Sugar Cookie Trees with Strawberry Rose Frosting

Sugar Cookie Trees with Strawberry Rose Frosting

These sugar cookie trees are made of tiers of sweet sugar cookies & topped with a dreamy strawberry & rose buttercream frosting. Perfect for Valentines Day, or any other special occasion.

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If you have been following along with this blog, you likely have read several posts about our little tuxie kitty and her ongoing battle with cancer.

As part of her treatment plan, this little Mother Hen has been paying the oncologist weekly visits.  She patiently endures x-rays, bloodtests, chemotherapy and a plethora of other treatments and diagnostics.   She is such a little trooper during all of this and never fails to curiously explore the happenings at the animal hospital, passing out kisses to anyone who just so happens to venture into the room.  With such a vivacious personality and upbeat attitude she has developed quite the fan club.

In the beginning of this journey, she had several surgeries to remove the cancer.

She only had a partial mastectomy, they missed a small chunk of mammary chain during the last surgery. . .

. . .there wa always an excuse as to why the cancer had returned. . .always a reason to justify the next surgery. . .always a reason to believe that this would be the last of the cancer.

But then one fateful day, the excuses dried up and the x-rays showed that the cancer had progressed to her lungs. The Mr and I knew that we had no choice but to start her on chemotherapy. . .something we had been fearing from the very beginning.    But our Mother Hen’s spunkiness and zest for life (you wouldn’t even know she was battling with cancer if you met her) told us that she was not quite ready to leave us and still wanted to head into battle and valiantly fight off this evil disease.

 

Sugar Cookie Trees with Strawberry Rose Frosting

Sugar Cookie Trees with Strawberry Rose Frosting

Sugar Cookie Trees with Strawberry Rose Frostin

Sugar Cookie Love with Strawberry Rose Frosting

 

So chemotherapy started and everything seemed to be going okay.  Aside from a drop in her white blood cell count one week post treatment, her quality of life seemed to be unaffected  by the chemotherapy.  This renewed our hope that her cancer would be abolished for good by the very treatment we had feared the most.

But then (what felt like) the world’s biggest sledge hammer came crashing down full throttle, shattering every bit of hope that had been building up inside my heart.

I had taken the Mother Hen in for her regular x-rays where the devastating blow was delivered. . . the cancer had continued to spread in her lungs and was no longer responding to this chemotherapy.  The oncologist suggested that we try another type of chemotherapy that had showed promise in dogs.   Since the cancer clearly was not bringing the Mother Hen’s mood down, the Mr. and I felt that anything realistic was worth a try;  however, I had little hope that it would work because this chemotherapy was considered to be less effective than what she had previously been on.

 

Sugar Cookie Trees with Strawberry Rose Frosting

Sugar Cookie Trees with Strawberry Rose Frosting

Sugar Cookie Love with Strawberry Rose Frosting

 

Unlike the other chemotherapy, this was in pill form and the Mr. and I developed a system that made dosing a quick and painless breeze.  The Little Mother Hen didn’t mind her treatments as she was always handsomely rewarded with a small handful of treats that she readily gobbled up.  While her energy levels picked up to the point that she would give any kitten a run for its money, she also became increasingly picky with food and the Mr. and I would sometimes find ourselves setting down four or more different plates  in the hopes that she would find at least one of them palatable.

While we did manage to get her to eat something every day, we found her weight steadily declining.  If you knew the Mother Hen, you would know that eating was her favorite sport so the Mr and I found this a bit alarming.

Fast forward to two weeks ago. . .the Mother Hen was due for another oncology visit.  I sat impatiently as the vet techs shuttled her back for her x-rays and weekly blood tests.  When the oncologist came in he had an ear-to-ear grin on his face. ” Her nodules decreased 2 mm.” he said.  “And the nodules in her lungs are smaller.”  

Woot!  Woot!  I could hardly  wait for the Mr to come home so that we could celebrate the news we so desperately had been waiting to hear.  But that celebration was short lived as the very next morning the oncologist called with devastating news. . .her kidney values were now low.  The chemotherapy might have impacted her kidneys. . .so off I went to learn how to give the Mother Hen daily subcutaneous fluid treatments.

 

Sugar Cookie Trees with Strawberry Rose Frosting

 

With these treatments, her energy levels continue to be high and her appetite has picked up.  As a matter of fact, as I write this post she is skidding across the floor, calling out loudly as she gleefully plays with my hair rubber band.

We go back in for a blood test next week and I can only hope that the previous bloodtest was a cruel mistake.  Regardless, I have read that with proper care, kitties can live several very happy years. . . even with damaged kidneys.

