Christmas is not complete without a couple of days of baking Christmas cookies. I am always looking for unique ideas that are inexpensive, creative, and still easy to do. I have baked Christmas cookie trees that are three dimensional. These cookie trees are great to decorate a cookie table or to give as gifts.
Cut out cookie dough of your choice
Green food coloring
8 star cookie cutters in graduated sizes (The base star should be about 8″)
Candies and sprinkles
Baking: A normal batch of cut out cookie dough makes between two and five dozen. Since there are only eight cookies in the cookie tree, you can make between two and three trees per batch.
Make your cookie dough as directed. Add the green food coloring to the dough. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to ¼” thick.
Cut out the cookies and bake as directed according to the dough you are using. I recommend putting like sized cookies on the same baking sheet because the baking times will be similar.
Let the cookies cool completely on a baking rack. Once they are cool, you can start constructing your cookie tree.
Cookie Tree Construction: Use a plate or a cake base to support your cookie tree. Start with the largest star as the base. Put a frosting in the center of the star. Place the next size star on top of the big star, alternating the points. Add more frosting to the top of the second star. Keep stacking the stars with frosting between the cookies.
If you have a small enough star, you may be able to put it perpendicular to the top of the tree. Once the frosting hardens, the tree will stay together and you will be able to move it.
Decorating: Place a dollop of white frosting on each star tip. This has two purposes. The first is to look like snow on the branches of the cookie tree. The second is to hold the ornaments.
The ornaments will be the candy and sprinkles. For ornaments, use little round candies. You can also use star sprinkles. You can add granulated sprinkles to make your snow look glittery.
If you put a star on top of your tree, you can frost it with yellow frosting. Add sprinkles to make it sparkle.
Variations on the Cookie Tree: I have found a few variations to the cookie tree. If you are short on time, use rice crispy treat stars. Make the rice crispy treats as you normally would. Place the hot treats in the star cookie cutters and let them cool. Once they are cool, you can put the frosting in between the layers in order to stack the rice crispy treats.
Another idea is to glaze the cookie dough. If you do not want to use green food coloring in your dough then add the green food coloring directly to the glaze. You can also use a white glaze on your star cookies in order to make a white Christmas tree that looks snow covered. While the icing is still wet, sprinkle the cookies with ball sprinkles to add color.
These Christmas cookie trees are easy to make and look wonderful as a decoration. The only drawback is that no one wants to be the first one to actually eat a cookie.