3D Christmas Tree Cookies
Big fun for the giver and the receiver. These 3D Christmas Tree Cookies are a fabulous edible gift this season!
In this season of hope and inspiration, magic seems to spill over into every aspect of life, including baking.
You’ll notice cookies are glitzier at Christmas time. Bigger, and often heavily decorated. (Yet not always as tasty.)
If your not a pastry chef or artist, don’t worry. You can still make inspired cookies that your friends and family will love.
Instead of leaning on decorating skills you may or may not have, why not go for height and dimension?
These simple 3D Christmas Tree Cookies look spectacular, yet require very little technique. If you can roll, cut, and stack, you are well equipped.
The key to making marvelous 3D Christmas Tree Cookies is to start with a really good roll-out sugar cookie recipe, like the one you’ll find below.
Using at least 4 sizes of star cookie cutters, cut out eight stars per tree. Then cut out a round base and 7 smaller round “connector” cookies. If you have a set of star cutters with more size options, feel free to use them all.
Lay all the cookies on cookie sheets and bake until just barely baked through.
Once the cookies are cool, whisk together a simple 2-ingredient icing and glue the stars together. Start with the round base on the bottom, followed by 2 of the largest stars with the points offset, working up to two of the smallest stars.
Glue a small round connector cookie in between each star to add height.
Once the 3D Christmas Tree Cookies are dry, drizzle more icing over the branches and sprinkle with sugar sprinkles.
You can also dip candies in the icing and glue them onto the branches. I used sixlets as ornaments on my trees, but you could use any small candy you like.
3D Christmas Tree Cookies make fun edible gifts. Place them in small boxes and hand them out to neighbors and coworkers.
…And best of all, they taste even better than they look!
3D Christmas Tree Cookies
- Preheat the oven 375 degrees F. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Scrape the bowl with a spatula, and turn the mixer on low. Beat in the salt, eggs, vanilla, and then finally the flour. Once combined, turn the mixer off as to not over-mix. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
- Once the dough is cold and firm, flour a work surface. Cut the dough in half and roll it out into an even 1/8-inch sheet. Using 4 sizes of star cutters (4-inch, 3-inch, 2-inch, and 1-inch) cut two stars out with each cutter, for each tree, followed by one 1 1/2-inch circle for the base and seven half-circles for the connectors. You should have a total of 8 stars, 7 small connector circles, and one medium base circle per tree. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Place the cookies on the baking sheets 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake for 6-7 minutes, until the edges are just barely golden. Cool completely on the baking sheets.
- Once the cookies are cool, whisk together 2 cups of powdered sugar and 3 tablespoons half & half. The mixture should have the consistency of school glue. If it's too thick, add a little more half & half.
- Use the icing to glue the 1 1/2-inch circles to the bottoms of the largest stars. Then glue a small round "connector" cookie in the middle of the stars and add the second large star on top, shifting the cookie so the points are offset. Continue to stack and shift the points until you have eight star cookies stacked from largest to smallest, to form a tree. Allow them to dry before decorating. (See images above for guidance.)
- To decorate: Drizzle the remaining icing over the trees and sprinkle with sugar sprinkles. You could also dip larger candies into the icing and set them on the points. Dry completely before wrapping as gifts.