 

Sugar Cookie Trees with Strawberry Rose Frosting

 

So, to celebrate our love for this special little girl, I baked this Sugar Cookie Love Cake with Strawberry Rose Frosting.

I decided to flavor the sugar cookie with almond extract and a hint of nutmeg as I find it gives this mild cookie a nice homey and comforting flavor.  To compliment the homeyness, you will want the cookies to maintain a soft consistency so be sure to remove them from the oven before they begin to brown.

The cookies are then layered with the most divine Strawberry Rose Buttercream.  Let me tell you guys. . . this frosting is what dreams are made of.  As a matter of fact I’m pretty sure that I could just sit here all day and pipe that creamy delight directly into my mouth if my waistline would allow for that.  But such is life and I will need to restrain myself and reserve any and all gluttonous behaviors for special occasions.  But in all seriousness, the frosting really does add an elegant and romantic touch to these cookies and I personally found that the hint of rose really pops at the finish and makes the frosting appear all the more creamy.

And if a homey cookie slathered with elegantly creamy frosting weren’t divine enough, when cut into 5 circles of varying sizes, you can stack the cookies on top of those billowy clouds of frosting to form a fun little cake that pays homage to the grand dame of cakes. . .the wedding cake.  It really doesn’t get any more romantic than that. . .now does it?

Here’s to romantic times with that special someone.. . .even if it does involve 4 plates of food.

XOXO,

Lynn

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Sugar Cookie Tree with Strawberry Rose Buttercream Frosting - These sugar cookie trees are made of tiers of sweet sugar cookies & topped with a dreamy strawberry & rose buttercream frosting. Perfect for Valentines Day.
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Sugar Cookie Love Trees with Strawberry Rose Frosting
These sugar cookie trees are made of tiers of sweet sugar cookies & topped with a dreamy strawberry & rose buttercream frosting. Perfect for Valentines Day. 
Servings: 5 Cookie Trees
BUILDING BLOCKS
FOR THE SUGAR COOKIES:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • powdered sugar for rolling dough
FOR THE STRAWBERRY ROSE BUTTERCREAM:
  • vinegar or lemon juice, to wipe down the mixing bowl
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup unsalted butter (3 sticks), cubed & brought to room temperature
  • 1/3 cup strawberry preserves
  • 1 1/2 tsp rose water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pink food coloring
  • sprinkles, food grade dried flowers, nonpareils, nuts, or mini chocolate chips
THE COURSE
For the Sugar Cookies:
  1. In a big bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, nutmeg & salt. Set aside.

  2. In another bit bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium until it is light and fluffy.

  3. Add remaining ingredients (egg though vanilla) & beat until just combined.
  4. Gradually add in the flour mixture while beating on low.

  5. Divide the dough into two round flattened disks, wrap each in plastic wrap & refrigerate overnight.

  6. Preheat the oven to 375° F.

  7. Place a piece of parchment paper out on the counter & sprinkle powdered sugar on top of it.

  8. Place the dough on top of the parchment paper & roll it out until it is 1/4 inch thick. If the dough is too firm to roll, allow it to warm up slightly on the countertop for 5-10 minutes. Note: If the dough becomes too soft to work with, place it in the freezer for 10 minutes.

  9. Cut out five different sized circles. For my trees, I usined THESE cutters.

  10. Bake for 7-9 minutes on a parchment lined baking sheet. Rotate the baking sheet 180 degrees half way into the baking process.

  11. Remove the cookies from the oven & allow them to sit on the baking sheet for 2 minutes.

  12. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack until they cool completely.

  13. Takes scraps dough and reform them into a flattened disk. Wrap these disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate 10-20 minutes or until the dough is firm enough to re-roll and cut out circles. Repeat until little dough remains. As you re-roll make sure to scrape off any dough that is stuck to the parchment paper. Add more powdered sugar to the parchment paper as needed to prevent sticking.

FOR THE STRAWBERRY ROSE BUTTERCREAM:
  1. Remove your butter from the refrigerator & cut it into cubes. Allow it of come to room temperature before you start adding it to the frosting.
  2. Wipe the bowl of your stand mixer down with vinegar or lemon juice to remove any traces of fat.

  3. Pass the strawberry preserves through a fine mesh sieve to remove fruit particles. For the recipe you will want to end up with 1/3 cup.

  4. Set up your bain marie by bringing water (about an inch worth) in a a small saucepan to a simmer. Note: The saucepan should be small enough that the mixer bowl does not touch the bottom when you set it on top of the saucepan. Also, the bottom of the mixer bowl should not touch the water in the saucepan.

  5. Clip a candy thermometer onto the edge of your mixer bowl. Add the egg whites & sugar to the mixer bowl & place it on top of the bain marie.

