Harry Potter Yule Ball Cookie Tree is a beautiful and impressive dessert that is actually quite easy to make and a fun family activity.
I have been making sugar cookies with my family as long as I can remember. This is a Christmas tradition that I cannot live without, it is such an integral part of the holiday for me. When I was growing up I made sugar cookies with my grandmother, mother and sister. My dad would even get involved in the frosting of the cookies. When I had kids, the tradition continued. When we traveled for Christmas, I even made my cousin get the ingredients so we could make sugar cookies in her brand new house. I hope you will give this a try with your kids and maybe add a new tradition to your holiday.
My theme for the 12 Days of Holiday Ideas is the Yule Ball from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. It’s a beautiful setting filled with Christmas trees decorated in silver, ice and snow. The entire hall is filled with sparkle, ice sculptures and the feeling of snow. My decor and recipes all fit around this theme. Be sure to subscribe to see all the ideas and throw your own Harry Potter Yule Ball inspired Christmas!
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12 Days of Holiday Ideas
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How to make Cookie Tree
Get all your ingredients ready before starting the mix. This ensures you have your butter and eggs and room temperature and make it very easy to combine ingredients without having to refer back to the recipe for measurements. I used a set of mixing bowls to prep my ingredients.
I want to thank Dixie Crystal for sponsoring the #12DaysofChristmasIdeas event and this recipe. In exchange for sharing this recipe, I received granulated sugar and powdered sugar from Imperial Sugar to use. All thoughts, ideas, recipes, pictures, and opinions contained within this post are solely my own and not necessarily that of the sponsor.
Next sift the flour and salt together. I use a fine mesh strainer to sift.
Next you will beat the butter until fluffy in an electric mixer. Then the sugar will be added and again mixed until fluffy. Then the eggs and vanilla. Be sure to scrape down the bowl as needed. Gradually add the flour until the dough comes together.
Turn the dough out and shape into a ball and place in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate. I refrigerated for two hours and then began the next step.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand for 5 minutes. Cut the dough into fourth and pull one fourth out to work with. Put remaining dough back into the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough 1/4 inch thick. Position one rack in the upper third and one rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line four baking sheets with parchment paper.
Using nested cookie cutters, cut out 2 of each size of the star shapes.
Using a offset spatula, transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart. If the dough sticks to the cutters, dip the cutters into flour. Re-roll the dough as needed.
I like to keep the cutter on the dough while moving it from the cutting surface to the cookie sheet. Remove the cutter as soon as your done. This helps retain the shape of the cookie.
I learned a trick while working on this project. Since you have to be careful to get only two of each size cutter, I would move the cutters from one side of my work surface to the other when I was done with it. This way I was sure I only used it the correct number of times. This system was easy and worked perfectly.
Bake the cookies until golden brown around the edges. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let cook for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies directly to the racks and let cool completely before frosting.
Time to Assemble!
Prepare the royal icing. Start by measuring out your ingredients. Using an electric mixer, beat the ingredients together until stiff peaks form and the mixture has tripled in volume.
Add a dab of icing to the center of the largest cookie and gently top with the next largest cookie, making sure the points of the stars are offset. Continue until the smallest cookie tops the tree. Makes 2 cookie trees.
Harry Potter Yule Ball Cookie Tree Recipe
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 3 egg whites, at room temperature
- 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp. cream of tarter
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
- silver star sprinkles
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer fitted with a flat beater, beat the butter on high speed for 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, slowly add the granulated sugar and beat for 2 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until incorporated. Add the vanilla and beat for 1 minute, stopping the mixer once to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Stop the mixer and add half of the flour mixture. Beat on low speed until most of the flour has been absorbed. Add the remaining flour and continue beating until all of the flour has been absorbed and the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Turn the dough out and shape into a ball and place in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand for 5 minutes. Cut the dough into fourth and pull one fourth out to work with. Put remaining dough back into the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough 1/4 inch thick. Position one rack in the upper third and one rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line 4 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Using cookie cutters, cut out 2 of each size of the star shapes. Using a offset spatula, transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart. If the dough sticks to the cutters, dip the cutters into flour. Re-roll the dough as needed.
- Bake the cookies until golden brown around the edges, 13 to 15 minutes, rotating the baking sheets from top to bottom and 180 degrees halfway through the baking. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let cook for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies directly to the racks and let cool completely before frosting.
- Using an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, powdered sugar, cream of tarter and salt on medium low speed until blended. Add the vanilla, increase the speed to medium high and continue beating until stiff peaks form and the mixture is nearly triple in volume, 7 to 8 minutes. Remove the bowl from the mixer and cover with plastic wrap and store at room temperature until ready to use, up to six hours.
Assemble Cookie Trees
- Fit a pastry bag with a #4 pastry tip. Outline each star with royal icing. Add a silver star to each point. Let dry for 10 minutes.
- Add a dab of icing to the center of the largest cookie and gently top with the next largest cookie, making sure the points of the stars are offset. Continue until the smallest cookie tops the tree. Makes 2 cookie trees.
Recipe adapted from Williams Sonoma.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 352Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 208mgCarbohydrates: 57gFiber: 1gSugar: 37gProtein: 4g
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Holiday Kids Activities Ideas
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