Amy’s Free Ideas

Seasons > Christmas > Activities for the home : Christmas Tree and Wreath Christmas Cookies

It’s easy to make lots of trees quickly without any special cookie cutter, if you cut them as triangles. Once the cookies are decorated, you don’t even notice that the sides don’t have branches. But if you want a more traditional tree shape, there is an easy way to add those details.

Roll out dough about 1/4 inch thick (1/2 cm.) Roll out the dough roughly twice the height you want the finished trees to be. Cut the dough down the length of the middle.

You can save some time making the tree cookies by kneading green food coloring into the dough instead of putting green icing on the cookies after they are baked. The cookies do lose some of their color in baking, so you can get more vivid color with icing.

Cut the first triangle with the point next to the middle cut.

Cut the next tree so the next tree’s side point touches the side point of the previous tree. Keep cutting until you run out of dough. Cut more triangles out of the opposite side. You might be able to squeeze out a shape or two sideways. Since all the cookies are right next to each other, re-rolling excess dough is at a minimum.

If you don’t want to make sweet cookies even sweeter, decorate the trees this way:

Before you bake the trees, color them with egg mixed with food coloring. Separate the egg yoke from the white and put in 2 shallow bowls or plates. Mix each with a fork and add food coloring. Blue should be mixed with the white, since it will turn to green if it is mixed with the yolk.

To make a circle design, use small bottle caps (such as food coloring lids or vanilla lid) to dip in the egg wash, and then gently press on the cookie. Sometimes a bubble can form, and if you press it on the cookies this way, the whole circle will be filled with color (like the blue circle in the photo above. If there is not bubble, it will only make an outline of a circle. The smaller circles were made with a plastic straw and the blunt end of a skewer.

To make a pattern with lines, roll a skewer or toothpick in the colored egg wash, and lay it on one of the cookies. Slide the skewer along the cookie to make a line. Keep dipping and rubbing until you have a pattern on the tree. You could use a pastry brush to color the whole tree--it’s probably too wide to make a pattern on a cookie.

Make wreath shaped cookies with a doughnut cutter. If you don’t have one, use cups, bottle caps or biscuit cutters--a larger one for the outside cut, and a smaller one for the middle cut.

You can make bows for the wreath with the cut-out from the middle of the wreath in one of 3 ways--

  1. 1.Cut the circle in half. Make a small ball out of more dough with your hands. Put the 2 halves of the circle on either side of the ball.

  2. 2.Squeeze the circle of dough in the middle. Form a small ball from scraps of dough. Put the ball in the middle of the squeezed part of the circle.

  3. 3.Use icing to form a bow--2 triangles with a small ball in the middle

  1. 1.You can save some time making the wreath cookies by kneading green food coloring into the dough instead of putting green icing on the cookies after they are baked.

  2. 2.Roll out dough about 1/4 inch thick

Recipe for Sugar Cookies

Recipe for icing

The traditional way to decorate Christmas tree cookies is to spread icing onto the cookies after they have been baked. The easiest way to decorate these cookies is to sprinkle on colored spray (hundreds and thousands) or press different kinds of small candy into the tree for decorations. (Wreath and tree on the left were decorated in this way.)

Candy is fun to use, but it can raise the price. Different colors of icing can be used to decorate the cookies instead. Put different colors of icing in plastic bags and cut off a tiny corner of each bag. Twist the empty part of the bag so the icing doesn’t squirt out the back. Hold the icing part in your hand and squeeze out patterns--lines and dots are pretty easy to make. (the two trees and wreaths on the right were decorated this way.)

Move the cookies to the baking sheet with a spatula to minimize stretching the dough out of shape. Gather the scraps of dough , knead them into a ball, roll and cut out more leaves. Bake in a 350  Fahrenheit oven (160 Celsius.) Begin checking after 5 minutes--the size of the leaves as well as the thickness will determine how quickly they bake--smaller leaves will bake more quickly than large leaves. Bake until the leaves are just slightly brown around the edges. If the shape does get messed up, use a spatula to press it back into shape.

Another option is to put green food coloring into the cookie dough. Then you don’t have to spread icing all over the cookies, so you use less sugar to decorate the cookies.

If you want to make branches on the trees, use a spoon to cut tiny triangles out of both sides of the triangle tree.

A quicker way to make the wreaths is to form logs of the cookie dough. Wrap each log in plastic wrap or put in a zip-lock bag and put in the refrigerator for an hour or two to firm up. Then slice circle cookies. Cut out the center with a small bottle cap such as the lid of a vanilla bottle. This won’t have the cut scollops of a cutter, but who is going to notice?