Brighten up Christmas and try this perfect treat from Irish baker Gemma Stafford, with EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum.

Discover the stories of those who left Ireland and shaped the world at EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum in Dublin. EPIC is the world’s only fully digital museum, with interactive galleries telling the fascinating stories of over 300 Irish people, past and present, and reliving some of the greatest achievements in the world of sport, music, art, culture, politics, food, fashion, and science.

One Irishwoman who is making her mark on the culinary world is Gemma Stafford, an Irish chef who specializes in baking. Gemma’s Bigger Bolder Baking now has almost 1.5 million subscribers on her YouTube channel and her site has a wealth of traditional Irish recipes.

Gemma Stafford.

Gemma Stafford.

Originally hailing from Wexford, she emigrated from Ireland to the United States almost a decade ago. Nowadays, Gemma is based in Santa Monica, California, with her American husband Kevin, who works alongside her producing her popular weekly videos.

Irish shortbread Christmas tree cookies

Prep time: 20 mins Cook time: 20 mins Total time: 40 mins

Serves: 20


For the cookies:

- 1½ cups (12oz, 345g) butter, at room temperature

- 1 cup (7.5oz, 216g) sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

- 3½ cups (1lb ½oz, 469g) all-purpose flour

-  ¼ teaspoon salt

For the icing:

- 1 cup (41/2oz, 127g) confectioner’s sugar (icing sugar)

- water

- green and yellow food dye

- red edible pearl decorations


- Preheat the oven to 350oF (180oC).

- In an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the room temperature butter and sugar until they are light and pale in color.

- Add the vanilla.

- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter-and-sugar   mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 60 minutes.

- Roll the dough ½-inch thick and cut using star cutters.

- Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the edges begin to brown lightly. Allow to cool to room temperature.

- To make your frosting: Mix your confectioner’s sugar with a few drops of water and stir. Take care to not add too much for it will be really hard to get it thick again.

- In separate bowls, add the food dye to reach desired color of green and yellow.

- Frost each cookie for the trees. Make sure to save some small stars to be dyed yellow to go on top. Leave to dry.

- Stack the cookies on top of each other binding each layer with a drop of frosting.

- Once dry, place your pearl decorations on the points of the stars.

- Finish the tree by placing the star on top!!! Enjoy this cookie 🙂

* EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum was recently nominated for the European Museum of the Year Award 2018, and is in TripAdvisor and National Geographic Traveler’s Top 10 Things to Do in Dublin.

For more information and to buy tickets to the museum visit

Inside EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum, the world's first fully digital museum.

Inside EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum, the world's first fully digital museum.

Irish Christmas tree shortbread cookies.