Tuesday, December 22, 2015

North Star sugar cookies . . . and the Nativity story

I am so excited to share this cookie project with you!

It was inspired by my desire to remind our children through this holiday season why we celebrate Christmas.

It's so easy to get caught up in the "I want . . . " this time of year, and forget that we need to spend these weeks and days leading up to Christmas preparing for the coming of Christ.

During this time of Advent, I enjoy reading books about the meaning of Christmas to our children . . . as well as engaging in other enjoyable and memorable activities like cookie decorating, baking, and holiday crafts.


I enjoyed sharing the significance of the Star of Bethlehem with them, also known as the North Star and Christmas Star . . . and its importance to the Three Wise Men, or Magi, and the birth of Christ.

Although they are familiar with the story already, it was through an activity like this one that allowed me to share the beautiful story of Christmas again with our children.

Did you notice that I suspended one of the cookies from a string above the nativity?

I think it gives this well-known scene a visual exclamation mark . . . and I love that!

Here's how I did it . . . Using a large pin, I poked a hole into the top of the cookie and strung fishing line through it. I then secured it to a bare branch. The weight of the cookie gently tugged on the branch, which I positioned over the nativity.

This cookie-inspired nativity turned out better than I had imagined!

Although you don't see The Three Wise Men in the photo, they weren't too far away; each of my little ones was holding one of them while I took these photos.

Although I created this serene scene for, and with, my children . . . I think that it would be a beautiful scene for any holiday gathering. You can individually wrap/bag the cookies and invite guests to take one home . . . and then they, too, can take home a small piece of the Christmas story.

sugar cookies
.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .   
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
12 Tablespoons (1 ½  sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 egg, room temperature
 powder sugar (instead of flour) for rolling out dough
.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .    

To make the cookies, in a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt . . . set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter and granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and egg. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Mix until just combined.

Form the dough into a flattened ball, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or as long as overnight.

Preheat an oven to 350°F.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. 

On a lightly floured powder sugar surface, roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using cookie cutters, cut out desired shapes. Transfer to the prepared baking sheets, spacing cookies about 2 inches apart, and bake until just golden around the edges, 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the cookies. Transfer the pans to wire racks and let cool for 5 minutes, then remove the cookies from the pans and let cool completely.

Makes 60 3-inch North Star cookies.

I bought the North Star cookie cutter from here.

Sugar Cookie GLAZE
2 ¼  cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
1 Tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

Combine ingredients and mix until smooth
Using a small paint brush (or the tip of your finger), spread on top of cookies
Sprinkle sanding sugar on top of GLAZE when it's wet

The secret to a 'clean' sugar edge is not letting the glaze drip down the sides of the cookie.
A thick glaze is also key.
After the glaze has been mixed, add 1 Tablespoon of confectioners' sugar at a time, 
until you get the desired consistency.

LET'S STAY in touch!
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Thank you for stopping by!
I love reading your comments and appreciate them so much!


  1. Beautiful story!! Children will be children and they do start thinking of toys and such when they are inundated with a constant barrage of toys, videos, electronics. We used to make Jesus a birthday cake and that way we talked about the birth of Christ and the importance of celebrating His birthday. And then when the kids believed in Santa and they would say well Santa will bring. Our answer to that was that after Christmas Santa sent mommy and daddy a bill for his services. Starting them you, knowing that they can't have everything and you have to stay within your means. They are doing the same thing with their kids :-) Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!! sending you huge hugs!!

  2. this is such a beautiful post Love the cookies tot Hugs

  3. is is such a beautiful post Love the cookies too Hugs

  4. So sweet...and beautiful. Merry Christmas!!!

  5. So sweet...and beautiful. Merry Christmas!!!


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