Quick Christmas Tree Cookies with Chocolate Icing

Making tree shaped cookies with chocolate topping

Festive treats can be quick and easy to make and cookies are fast to rustle up and decorate or leave plain if you wish. I chose a Christmas tree cutter to make these vanilla cookies but you could choose a star, angel or another shape for this time of year. For more of a magical Xmas touch, cover in melted chocolate and rainbow color sprinkles.

I have a young daughter and we sometimes make batches of cookies for school charity events - often these are made at the last minute so they need to be quick to make. This basic but delicious vanilla recipe is one that we always use and it's perfect for inexpensive but sweet last minute gifts or swaps as well. They taste good and the chocolate topping is fun to decorate with. Enjoy making these on your own or with kids who will undoubtedly enjoy cutting out fun shapes with the cutters and putting the melted chocolate and decorative sprinkles on.

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Cookie Ingredients: Makes up to 40 Vanilla Cookies
  • 113g unsalted butter
  • 113g caster sugar
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 225g plain flour

Vanilla Cookie Recipe adapted from the book Decorating Cupcakes, Cakes and Cookies. Or you can  use your favorite existing dough recipe. For ingredients quantities that work for your location, I recommend looking at AllRecipes which has a lot of recipes with quantity conversions available.

How to Make Quick and Easy Tree Cookies

Tree shaped cutter used on floured dough

  1. Place both the softened butter and the sugar into a large mixing bowl. You can soften up the butter in a microwave in brief 10 second bursts, if it is still hard. It needs to be just soft to touch but not melting.
  2. Mix up the sugar and the butter together. It is possible to do this by hand with lots of arm power and a mixing spoon but it is so much easier using an electric mixer to do this for you. Just use a slow speed setting.
  3. Once that is done, add in the vanilla and the beaten egg and mix it all up together with your electric mixer or mixing spoon. Some people like to gradually add these in to prevent curdling but I have to say that I never bother.
  4. When that is done, add in the flour into the bowl and mix slowly but surely. I get the mixer to do the hard work and then use my hands to finish off and bring the dough together.
  5. Mold the dough into a closely packed ball shape and then wrap in clingfilm or clear baking wrap before placing in the refrigerator for around 30 minutes so it can chill.
  6. Flour up a nice, flat kitchen work surface and start to roll the dough out. I find it easier to separate the dough into 2 or 3 large pieces and then roll each section out individually. If not, the dough once rolled is really too big for my counter top.
  7. The dough can be rolled out to the thickness that you prefer. Bear in mind that it doesn't rise very much while baking in the oven, so whatever thickness you roll it to is roughly the size that the finished cookies will be. I roll mine to approx 5 mm thick which gets me about 35-40 small cookies from the ingredients listed above.
  8. Once the dough is made, have fun stamping and cutting out the Christmas Tree Cookie shapes and place each one onto a lightly floured baking tray.
  9. Cook on Gas 4 (350°F / 177°C) for about 10-12 minutes. You need to watch the last few minutes as they can be quick to burn. Once they've gone a nice golden color is the time to prepare to get them out.

How to Decorate your Baked Cookie Designs

Decorating cookies for the Holiday season

You will need:
  • 150g bar of cooking chocolate
  • Some Edible Sprinkles
  • An Icing Bag or Bottle

Melt your cooking chocolate. One of the easiest ways to do this is to use a microwaveable jug. Break up the cooking chocolate into chunks and place them into the jug. Microwave the chocolate in just short 20-30 second bursts, until it is all nicely melted and give it a good stir. You can also melt chocolate over the stove. Look for videos on YouTube if you're not sure how.

Once they are cool, I like to stack up the cookies onto a wire rack which is placed over the top of a large tray. Then I can carefully pour the melted chocolate mix carefully over each one to coat it with a yummy layer. This is easy to do.

Another way is to place the melted chocolate into an icing bottles and then ice the chocolate almost up to the edge of the cookie but not quite. So draw around the outline of the cookie shape, almost up to the edge, and then fill in the outline with the melted chocolate. This gives a more professional look than the pouring method but it takes longer to do. So it depends on your timings.

Tree shaped cookies with chocolate and sprinkles

With my icing bottles, I take the top off that has the metal icing nozzle and place the bottle into the microwave if the chocolate starts to clump together and harden. I give it short, 10 second, bursts in the microwave until the chocolate is runny again. Then I put the nozzle back on and ice away! Some icing bottles may not be suitable to put in the microwave. So check the instructions on that.

Before the chocolate hardens, you need to add some sprinkles to the cookies. I ice up one cookie and then add on the sprinkles to set into the chocolate before moving on to the next.

Washing and cleaning an icing bottle is easy if you use plenty of warm and soapy water, and a bottle brush. This is a quick way to wash up those icing bottles ready for next time. I hope you've enjoyed reading my justchristmascrafts page today, thanks for your visit. Have fun making up some really tasty treats.

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Page Last Updated: 04th November 2015