  6. Whisk gently until the egg whites reach 140º F, then remove them from the bain marie.

  7. Using a whisk attachment on a stand mixer, whip the eggs on medium low for 1 minute, then increase the speed to medium-high.

  8. Continue to whip until the egg whites become a fluffy, glossy meringue & the bottom of the mixer bowl has reached room temperature (about 10 minutes). Note: It is important that the meringue is a room temperature before you start to add the butter otherwise you will end up with a melty mess.  

  9. Remove the whisk attachment and replace it with the beater.

  10. With the speed on low, slowly add the butter one cube at a time. Continue to whip until the butter is fully incorporated & the frosting is smooth & shiny.

  11. Add the strained preserves, rose water, vanilla & salt & beat on low until combined. Note: If you find that your frosting starts to look like scrambled eggs, continue to beat it on low. It will eventually become smooth again. This happened after I added the preserves.

  12. Add gel food coloring, as needed, for a more intense color.
TO ASSEMBLE THE SUGAR COOKIE LOVE TREES WITH STRAWBERRY ROSE BUTTERCREAM:
  1. Starting with the largest cookie, pipe or spread enough frosting to cover the entire cookie.

  2. Press the second largest cookie down on top of the frosting.
  3. Continue until all 5 layers are assembled.

  4. Add frosting on top of the smallest cookie and decorate with sprinkles, food grade dried flowers, nonpareils, nots miniature chocolate chips etc.

 

Sugar Cookie adapted from Alton Brown’s Sugar Cookie Recipe.

For a nice tutorial on making Swiss Buttercream, including troubleshooting challenges, see this post from Sweetapolita.

Sugar Cookie Trees with Strawberry Rose Frosting - These sugar cookie trees are made of tiers of sweet almond sugar cookies & topped with a dreamy strawberry & rose buttercream frosting. Perfect for Valentines Day or any other special occasion.

34 thoughts on “Sugar Cookie Trees with Strawberry Rose Frosting

  • February 8, 2016 at 8:35 pm
    Permalink

    I’m sorry that you continue to go through such a difficult time, Lynn. Your little Mother Hen is such an inspiration. That fighting spirit has helped her overcome so much and will help her continue to do so. Please give her a hug for me.
    The Sugar Cookie Love Tree is lovely. It is elegant and romantic, perfect for Valentine’s. The Strawberry Rose Frosting looks luscious! I’d love to pipe it straight into my mouth too!

    Reply
    • February 9, 2016 at 5:00 pm
      Permalink

      Awe thanks Thao. She certainly will take all the hugs anyone is willing to give. She is such an affectionate little lady. We should have a piping party. 😉

      Reply
  • February 9, 2016 at 8:54 am
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    Wow Lynn, what a stunning Valentine’s dessert! That strawberry buttercream sounds absolutely dreamy! I will say some prayers for the complete recovery for your little Mother Hen. She sounds like a sweetheart!

    Reply
    • February 9, 2016 at 5:03 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks Mary Ann. She is a pretty special little kitty. . .and has been truly inspirational with her zest for life despite all she has been through. As for the buttercream. . .I can’t get enough of that rose flavor. . .but then again rose always makes everything all the more special, doesn’t it?

      Reply
  • February 9, 2016 at 2:52 pm
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    So happy to hear that your little kitty is improving. I have two and we would also do anything to give them as long and happy a life as possible. One of mine has been dealing with some health issues this year as well, and it is so stressful! Sending her good health vibes! These cookies are so cute, and that strawberry rose frosting looks divine!

    Reply
    • February 9, 2016 at 5:07 pm
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      I hope your kitty manages to get healthy again.

      Fortunately, our little lady hasn’t been acting sick (with the exception of some appetite problems and weight loss which we seem to have under control at the moment). That said, I hate that I have to give her IV fluids every day. . .but she tolerates the whole process pretty well and they seem to really perk her up. . .so it’s worth it in the end. Many thanks for the positive vibes.

      Reply
  • February 10, 2016 at 12:42 am
    Permalink

    Omg the story about your kittie is just heartwrenching. We are having some issues with our 14 year old cat and I’m just crossing my fingers up and down it’s not cancer… we’ll find out soon. Lovely post and I hope everything continues to go well for your little fur ball. Yummy looking cookie tower too!

    Reply
    • February 10, 2016 at 7:43 am
      Permalink

      Awe Sarah. . .I’m sorry to hear about your kitty. This disease can be tough but with early detection and proper care your kitty could have many happy years left. We have been dealing with the cancer for 3 years and she is still happy as a clam and has an excellent quality of life. Please let me know if you ever need tips. . . or just need to vent.

