Lemon Shortbread Trees Recipe
Lemon Shortbread Trees Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Lemon Shortbread Trees Recipe

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Here's a fun holiday recipe children can help with. And no cookie cutters are needed! I just shape the dough into a triangular log, refrigerate it and cut it into tree-shaped slices to bake and decorate. Broken pretzel sticks form the tree trunks. —Phyllis Schmalz, Kansas City, Kansas
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 45 min. Bake: 10 min./batch + standing
MAKES:44 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 45 min. Bake: 10 min./batch + standing
MAKES: 44 servings


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 22 pretzel sticks
  • 2-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 10 teaspoons water
  • 4 teaspoons meringue powder
  • Red and green paste food coloring
  • Assorted sprinkles

Nutritional Facts

1 cookie: 97 calories, 4g fat (3g saturated fat), 11mg cholesterol, 37mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.


  1. In a large bowl, cream the butter, confectioners' sugar and cornstarch until light and fluffy. Beat in lemon peel and juice. Gradually add flour and mix well.
  2. Divide dough into two portions; shape each into two 6-in. logs. Flatten top and push in sides at an angle to form a 2-in. x 2-in. x 1-1/2-in.-triangle. Wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for 4 hours or until firm.
  3. Unwrap and cut into 1/4-in. slices. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Break pretzel sticks in half; press into short side of each cookie for tree trunk. Bake at 350° 10-12 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks to cool.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, water and meringue powder; beat on low speed just until combined. Beat on high for 4-5 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Remove 1 cup and tint red. Tint remaining icing green. (Keep unused icing covered at all times with a damp cloth.)
  5. Frost and decorate cookies as desired. Let dry at room temperature for several hours or until firm. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 3-1/2 dozen.
Editor's Note: Meringue powder is available from Wilton Industries. Call 800-794-5866 or visit
Originally published as Lemon Shortbread Trees in Country Woman Christmas Annual 2012, p64

Sweet White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a sweet white wine such as Moscato or a sweet Riesling.

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amiracle2012 User ID: 7960803 240112
Reviewed Dec. 24, 2015

"Family wasn't impressed with the Lemon side of it, but enjoyed decorating them"

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