Instructions: Note: The templates needed for this recipe are star-shaped and in the following sizes: 2-inch, 2 1/4-inch, 2 3/4-inch, 3-inch, 3 1/2-inch, 4-inch, 5-inch, 5 1/2-inch, 6 1/2-inch, and 7-inch.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
In an electric mixer using the paddle attachment, cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add spices and salt, then eggs and molasses. Add flour mixture; combine on low speed. Divide dough in half; wrap in plastic. Chill for at least 1 hour.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured work surface suitable for cutting, roll one-half of dough to 1/8-inch thickness. One at a time, place each of eleven star templates onto the surface of the dough. Using a sharp paring knife, trace each size star to cut through dough. With an offset spatula, transfer cookies to ungreased baking sheets (for the largest stars, use two spatulas to transfer cut-out dough to baking sheet). Chill until firm, about 15 minutes. Repeat this process with the remaining half of dough. Gather leftover dough from the work surface. Shape into a disk; wrap in plastic. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
Remove disk from refrigerator. Repeat the rolling and cutting process described above. Discard scraps. You will have 33 stars cut out, three of each size.
Using the smallest hole on a 1/2-inch plain round pastry tip, cut out circles from the center of the stars, with the exception of two of the smallest (these will be used for the treetop). Bake until crisp but not dark, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool. Set aside the two smallest stars for tree topper.
This recipe yields 33 cookies.
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