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Celebrate the Season: How to Make Festive Christmas Tree Cookies

The holiday season is the perfect time to get creative in the kitchen, and nothing says “Christmas” quite like beautifully decorated Christmas tree cookies. These delightful treats are not only delicious but also add a festive touch to your holiday dessert table. Gather your family for a fun baking session and follow this easy recipe to create your own batch of Christmas tree cookies!

Ingredients

For the Cookies:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)

For the Royal Icing:

  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 6 tablespoons warm water
  • Green food coloring
  • Assorted sprinkles and edible decorations

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Cookie Dough

  1. Mix Dry Ingredients:
    • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Cream Butter and Sugar:
    • In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add Egg and Extracts:
    • Beat in the egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract (if using) until well combined.
  4. Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients:
    • Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, mixing until just combined.

Step 2: Chill and Roll Out the Dough

  1. Chill the Dough:
    • Divide the dough into two discs, wrap each in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until firm.
  2. Preheat Oven:
    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Roll Out the Dough:
    • On a lightly floured surface, roll out one disc of dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Keep the other disc refrigerated until ready to use.

Step 3: Cut and Bake the Cookies

  1. Cut Out Shapes:
    • Use a Christmas tree-shaped cookie cutter to cut out cookies and place them on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart.
  2. Bake:
    • Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are just starting to turn golden. Rotate the baking sheets halfway through for even baking.
  3. Cool:
    • Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Step 4: Prepare the Royal Icing

  1. Mix the Icing:
    • In a large bowl, combine the powdered sugar, meringue powder, and warm water. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until the icing forms stiff peaks, about 7-10 minutes.
  2. Color the Icing:
    • Divide the icing into bowls and tint with green food coloring to your desired shade. Cover the bowls with plastic wrap to prevent the icing from drying out.

Step 5: Decorate the Cookies

  1. Pipe the Icing:
    • Transfer the green icing to a piping bag fitted with a small round tip. Outline and flood the surface of each cookie with the icing, then use a toothpick to spread the icing evenly and remove any air bubbles.
  2. Add Decorations:
    • While the icing is still wet, decorate the cookies with sprinkles, edible pearls, or other decorations to resemble ornaments and lights on a Christmas tree.
  3. Dry the Cookies:
    • Allow the decorated cookies to dry completely at room temperature for several hours, or overnight, until the icing is firm.

Step 6: Enjoy!

Your festive Christmas tree cookies are now ready to be enjoyed! These delightful treats are perfect for holiday parties, gift exchanges, or simply sharing with family and friends. Store any leftovers in an airtight container to keep them fresh.

Christmas Tree Cookies Recipe

Ingredients

  • For the Cookies:
    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the Royal Icing:
    • 3 cups powdered sugar
    • 2 tablespoons meringue powder
    • 6 tablespoons warm water
    • Green food coloring
    • Assorted sprinkles for decoration

Instructions

  1. Prepare the Dough:
    • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
    • In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla extract, beating until combined.
    • Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mixing until just combined.
    • Divide the dough in half, shape into disks, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 1 hour.
  2. Bake the Cookies:
    • Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
    • On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Use a Christmas tree cookie cutter to cut out shapes.
    • Transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart.
    • Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges are just starting to turn golden. Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. Decorate with Royal Icing:
    • In a large bowl, combine the powdered sugar, meringue powder, and warm water. Beat on high speed for about 5 minutes, until the icing holds stiff peaks.
    • Divide the icing and tint with green food coloring as desired.
    • Transfer the icing to a piping bag fitted with a small round tip. Outline and flood the cookies with the icing. Use a toothpick to spread the icing and eliminate any air bubbles.
    • Decorate with assorted sprinkles before the icing sets. Allow the icing to harden completely before storing.

These festive cookies are not only delicious but also a joy to decorate, making them a perfect holiday baking project. Enjoy!

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