      Reply
  • February 10, 2016 at 3:37 pm
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    Thank you so much for this amazing Strawberry Rose Frosting post! Definitely great recipe for Valentine’s treat to make the whole family happy. You are awesome.

    Reply
  • February 11, 2016 at 12:09 am
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    My heart just breaks to hear of what your little kitty is going through. My God, I hope she stays strong and full of energy. God willing, it will get better. You both are fabulous parents to your kitty.
    Love love the tower of beautiful cookies, I really want to renew my vows to have this as a treat. So gorge.
    xx

    Reply
    • February 13, 2016 at 7:10 am
      Permalink

      Many thanks Asha. While it may be a heart breaking story. . .there is a lot of comfort knowing that she is a very happy little girl and she is enjoying every precious moment. To be honest with you. . .I don’t know if she even realizes she is sick.

      As for the cookies towers. . .it would be pretty spectacular to have a table full of these beauties in lieu of a traditional wedding cake.

      Reply
    • February 13, 2016 at 7:07 am
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      He! He! Thank you Marsha. The sugar cookies were super tender. . .the trick is to not over bake them. . .less is more. 😉

      Reply
  • February 11, 2016 at 1:28 pm
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    My fingers are definitely tightly crossed for you and kitteh!! I think it’s amazing you and the Mr never give up on her… and she clearly never gives up the good fight. <3 This cookie love tree is the PERFECT way to celebrate! Absolutely stunning, my dear.. almost too pretty to eat, except I know you make killer treats, so NO way could I NOT devour this beauty! Pinned! Cheers, sweets! xo

    Reply
    • February 11, 2016 at 2:37 pm
      Permalink

      Of course the little booger never gives up. . .I mean. . .without her, who would mother us? At least that is what I think is going through her cute, little head. As for the cookie tree…I see go ahead and devour as this will be the perfect excuse to make another. . .winkety wink.

      Reply
  • February 11, 2016 at 1:48 pm
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    What a good kittie mommie you are! I hope you get to keep her for a long time. I had a friend whose cat had impaired kidneys and she lived several happy years so keep on keeping on! This baking creation is lovely and I am definitely going to try it. Mine won’t be as pretty as yours but I’m sure it will taste wonderful.

    Reply
    • February 13, 2016 at 7:16 am
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      Awe thanks. It is the least we could do for her given all the years she has taken care of us. Thank you for telling me about your friend’s kitty btw. It gives me a great sense of peace knowing that we could still have many happy years with her.

      As for the cake, I’m sure yours will be just as pretty. . .if not prettier. 😉 You could also place the jam and rose in American Buttercream at the same ratios, if you prefer. I originally did this but was having so much trouble with air bubbles that I decided to switch to Swiss Buttercream (which I prefer for the creamy texture anyway. . .even if it is a bit more work).

      Reply
  • February 12, 2016 at 12:47 am
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    What a sad story Lynn! Sending my prayers and positive thoughts! You guys are doing everything possible! I hope she gets better! The cake is gorgeous and I love the frosting!

    Reply
    • February 13, 2016 at 7:05 am
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      Many thanks Mira. There is a cupcake shop down the street from my place that serves “shots of frosting”. I still have leftover frosting in my fridge. . . shots anyone?

      Reply
  • February 13, 2016 at 9:25 am
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    I’m in love with this! This is so creative and beautiful!

    Reply
  • February 14, 2016 at 9:55 pm
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    Sorry to read about your little kittie Lynn! She sounds really brave and adorable. Sending prayers and hugs from my side. The cookie tree is spectacular! Love rose anything so I can imagine what a treat this is!

    Reply
  • February 16, 2016 at 2:44 pm
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    I’m so glad your kitty is doing better – when pets aren’t well, it is so stressful – so much worry and anxiety. They bring so much happiness and joy into our lives and are so much a dear and loving part of the family. Sending many positive thoughts out toward your little friend to get better soon. And your cakes are always so beautiful – you have a real talent in decorating them!

    Reply
  • February 22, 2016 at 6:56 am
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    Happy Mother Hen is doing better! Beautiful cake! Will be back to check for Mother Hen’s updates! HUGS!

    Reply
  • February 26, 2016 at 11:53 pm
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    Awwww I can sure understand that love for an animal that makes you do anything you can to help them when they are sick. Our dog Buster had cancer and passed away two years and a bit ago. We did what we could for a couple months after finding out, but he was in pain and we had to say goodbye. Its heartbreaking. I wish you the best and your kitten a speedy recovery.

    Oh and your cookie cake tower looks beautiful! I want to take a giant bite 🙂

    Reply

Grab a slice of cake & let's chat. . .