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Visions of Sugar

How to make Will Cotton's cookie tree.

Photography by: Will Anderson


Basic sugar-cookie dough
Royal icing

Confectioners’ sugar



1. Use graduated star cutters (ranging in size from 1 to 5 inches) to make cookies for three-dimensional trees. Use graduated round cutters (ranging in size from ½ to 2 inches) to create spacer cookies.


2. Once cookies are baked, assemble trees, using royal icing as glue: Begin by piping a small amount in center of largest cookie, and top with largest spacer round. Repeat process, working from largest cookies to smallest, until you reach top of tree.


3. For a snowy appearance, use a small sieve to dust entire tree with confectioners’ sugar.