Evergreen Cookies with Ermine Frosting


  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups white sugar
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup shortening
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoons almond extract
  • 4 drops green gel food coloring, or as desired
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar, or as needed
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup shortening
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Directions

  • Step 1

    Stir milk and 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour together in a small saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until thickened and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Pour into a bowl; place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool completely, about 30 minutes.


  • Step 2

    Transfer cooled milk mixture to a large bowl. Add white sugar, butter, shortening, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Beat with an electric mixer on high speed until frosting is light and creamy, about 5 minutes. Divide frosting among 3 small bowls and tint by beating in enough food coloring to achieve 3 distinct shades of green. Transfer to piping bags fitted with small, medium, and large star tips.

  • Step 3

    Position racks in upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease 2 large baking sheets. Place 1 tablespoon sugar on a small rimmed plate.

  • Step 4

    Beat butter, shortening, 1/2 cup white sugar, and powdered sugar for cookies together with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract.

  • Step 5

    Whisk flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt together in another bowl. Stir flour mixture into butter mixture.

  • Step 6

    Shape into 1 1/2-inch balls. Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared pans. Dip the bottom of a glass in water; then in the plate of white sugar. Press balls to flatten slightly with the sugar-rimmed glass bottom.

  • Step 7

    Bake in the preheated oven until lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely, 10 to 15 minutes more.

  • Step 8

    Pipe frosting onto cookies as desired, making wreaths or trees.

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