Cream together the butter and sugar for about one minute
Add in the vanilla and egg and beat until just combined
Slowly add the flour, baking soda and salt to the wet mixture and mix until the flour is incorporated
If it becomes too thick to mix, pull the dough onto a piece of parchment paper and continue to massage with your hands until the flour is completely combined
Roll out the dough flat on a lightly floured surface until it is about 1/4 inch thick (thicker is better)
Use descending sizes of star cookie cutters to cut the dough and move shapes to a parchment or silicone mat lined baking sheet. Continue until all of the dough is cut and chill in the fridge for at least one hour
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
Once the dough has chilled, bake cookies for 8-10 minutes, checking them often so they don’t overcook. Remove when they begin to brown very lightly on the edges and cool completely on a wire rack
To make the icing, sift the powdered sugar into a bowl
Whisk in 1 tbsp milk, adding more as needed until the mixture is just thin enough to dip cookies (it should drip off the whisk but not be liquid) and mix in green food coloring until desired color is reached
Sort the cookies by size and choose the cookie stacks. Each stack will have about 8 cookies with two cookies of each sized star.
Starting with the largest size on the bottom, carefully dip the top of the cookie into the icing and let the excess drip off. Set on the baking sheet and repeat with the next cookie, carefully placing it on top of the other one so that the points of the stars do not line up.
Repeat with all cookies, stacking them to create a tree shape. Before the icing dries (which is quickly) top with colorful sprinkles and other decorations, or use icing to secure a small star upright on top of a stack.
Store cookie stacks in the fridge until about 10 minutes before serving to preserve the icing. If storing un-iced cookies, keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.
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