Bastianich. Published by Running Press Kids © 2010.
TODAY has affiliate relationships, so we may get a small share of the revenue from your purchases. Items are sold by the retailer, not by TODAY.