Christmas Tree Cookies



Decorate these fun and festive spiced sugar cookie trees with any decorations you'd like, whether it's colorful and candy filled or covered in sprinkle snow. 

Makes 10 cookies


Things you'll need

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • Pretzel sticks
  • Royal icing: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, black, brown, white
  • Candy: Mini M&Ms, sour strips, Nerds, Jelly Beans, Reese's Pieces
  • Sprinkles: rainbow, snowflakes, gold stars, balls


  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Piping tips: #1, #2, #3
  • Piping bags
  • Large Christmas tree cookie cutter
  • Rolling pin
  • Silicon baking sheets

Let's get started!

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cloves and salt.
  2. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter,  orange zest and powdered sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  5. On a low speed, beat in the flour until combined.
  6. Shape the dough into a disk about 1/2" thick and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350F°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  8. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4" inch thick. Cut out the cookies and place 1-inch apart on the baking sheets.
  9. Cut off the dough trunk of the trees and place 3 pretzel sticks underneath the cookie, leaving 1-inch of pretzel as the trunk.
  10. Freeze cookies for 15 minutes.
  11. Bake for 13-15 minutes. Let cool completely.


Time to Decorate!

  1. Using a piping bag fitted with a #3 tip, filled with stiff green royal icing, pipe a border around the cookies and tree details.
  2. Using a piping bag with a thinner green icing, flood the sections of cookies. Let them dry completely, about 2 hours.
  3. Using all the royal icing colors, pipe various design decorations onto parchment paper (candy canes, gingerbread men, stars, peppermints, poinsettias, etc). Let them dry completely, about 1 hour.
  4. Decorate your trees with a variety of candy, sprinkles, royal icing, and royal icing transfer designs.





Written By Rosanna Pansino

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