Christmas Tree of Cookies

This cookie “tree” is very simple but looks impressive. It’s made up of a stack of little Christmas stars, which can be decorated and detailed or kept plain and simply dusted with confectioners’ sugar. This is a great treat to make with children. It’s a good idea to make this tree close to where you’re going to eat it.–Harriet Hastings and Sarah Moore

LC Yes, You Can Create Cookies That Look Like This Note

If you’ve never undertaken cookie decorating before, all you need is a little confidence. Well, okay, that and a steady hand. And the right how-tos. So what we’re giving you here is less a recipe than a decorating how-to, because chances are you’re already pretty adept at making cookies. You’ll find everything you need—minus that steady—right here and in the tips found at the Basic Royal Icing Recipe on the site (see link below in the ingredients list).

Christmas Tree of Cookie Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 1 H
  • 1 H
  • Makes 1 spectacular cookie Christmas tree


  • Your favorite roll-out cookie or shortbread dough in any flavor, whether chocolate, sugar, gingerbread, or some other snazzy incarnation, enough to make at least 36 cookies
  • 1/2 batch Basic Royal Icing
  • Optional embellishments: Confectioners’ sugar, glitter sugar, shiny baubles and snowflakes
  • Toothpicks or slender wooden skewers, for when your outlining gets a little sloppy and needs to be erased
  • Cookie Cutters: Up to 6 different-sized 5-pointed stars
  • Pastry bag or a resealable plastic bag with the tip cut off, for piping icing


  • 1. Roll out your cookie dough on a lightly floured work surface to the thickness specified in the recipe. Cut about five or six cookies in each star size–maybe a few more, just to allow for breakages and decorating gaffes. Bake as directed. Let cool.
  • 2. Outline each star with white piping icing. If desired, dust the cookies with silver glitter sugar and add a silver bauble to each star point using white piping icing as glue. Let dry.
  • 3. Take a pretty plate and, starting with the largest stars, stack them on top of each other using white piping icing to “glue” each layer together and giving each additional star a quarter turn to make the helix shape. Let dry completely about halfway through so you have a stable platform on which to stack the smaller stars.

To further embellish the Christmas tree of cookies, try any of the following...

  • Simple: Sift confectioners’ sugar over the entire tree to make it look like a frosted fir.

    Colorful: Squeeze trails of multicolored royal icing (piping icing) all over the tree. Add glitter sugar and tiny shiny baubles, snowflakes, or any other exciting Christmas decorations to the trails before they set.

    Sophisticated: Ice each star with a glitter-frosted white pattern and stack up with pretty candies.
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