Cinnamon is to me during the holidays, as pumpkin spice is too many people at Thanksgiving. It’s one of those spices I could put into almost every recipe. Not only did I make star cookies with the dough, I also made a cookie wreath. With a few adjustments, the wreath can be decorated and hung in your home.
Instead of royal icing, I went with cream cheese frosting infused with homemade cinnamon syrup. You can sprinkle cinnamon directly into the frosting but you will have brown specks throughout. That’s fine if I’m making gingerbread cupcakes, but in order to get a whiter frosting, infusing it with a syrup gives better results.
Before these went into clear cookie bags for family and friends, I let them set in the refrigerator for about an hour. If they are still a little soft, leave them in longer. It won’t hurt the taste of the cookie.
To make the wreath, I switched gears to layer the cookie cut-outs and use royal icing. Using various size cookie cutters, the wreath can be made any size. Make a medium size with thinner dough to paint and hang inside your home, or make mini wreaths to box and give as gifts.
To make my wreath, I stacked the stars two layers deep starting with the large stars on the bottom then adding a few medium and smaller ones on top. There is no need to press them down or connect them in any way, baking will do that. I allowed the bottom stars to brown longer in order to make sure the upper layer was baked through.
I used royal icing, sprinkles and sanding sugar to decorate various areas of the wreath. My wreath is for eating, not hanging. However, if I were making this as a gift, I would still add ribbon to dress it up before putting it into the gift box. Check out my favorite Royal Icing recipe from Bridget at Bake at 350 which adds a small amount of light corn syrup to make it nice and glossy. I added 1/2 teaspoon to my batch. Bridget lays out the process step-by-step. You can find meringue powder at Michaels, Joann’s, Amazon and various restaurant supply stores online.
TO MAKE A HANGING WREATH...
Instead of rolling out the dough to a 1/4-inch thickness, roll it thinner at 1/8-inch. The wreath needs to be lighter in order to hang and not fall apart. No royal icing is needed. Try painting the cookie with acrylic paint, brushing with glue then sprinkling with glitter...use your holiday creativity. Finish the wreath with a colorful ribbon. REMEMBER to adjust your oven time, start lower, since the stars are thinner. It’s okay to over brown them since they will be covered in paint and glitter. Careful not to over bake as the thinner cookies can become more brittle.
The cookies were soft inside with a slight crunch and filled with cinnamon flavor!
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Ingredients you'll need...
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup cinnamon sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
Cinnamon Simple Syrup
½ cup water
½ cup granulated sugar
3 cinnamon sticks (3-inch
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces full-fat cream cheese, room temperature
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (use clear for whiter frosting)
1 pinch of salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon simple syrup (add more to taste)