This post is courtesy of our contributor Ivelina…This star cookie candle holder is a very unique way to make your Christmas table very festive, warm and bright. Baking the cookies before Christmas is a wonderful activity for the kids and fills the house with nice aroma – an early sense of Christmas.
Star Cookie Candle Holder – What You’ll Need:
- Spicy Honey Cookies recipe
- royal icing (recipe below)
- one set of 6-point-star cookie cutters
- one round decorating tip for cutting the centres of the cookies
- one round decorating tip Wilton No. 1 (or similar)
- Royal Icing recipe:
- 20 g meringue powder* (or 40g egg whites or egg white from one extra large fresh egg - see notes below)
- 50 ml cold water*
- 230 g confectioners’ sugar
- few drops of lemon extract or juice
- *Note: Meringue powder and water can be substitute for fresh egg white. I would recommend, if egg whites are used, to be pasteurized. Once the egg white icing is prepared, decorate the cookies the same day and let them dry. Discard all of the royal icing that is left. Meringue powder royal icing could be stored at room temperature for up to 10 days. Whip before using it again.
- Add the meringue powder to the water in a mixing bowl. Beat to soft peaks for about 3 min.. Slowly add the sugar until it is incorporated.
- Add the lemon extract and beat for about 5 min until the icing forms stiff peaks. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to use.
Star Cookie Candle Holder Instructions:
Prepare the dough as per recipe. Half of the dough would be enough for 6 candle holders and some individual cookies. The rest you could cut out in other Christmas shapes or use for a Gingerbread House.
Use at least three different sizes of stars. It really depends on what you would prefer. I used all 6 sizes. If you don’t need all the star cookies for the candle holders, the rest could be monogrammed or decorated in a different manner.
Note: In my set, the biggest star is 5.5 cm across. I chose to make a candle holder for the thin long candles. If you would prefer the tea candles, you should use a set of star cookie cutters with larger size.
Roll out the dough as directed in the recipe. Cut out all the cookies, starting with the biggest star. Usually the biggest star is used as a base for the candle holder and that is why it is left plain (without a hole cut out of the middle). Cut out some cookies with the next largest sized star. With the bottom of the decorating tip, cut out a circle in the center of each star. Repeat with the next size cookie cutter.
Idea 1: You could cut out the center of one of the biggest stars and when stacking the stars, to use two big stars on top of each other, before moving on to the next size of star.
Idea 2: You could cut out the center of one of the biggest stars and stack it over a smaller uncut in the center star. This will make an interesting, slightly raised candle holder.
Idea 3: You could stack the stars alternating every other size. This will give you more surface for decorating.
Note: Your imagination is the limit!
Bake the cookies as per the recipe. During baking, the shape will change, the size will expand, the points won’t be so sharp and will round a bit. To keep the same size of the holes in the centers, use the cutter you used to cut them out before baking. While the cookies are still hot and in the hot pan, cut the centers again so you make sure that you keep the right size for the candles. It is very important to do that before the cookies cool down and harden.
I tried to re-cut one of the biggest stars after it cooled but it was not a good idea – some cracks appeared on the edges. I did this because I wanted to have the points of the star sharp again. Do not try to “fix” the stars. The sharp points are easily achieved with the decorating later. Leave the cookies to cool completely. When baked, the cookies may be stored for days until decorated.
Arrange the stars in a way you would like to make the candle holders. Play with them until you are satisfied. Make sure that every star is rotated so that the edges do not match. Once you have them ready, prepare the icing bag.
Spoon some of the royal icing in a piping bag with a round decorating tip No.1. Keep the rest of the icing well covered to prevent from drying out. Have a toothpick handy – it will help you remove some of the wrongly piped decorations.
Place the largest cookie, that is used for a base for the candle holder. Pipe generous amount of royal icing on the bottom of the next size cookie so that it will stick well to the top of your “base” cookie. Stack the following star in the same manner. Make sure that the center is well aligned.
Depending on the decoration, you could either decorate each star first and then build and “glue” them on top of each other, or stack them first and then decorate the visible parts. I personally like the colour of these honey cookies very much and would like to just do some accents with the royal icing. You could decide to paint the bottom cookie completely, imitating a star, covered in snow, or stack a high candle holder, that would look like a Christmas tree, and cover it all white – again, there is no limit to anyone’s imagination. Do not forget to let them dry overnight, before inserting your candles.
If you chose to first stack the cookies and then to decorate them, start from the bottom cookie, working up. Whether you choose to pipe lines, or pearls, or swirls, at the end, you will have very beautiful candle holders – one of kind. They will be unique, because there are no two people in the world that could make two completely equal things with their hands. Store bought presents are all the same. The things that we make for the people we love – that is a real sense of Christmas.
Make, wrap and give as a gift. A candle holder, a place card holder, or a Christmas tree, these stars are a symbol of this holiday and give hope. Besides, they are delicious!
We’d like to extend a Thank You to our contributor Ivelina for this pretty Christmas tutorial. She is an amazing baker and I know you’ll love what you see over on her Tablier Taché blog, her Pinterest boards, her Facebook page and her Google+ account.