This Christmas cookie tree is actually spectacularly simple to assemble despite looking so stunning. It’s simply star-shaped sugar cookies stacked and glued together with royal icing. Easy peasy. Doesn’t matter whether the Christmas cookies are lavishly decorated or simply dusted with confectioners’ sugar.
Notes on Ingredients
- Cookies–You can use your favorite roll-out cookie dough for making this cookie Christmas tree, but be sure to choose a cookie that is firm, such as sugar cookies, shortbread, or gingerbread. Avoid soft cookies as they can crumble when assembling the tree.
- Icing–We recommend using royal icing here, as it’s easy to decorate with.
How to Make This Recipe
- Make the cookies. Roll out your cookie dough and cut star shapes in several sizes. Bake, grouping similar sizes together, as directed by the recipe.
- Outline each star cookie with icing. Decorate with additional glitter or baubles, if desired.
- Assemble the tree. Stack the cookies on top of each other, starting with the largest size on the bottom, and turning each cookie slightly to create a helix shape. Use the icing as “glue” to stick the cookies together.
We love using royal icing here because it’s easy to work with, but if you prefer to be more decorative, get out your piping tools and make a batch of buttercream frosting. You can even tint it green to make it more tree-like.
You can make the cookies for the tree up to 5 days in advance and store in an airtight container at room temperature. The assembled tree is best enjoyed the day it’s made.
- Depending on their size, the cookie stars will have different baking times. Cook similar-sized stars together.
- To make your cookie tree look like a frosted fir, sift confectioners’ sugar over the entire tree.
- To add embellishment to the tree 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.
More great Christmas cookie recipes
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If you make this recipe, or any dish on LC, consider leaving a review, a star rating, and your best photo in the comments below. I love hearing from you.–David
Christmas Tree of Cookies
- 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, such as 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
- Roll out your cookie dough on a lightly floured work surface to the thickness specified in the recipe. Cut about 5 or 6 cookies in each star size—maybe a few more to allow for breakages and decorating goofs. Bake as directed. Let cool.
- 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.
- 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. It’s a good idea to make this tree close to where you’re going to eat it.
- Embellish–Sift confectioners’ sugar over the entire tree to make it look like a frosted fir. Or 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.
- Cookie sizes–Bake cookies of similar sizes together as larger cookies will have a longer cooking time than smaller ones.
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Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.