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Gingerbread Tree Recipe

 Gingerbread Tree Recipe
One good idea often leads to another. That's certainly the case with this tasty craft that began with a favorite cookie at Pat's house. Pat's delightful gingerbread recipe came across our Test Kitchen's desk not long ago. We knew it was a "winner"—but what caught our eye was her note about the piles of cookies she and her family traditionally cut out each Christmas. That got all of us thinki
40 ServingsPrep: 1-1/2 hours Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling

Ingredients

  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups light molasses
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 10 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1 container (3 ounces) cinnamon red-hot candies (about 1/3 cup)
  • Confectioners' sugar, optional
  • Clear Contact paper (optional)
  • 10-inch flat serving plate
  • Patterns

Directions

  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs,
  • molasses and vinegar; mix well. Combine flour, ginger, baking soda,
  • cinnamon and cloves; gradually add to creamed mixture. Cover and
  • chill overnight.
  • To prepare star pattern: Trace each star size onto waxed paper and
  • cut out. If you would like to preserve the patterns, copy them,
  • cover both sides with Contact paper and cut out. On a lightly
  • floured surface, roll a portion of dough to 1/4-in. thickness; keep

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Gingerbread Tree Recipe (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • rest refrigerated.
  • To cut out stars: Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut around
  • star patterns. You will need a total of 33 cookies--two treetop
  • stars; three each of stars 1-4 and 9; and four each of stars 5-8.
  • Place 12 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Press a red-hot candy
  • into the center of each treetop star; press red hot candies into
  • points of the rest of the stars. In one number 9 star, make two
  • indentations as shown on the pattern (to hold the treetop stars in
  • place).
  • To bake: Place all cookies in a 350° oven and bake until lightly
  • browned on the edges; 5 minutes for treetop stars; 8-10 minutes for
  • numbers 6-9; 11-12 minutes for numbers 1-5. Cool on baking sheets
  • for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks and cool completely.
  • To assemble: Starting with star number 1, stack stars on the serving
  • plate, staggering star points. For a natural-looking tree as shown
  • in the photo at left, the sizes are alternated in the following
  • order: 1-1-2-1-2-3-2-3-4-5-4-5-5-6-5-6-6-7-6-7-7-8-7-8-8-9-8-9-9 (
  • with indentations). Place the two tree top stars in the
  • indentations, leaning back to back. Dust tree with confectioners'
  • sugar if desired. To serve, pass the entire tree.
  • Yield: 33 cookies.
Cutting Note: Cut 33 cookies—two treetop stars; three each of star numbers 1-4 and 9; and four each of star numbers 5-8. Note: Note: Pat’s gingerbread recipe will yield the 33 cookies needed for the centerpiece, plus an extra 5 dozen or so smaller cookies.