This easy to make Christmas Cookie Tree will delight your holiday guests and look stunning on your Christmas buffet!
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Are you ready for some fun holiday cookies?! My kids freak out for this cookie tree every year. It’s just so stinking cute. I love it! Yes. I’m a dork and proud of it. I mean seriously, who doesn’t love cookies at Christmas time? Grumpy people. That’s who. And we’re not grumpy around here.
Now if you’re feeling a little trepidation over making royal icing frosted cookies for the first time, don’t fret. This cookie tree was the very first time I tackled this kind of cookie. There’s no crazy decorating, just filling the cookies and a few sprinkles here and there. So buck up kids and grab the frosting, cause this is going to be fun!
1/2 recipe No Fail Sugar Cookies
1/2 recipe Royal Icing
Prepare the sugar cookie dough. Roll the dough out the 1/4-inch thick, use the staggered star cookie cutters once each to create cookies, and bake according to the recipe. Remove the cookies from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack. Return the cookies to two baking sheets for easy transporting.
Prepare the royal icing according to the recipe (I don’t put any extract in my icing). Add green food coloring until your desired color is reached.
Portion half the icing into a piping bag fitted with a #3 tip. Outline each star cookie using the icing in the piping bag. Reserve any remaining piping icing for decorating the tree. (Put the whole piping bag, as is, in a Tupperware container, cover and refrigerate.)
Using the remaining icing in the bowl, create flood icing by adding water to the icing 1 teaspoon at a time and mixing until combined. You want a thick syrup consistency. When you drizzle the icing it should take a second or two for the icing to smooth back into the rest of the bowl.
Pour the flood icing into a squeeze bottle (the kind of find for condiments at the store work just fine). Squeeze the icing inside the stars, be sure not to get too close to the edge of the piping icing. Use a toothpick to drag the flood icing to the edge of the cookie. Repeat for all the stars.
Place the cookies in a dry place (the counter is fine if you don’t have sticky fingers running around your house like I do). Let the cookies dry overnight. The flood icing will completely set up and harden. DO NOT CHECK THE ICING! Wait until the morning to check it or you’ll get little impressions from your fingers in the icing.
To assemble and decorate the tree, place the largest star on your serving plate. Place the second largest cookie on top of the first, but turn the second cookie so the points of the stars are alternating. Dot the corners of the bottom cookie with piping icing. Place one confetti sprinkle on each dot.
Repeat by adding the next biggest star on top of the stack, alternating the star points, and add icing dots to the bottom cookie and confetti sprinkles. (If you wait to add the dots until the next cookie is placed on top you can see where the visible areas of the points are.)
When you get to the last two cookies, don’t add any dots. Place one on top of the other, lining up the points (as shown).
That’s it! This tree takes a little love, but it’s so cute. My boys love helping put the sprinkles on the dots. Don’t worry about the tree falling over. The flat surfaces and weight of the cookies hold things together well.
*If the thought crosses your mind to add piping icing in between the cookie layers so things don’t slide around, just know the cookies will stick to each other and you’ll have to break them apart to disassemble and eat the tree. I did it my first year making this tree, and it’s not worth it.