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Lemon Shortbread Trees Recipe

Lemon Shortbread Trees Recipe

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 YIELD: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


  • 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

Nutritional Facts

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

Reviews for Lemon Shortbread Trees

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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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