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String-of-Lights Cookie Wreath

Photo: Lee Harrelson; Styling; Mindi Shapiro
Yield about 2 1/2 dozen
Brighten your Christmas spread with a sweet string of lights! The thick, creamy vanilla frosting highlights our best-ever shortbread cookie.


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup margarine, softened
  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Plastic drinking straw
  • Frosting
  • 20 to 25 chocolate-flavored candy coating drops, melted
  • Small pastry brush or paintbrush
  • Red or black licorice, cut into 8
  • Several 20

How to Make It

  1. Beat butter and margarine at low speed of an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; add to butter mixture. Mix at low speed until blended. Roll dough to 3/8" thickness on a lightly floured surface.

  2. Cut out cookies, using a 3" spade-shaped cookie cutter (or use template on page 149). Place on ungreased baking sheets. Make a hole in "socket end" of each cookie, using a straw.

  3. Bake at 350° for 16 minutes. Let cookies cool on wire racks.

  4. Spread Frosting on the "bulb end" of each cookie, using the back of a small spoon. Place frosted cookies on wire racks to dry. When frosting is dry, brush "socket end" of each cookie with melted chocolate, using a small brush. Let dry. When cookies are completely dry, lace licorice strips through holes in cookies. Place tissue in a large flat box, if desired. Arrange cookies in a loose circle on tissue paper to resemble a string of Christmas lights.

  5. Note: Use these cookies as tree ornaments or as edible place cards at a children's party. Write names on frosted cookies using tubes of decorating gel.

Cook's Notes

The dough works best using half butter and half margarine.

Christmas with Southern Living 1997