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Christmas Tree Cookies

 Christmas Tree Cookies
These holly jolly trees are sure to catch everyone's attention. Iced with creamy frosting and dusted with sparkly colored sugars, each of the 3-D cookie trees is as delicious as it is beautiful!—Taste of Home Test Kitchen
18-36 ServingsPrep: 1-1/2 hours Bake: 10 min. + cooling

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3-1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Green gel or paste food coloring
  • FROSTING:
  • 4-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Green gel or paste food coloring
  • Assorted decorating sprinkles and white edible glitter

Directions

  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add
  • eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in
  • vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder; gradually add to creamed
  • mixture and mix well.
  • Divide dough in half. Tint half of the dough green; knead well to
  • distribute color evenly. Leave remaining dough white. Cover and
  • refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle.

2 of 3

Christmas Tree Cookies (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out each portion of dough to
  • 1/8-in. thickness. Use tree-shaped cookie cutters with identical
  • shapes, measuring 2-1/2 in., 3 in., 4 in. and 4-1/2 in. Cut out an
  • even number of cookies with each size cookie cutter.
  • Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for
  • 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately cut half of each
  • size tree cookies in half from top to bottom. If tree cookie cutters
  • have trunks, trim trunks off trees, creating a flat base. Remove to
  • wire racks to cool.
  • For frosting, in a large bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar,
  • water, meringue powder, vanilla and cream of tartar. Beat on high
  • speed for 8-10 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Divide frosting in
  • half. Tint half of the frosting green; leave remaining frosting
  • white. Cover frosting with damp paper towels or plastic wrap between
  • uses.
  • To make four-sided garland trees (on top in photo at left): Cut a
  • small hole in the corner of a pastry or resealable plastic bag;
  • insert round pastry tip #5. Fill with green or white frosting to
  • match the tree you are decorating. Pipe a line of frosting along the
  • cut edge of one of the halved cookies (see Photo 1); press frosted
  • edge along center of a matching whole cookie. Repeat. Let dry until
  • firm.
  • Stand up partially assembled trees. Attach one matching cookie half
  • to the opposite side of the tree by piping frosting along the center
  • of the whole cookie (see Photo 2). Let dry completely.
  • Using another pastry or resealable plastic bag, medium star pastry
  • tip #21 and either white or green frosting, pipe garlands around
  • sides of trees. Decorate with sprinkles if desired. Let dry
  • completely.
  • To make fuller trees (top right and lower left in photo at left):
  • Assemble trees as described for four-sided garland trees, using
  • white or green cookies. Using matching colored frosting, attach four
  • cookie halves, one size smaller than assembled tree cookies. Let
  • trees dry completely. Decorate using either the garland or
  • snow-tipped technique. Dry completely.
  • To make snow-tipped trees (at lower left in photo at left): Assemble
  • trees as described for fuller trees using green cookies. Using
  • another pastry or resealable plastic bag, large round pastry tip #8
  • and white frosting, pipe snow on tips of branches. Sprinkle with
  • edible glitter. Let dry completely.
  • To make glazed trees (at lower right in photo at left): In a small
  • bowl, thin 1 cup green frosting with 2-3 tablespoons water until

3 of 3

Christmas Tree Cookies (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • frosting reaches pourable consistency. Place matching pairs of whole
  • and halved cookies on a wire rack over waxed paper. Pour icing over
  • cookies; spread with a metal spatula to completely cover top and
  • sides of cookies. Let dry completely. Assemble, using garland tree
  • method; let dry. Decorate as desired. Yield: 6 dozen cookies (or
  • 18-36 cookie trees, depending on fullness of trees).
Editor's Note: Meringue powder and edible glitter are available from Wilton Industries. Call 1-800/794-5866 or visit www.wilton.com.
Nutritional Facts: 1 serving (1 each) equals 181 calories, 5 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 25 mg cholesterol, 85 mg sodium, 31 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 2 g protein.