Something fun and a little different for your New Year’s Eve party, bridal shower, or any occasion that calls for a champagne celebration! These Champagne Star Cookies are simple buttery sugar cookies topped with a rich champagne infused frosting. Simple to make, and the recipe includes a step-by-step video!
Popping in really quickly with a fun New Year’s Eve recipe for you (and my last new recipe of 2020): Champagne Star Cookies! While you won’t catch a buzz off of these sweet treats, they’re a lot of fun to make and taste distinctly of your favorite champagne.
These would also be great as a bridal shower dessert, wedding party treat, or really any cause for celebration.
They have sturdy, buttery, cookie bases that are slightly crisp on the outside but softer in the center. The top is iced with a sweet, champagne-flavored icing that dries hard and looks gorgeous adorned with sprinkles.
What You Need to Make Champagne Star Cookies
Let’s talk about just a few of the ingredients above before we get started…
- Champagne. This goes in the icing only. We reduce this for a strong, distinct flavor (more on this below). Choose a champagne that you enjoy drinking, sparkling wine would also work!
- Butter. Use unsalted butter and then we’ll add a bit of salt. This should be softened, but not so soft that the exterior is greasy or oily. We’re also melting an additional two tablespoons of butter and mixing that into the icing, which adds another subtle dimension to the frosting (similar to my petit four icing, only it dries harder and more shiny!).
- Egg yolk. We are using the yolk only, (save the white to go towards meringues!). This enriches the dough and helps to make for a tender cookie, whereas the white would actually make the final cookie a bit more crumbly and dry and would make the cookies more prone to spreading in the oven.
- Flour. Use all-purpose flour.
This is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
What makes these cookies “Champagne cookies” is their distinctly champagne-flavored icing. In order to achieve this taste, we must start by reducing our champagne (which simply means we’re cooking out most of the water). I always start by preparing this first, even though we won’t actually need it until the cookies are baked and it’s time to make our icing. You want to give this plenty of time to completely cool, so best to do it right away!
Reducing the champagne is a simple step, but it’s critical for an obvious champagne flavor. Start with 1 1/2 cups of champagne or sparkling wine and cook it on the stovetop until you’re left with less than just 1/3 cup. Champagne contains a lot of water, so when we heat it on the stovetop, much of that water cooks out (as does the alcohol!), leaving behind a potent reduction with a powerful champagne flavor.
This packs a much more flavorful punch than if we were to use straight champagne. In fact, if we didn’t reduce it, the flavor would be quite watered down and you might not even be able to even identify the flavor when you tasted the cookies.
The cookie dough base is a basic one (I’ve used it for my heart cookies and it’s similar to my popular butter cookies). I don’t actually use any champagne in the dough, instead it’s vanilla flavored, which complements the champagne surprisingly well.
After a lot of testing, I wasn’t impressed with the minimal flavor imparted by actually including champagne in the dough. It was difficult to pick up the flavor without compromising the texture of the final cookie (even a small amount made the cookies dry and they lost their shape in their oven). Ultimately I found it was best to use a standard, buttery sugar-cookie-esque dough and limit the champagne flavor to the icing.
Thanks to our icing, you won’t miss the flavor in the dough and instead the cookie and icing complement each other nicely instead of yielding an overbearing, one-dimensional flavor.
Tip: If your dough seems a bit too sticky, just dust your counter and the surface of the dough generously with flour as needed until it’s easy to manage. Lift the dough several times with a spatula as you’re rolling it out and dust beneath it as needed to keep the dough from sticking.
Frequently Asked Questions
Most often this happens if you accidentally over-measured your flour (unfortunately this is a common baking mistake). Be sure to check out my post on how to measure flour!
If you chilled your dough longer than the time indicated, it also might become very stiff and difficult to roll out. Just let it sit on the counter for 15 minutes or so until it’s soft enough to roll without cracking.
If your butter is too warm or became too warm from over-mixing, the dough could become too soft or sticky. Chilling for a longer period of time and generously dusting your countertop and the dough with flour will help with this.
Yes! This icing takes food coloring well.
Easy fix! For icing that is too runny, simply add more powdered sugar. For icing that is too stiff. Thin it with a splash more champagne. If you’ve used all of your champagne reduction, you can add bit of non-reduced champagne (since you won’t need much at all).
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Let’s bake together! Make sure to check out the how-to VIDEO in the recipe card!
Champagne Star Cookies
- 3 cups powdered sugar (375g)
- 2 Tablespoons butter melted (salted or unsalted will work)
- reduced champagne (this is not additional champagne, you will just be using the reduced champagne from above)
- Sprinkles or colored sugar for decorating
- Begin by preparing your champagne. Pour it into a small saucepan over medium/high heat until simmering and cook until it is reduced to ¼-⅓ cup (60-80ml). This will take some time, possibly 10-15 minutes or so.
- Once reduced, pour into a heatproof container and allow to cool completely while you prepare your cookies.
- In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until well-creamed.
- Add egg yolk, vanilla extract, and salt and stir well. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed to ensure all ingredients are well-combined.
- With the mixer on low-speed, gradually add flour until it is completely incorporated. Do this slowly and make sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl periodically, this is a dry dough so it will take a bit of stirring to get it to all come together. Don’t over-mix it either, however, or the dough will be sticky and need to be chilled for longer.
- Transfer dough to a clean surface and form it into a 1” (2.5cm) thick disk. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes and up to 5 days¹. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350F (175C).
- Transfer dough to a clean, lightly floured surface and use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll it out to about ¼” thick (if dough seems sticky, return it to the fridge for longer or dust more flour on it).
- Use a star-shaped cookie cutter to cut out shapes (make as many cuts as you can, then re-group the scraps, re-roll and cut out even more cookies!) and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet² and bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges are just beginning to turn a light golden brown.
- Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5-10 minutes then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely before covering with icing.
Champagne Icing & Assembly
- Whisk together powdered sugar, melted butter, and 2-3 Tablespoons champagne. Add more champagne as needed until the icing reaches a consistency where it falls in a ribbon from the whisk and holds its shape for several seconds before dissolving back into the bowl. You may not need all of the champagne you have (see note 3 if you don’t have enough champagne).
- Grip a cookie firmly by the base and dip into the champagne icing. Return cookie to cooling rack and decorate immediately with sprinkles. Allow frosting to harden completely before enjoying (this usually takes 1-3 hours).