Cookie Christmas Tree
ready in 1 hr 20 min.
For the dough: put the flour and icing sugar in a mixing bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Add the water and egg and mix to a soft dough. Wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes until firm.
Heat the oven to 180°C (160° fan) 350°F gas 4. Line 3 baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
Roll out the dough thinly on a lightly floured surface. Cut out stars using star-shaped cookie cutters in graduated sizes; the smallest cutter should be about 4cm|1 1/2"and the largest about 10cm|4".
Place the stars on the baking trays and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden. Cool on the baking trays for a few minutes, then place on a wire rack to cool completely.
For the icing: sift the royal icing sugar into a bowl. Beat in the lemon juice until smooth. Add just enough water to give a coating consistency, beating well until thick and smooth.
Spread the icing on the stars and place the largest stars on a serving plate. Place the next largest stars on top, pressing down slightly so the icing holds them together. Repeat with the remaining stars in order of size, finishing with the smallest stars at the top. Place an upright star at the top of the tower.
Lightly press in the coloured pearls and leave to set.