The Bethlehem Star can be seen lighted in nearly every entryway in my hometown … The Christmas City. They are lit traditionally during Advent but the stars adorn front doors all year-round. Also known as the Christmas Star, it represents the Star of Bethlehem which led the Magi to the manger where Christ was born on Christmas Day. During the depression Christmas cards were mailed to Bethlehem for hand stamping with the Christmas City postal cancellation.


The Bethlehem Star is very similar to and often confused with the Moravian Star, also known as the Advent Star. The Moravian Star had its beginnings in Saxony, Germany in the 1830’s and traditionally has 26 points. The story goes it was used as a geometry lesson at the Moravian Boys School. The Moravian Church, early settlers in Bethlehem, adopted the star as their symbol with the points being equal in length to symbolize the Moravian’s belief in equality for men and women. The Bethlehem Star has fewer points than the Moravian Star with two elongated points at the top and bottom.

(Source: American Public House Review)

In 1937, a gigantic star made with steel from the local mill was erected on South Mountain and illuminated during Christmastime. It was visible from our home six miles away. Nowadays the star is illuminated year-round.

(Source: Monroe County Historical Society)

The stars come in many colors but are most commonly white or clear. When decorating this cookie I divided the points of the star into segments to give the cookie some dimension and added white sanding sugar.

Bethlehem Star Cookies
Bethlehem Star Shortbread Cookies
Royal Icing for outlining and flooding tinted with AmeriColor Super White
Disposable piping bags & couplers
Squeeze bottles
Wilton Decorating Tip #2
CK White Sanding Sugar

Outline cookie with #2 tip in white icing.

Pipe straight lines from each point with #2 tip in white icing.

Flood every other section with white icing. Let dry overnight.

Flood remaining sections with white icing.

Sprinkle with white sanding sugar. Gently shake off excess. Let dry overnight. 



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  1. These are lovely! They look so festive and they are perfect for Holiday celebrations.

    1. Melissa, Thank you and I appreciate the pin. Enjoy the holidays!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Paula and have a very Merry Christmas. Have fun with the grandchildren.

  3. Gorgeous cookies. Almost too pretty to eat.

    1. Annamaria, Thank you! Oh, eating the cookies is the best part! Have a nice holiday.

  4. Belated Merry Christmas Joan! I hope you had a wonderful holiday! These cookies are so pretty - I had a friend who went to Moravian College and she loved and also decorated with that star. Looking forward to seeing your creations in 2015! Cheers!

    1. Hi Deb, Thank you and I hope you and yours had a wonderful Christmas! Moravian has a beautiful campus with gorgeous stone buildings. Many of my high school classmates attended. Thanks for your constant support and wishing you lots of success and happiness in 2015.


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