Dec 05


Christmas Tree Cookie Tutorial & a Holiday Cookie Exchange

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It’s Holiday Cookie Exchange time!

Just in time for the Holiday season, a few other bloggers and I have teamed up to bring you some favorite cookie recipes and pretty packaging ideas! I’m sharing a simple Christmas tree cookie tutorial and a Vanilla Sugar Cookie Recipe {below}.

Head on over to these links and enjoy some new inspiration!

Jenn | Hostess with the Mostess

Carrie | Half Baked :: The Cake Blog

Glory | Glorious Treats

Kim | The TomKat Studio

Jessica | Pen N’ Paperflowers


Christmas Tree Cookie Tutorial

You’ll Need:

*I found these sugar stars from but you could use candy stars, make fondant or gum paste stars with a small star cutter, or decorate with any candy of your choice.


Once you’ve made your icing, baked your cookies {recipe below} and let them cool to room temperature, they’re ready to be decorated.

Turn your cookie so that the tip of the tree is closest to you. Using a #18 star tip, start from the bottom of the Christmas tree and pipe a line of shells.  Note: Different sized star tips work as well (i.e. #’s 14-21). The larger the number, the larger the shell will be.

Piping a Basic Shell

To pipe a basic shell, hold the piping bag at about a 45-degree angle, at the 6:00 o’clock position, with the tip slightly above the surface of your cookie. Squeeze the icing out of your piping bag, then relax the pressure and pull the piping tip towards the surface of your cookie. Let go of the pressure completely, lift the piping bag away and repeat.

Pipe the shells in rows, staggering each line similar to the pattern of a brick wall.

Each new line of shells covers the tails of the line before it.  Cover the entire cookie.

Place a sugar star on top and enjoy!

Adhere some ribbon to the back of the cookie with royal icing to use your cookies as Christmas tree ornaments!

If you’d like to try a variety of ornament cookies, such as these marbled ones below, click here for a tutorial.

Happy holiday baking!



Vanilla Sugar Cookie Recipe


  • 2 cups unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt


  1. Cream the butter and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer on low to medium speed. (Use the paddle attachment). Mix until thoroughly incorporated - for about one minute.
  2. Add the vanilla extract and the eggs slowly and mix. Scrape down the bowl with your spatula at least once and mix again.
  3. Sift your dry ingredients together. (Flour and salt).
  4. Add all of the flour mixture to the bowl. Mix on low speed for 3o seconds. When the dough clumps around the paddle attachment it's ready. It's also important at this stage not to over mix the dough.
  5. Roll the dough out between 2 large pieces of parchment paper. Place on a baking sheet and into the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour.
  6. Roll out the dough further if you need to, and cut out cookie shapes. Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Re-roll scraps and repeat.
  7. Put cookie dough shapes back into the fridge for 10 minutes to 1 hour to chill again. They will then hold their shape better when baked.
  8. Preheat your oven to 350°F or 176°C.
  9. Bake cookies for 8-12 minutes or until the edges become golden brown. The baking time will depend on the size of your cookie.
  10. Let cookies cool to room temperature and decorate!

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  1. Edisa
    December 9, 2014 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    How many cookies does this recipe make?
    Can’t wait to try it out.

    • marian
      December 13, 2014 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      About 30 cookies, but of course it depends on the size of your cutters and the thickness of your dough. Happy baking!

  2. Tammi
    December 13, 2014 at 1:43 am | Permalink

    I just finished mixing up this recipe. It tastes great. But I’m a little concerned the consistency is, what I would call pastry dough, crumbly. Dud I do something wrong? I did knead it together before rolling it out. Also, my kitchen aid almost struggled with mixing in the flour. We’ll see what happens when I bake them tomorrow. Just curious. Thanks

    • marian
      December 13, 2014 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      Hi Tammi,
      The texture shouldn’t be like that when made – It sounds like there isn’t enough moisture… Perhaps too much flour or not enough egg and butter. Try warming the dough a little if it’s not holding together, and definitely roll it between 2 sheets of parchment, rather than a floured surface.

  3. Florencia
    November 6, 2015 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Hi, I have some problems with measurements, could you please tell me the measurments of the ingredients but in grams??? thanks a lot

  4. rmjohnson
    December 2, 2015 at 2:07 am | Permalink

    Do these cookies hold their shape really well during baking. Don’t want to waste my time if they don’t

  5. Kristin
    December 27, 2015 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Does the unbaked dough keep well in the fridge/freezer?

    • marian
      August 12, 2016 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      Hi Kristin,

      Yes it keeps fine in the fridge for a day or so, and for up to 6 months in the freezer, wrapped well.

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