Christmas Tree Cookies
Delight family and friends with these holly jolly evergreens. Iced with creamy frosting and dusted with sparkly colored sugars, the 3-D cookie trees are as delicious as they are beautiful!—Taste of Home Test Kitchen
Total TimePrep: 1-1/2 hours Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling
Makes18-36 cookie trees, depending on fullness
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1-1/4 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- Green gel or paste food coloring
- 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
- 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 extract. 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.
- 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 21/2 in., 3 in., 4 in. and 41/2 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 glaze trees: In a small bowl, thin 1 cup green frosting with 2-3 Tbsp. water until 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 and decorate as desired.
- To make a four-sided tree: 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; press frosted edge along center of a matching whole cookie. Let dry until firm.Stand up partially assembled tree. Attach one matching cookie half to the opposite side of the tree by piping frosting along the center of the whole cookie. Let dry completely. Decorate as desired.
- To make an eight-sided tree: Assemble as described for four-sided tree, using white or green cookies. Using matching colored frosting, attach four more cookie halves; halves should be one half-size smaller than whole center cookie. Let dry completely. Decorate as desired.
- To make Christmas lights decoration: Using a pastry or resealable plastic bag, round pastry tip #2 and green frosting, pipe cords. Attach sprinkles for lights. Let dry completely.
- To make snow-tipped decoration: Using a 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 garland decoration: Using a pastry or resealable plastic bag, medium star pastry tip #21 and either white or green frosting, pipe garlands around trees. Decorate with sprinkles if desired. Let dry completely.
Editor's Note: Meringue powder and edible glitter are available from Wilton Industries. Call 1-800/794-5866 or visit www.wilton.com.
Nutrition Facts1 tree: 181 calories, 5g fat (3g saturated fat), 25mg cholesterol, 85mg sodium, 31g carbohydrate (21g sugars, 0 fiber), 2g protein.
Originally published as Christmas Tree Cookies in Country Woman Christmas 2004
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