I totally did it you guys! I pulled out my rolling pin and cookie cutters AND I made homemade icing AND used a piping bag. Holy cow, it was a busy day in this household! It might not sound like a lot, but I’m a total newbie at this. I haven’t used my rolling pin since we first got married. And I’ve never ever made homemade icing before. Ever. I’m not convinced I made it with the right consistency, but it was delicious, and my Christmas tree sugar cookies turned out beautifully! So I’ll count it as a win!
My husband made fun of me when I was using the rolling pin. Why he knows how to use a rolling pin and I don’t, I have no idea!? I think it was payback for him – he stood behind me, looking over my shoulder saying “that’s not how you’re supposed to use a rolling pin!” (That doesn’t sound anything like what I’d say about how he stacks the dishwasher, makes dinner, or puts away the groceries… Ha!)
As far as decorating goes, these trees were really easy! So easy, that I, as a total piping newbie, was able to make them no problem.
So if I can make them with zero rolling pin/icing making/piping skills, then I can pretty much guarantee that you can make them too! The recipes are at the bottom of the post.
Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Sugar Cookies (recipe below)
- Icing (recipe below)
- Tree Cookie Cutter
- Green Gel Food Colouring
- Piping Bag and Coupler
- Open Star Icing Tip (I used Wilton #22)
Wait for it… Even my 3 year old was impressed with me using the rolling pin. I love her expression in this photo:
And all things considered, I would say that the cookies turned out really well! Perfectly consistent colour, no burning and they kept their shape perfectly. It was a great recipe! (See below)
Now, the icing on the other hand, was a little insane. I think next time I need to cut the recipe in half, because when I picked up the bowl, it seriously felt like I made 3 lbs of icing. I put half of it in a tupperware container and I’m going to have to freeze it. I think I only used a quarter of the icing for these cookies, tops.
I used green gel icing to get the colour. I added a fair bit and used the hand mixer to get it blended.
Once it was all mixed up, I put it in the piping bag and got to work.
I’m not an expert. I tried following the tutorial at Sweetopia, but I think my icing was too thick? With the tip slightly above the cookie, I had to squeeze the piping bag, then tilt the bag down towards the top of the tree, and then pull it towards the top of the tree and release:
And then on the second row, I started squeezing over top of the breaking point of the first row so that it looked like the icing stars were stacked:
And so on:
And then at the top of the tree, I squeezed out a little extra, and then pulled off in the same direction as the top of the tree:
Here’s the progression:
I know, I know, I’m not going to win any awards here for my impressive piping skills, but I was really happy with how they turned out!
They have such a cool “tree” texture! Here’s what they look like from the top:
I tried adding sprinkles, but I wasn’t a huge fan of how it looked, so I stuck with the natural look. You can decorate them however you like!
Upside down mini M&M’s would probably look adorable if you want to decorate them with little ornaments!
- FOR THE COOKIES:
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- FOR THE ICING:
- 2 cups shortening
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 8 cups icing sugar
- ⅓ cup cream (add more if it's too thick)
- gel food colouring
- FOR THE COOKIES:
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Cream together the butter and sugar with a mixer until smooth.
- Beat in the vanilla extract and egg.
- In another bowl, combine the flour and baking powder and mix well.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a little at a time.
- When it's all mixed in, wet your hands and knead it by hand until it's a good dough consistency.
- Immediately roll small batches out onto a floured surface to about ¼" thick, then cut with cookie cutters. (Don't chill the dough)
- Bake at 350F for 8 to 9 minutes.
FOR THE ICING:
- In a large bowl, beat the shortening and vanilla with a mixer until it's smooth.
- Add the icing sugar, small amounts at a time, until combined.
- Add the cream gradually and mix until you get the desired consistency. Add more cream if you need to.
- Add gel food colouring and mix.
This sugar cookie recipe makes perfect, fool proof cookies which are perfect for decorating! This is such a fun and easy way to decorate Christmas cookies, and they turn out beautifully! They have such a gorgeous fir tree texture! And best of all, you can be a complete piping newbie (like me) to make them!