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Christmas tree cookies- The quick and easy way

Christmas Tree cookiesThe cookie gift of giving

This weekend the girls are going to a Christmas party for the whole of Year One. I offered to make some cookies for the big event- this is our first Chrimbo party of the season so my first baking session (there are lots more planned!) I decided that as I need to make 40 cookies I needed to have a plan that would be really easy. In all they took in about 2 hours to make. Not bad for so many!

To make the Christmas tree cookies

You will need

1 x Vanilla cookie dough (see here for recipe to make around 30 cookies)

Rolling pin

Spacing sticks

icing sugar to dust

sugarpaste in green

cookie cutter

new damp sponge / damp kitchen roll will do

Spatula / cookie lift

To make the cookies
Cut out the Christmas tree cookie

Roll out the dough between two spacing sticks to ensure that each cookie is exactly the same. Cut out as many trees as you can. Avoid over kneading the dough as it makes the texture tough.

The more cool the dough is, the less the cookie will spread when being baked. Load up the baking trays and pop them in the fridge for a while if the dough has become too soft.

Vanilla cookies straight out of the oven

Then bake the cookies until the edges start to brown and your whole kitchen smells like vanilla. Around 12-15 minutes. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

To ice the cookies, roll out a thin layer of green sugarpaste(about 3-5mm thick) Use the same tree cookie cutter to cut out each piece of sugarpaste. If the dough was cold going into the oven the cookies shouldn’t have spread too much and the green tree shaped icing will fit on top perfectly. To make sure that the icing stays put place it on a new damp sponge or dampen a piece of kitchen paper. Don’t let the sugarpaste get soggy.

Lay the sugarpaste on a Christmas tree cookie

Position the sugarpaste over the cookie. It may need a bit of tweaking to make it fit but it’s malleable at this stage and can be made to fit quite easily. Smooth down any icing that goes over the edge of the cookie as once it has dried it will be brittle and will break off.

 Smooth the icing with the palm of your hand

Once in position smooth the sugarpaste with the palm of your hand then set aside to harden up a little. I leave them overnight.

Decorating the Christmas tree cookies

There are so many options when it comes to what you can then do to decorate these Christmas tree cookies. I did a load of different ideas but the world is your oyster.

What you'll need

I made up a small amount of royal icing to make the balls and sprinkles stick. I used my new toy, the Leuke Decomax icing kit (more to come on that later) silver and pearl balls, red edible glitter and multicoloured sprinkles.

ice lines for the decorations

I iced lines of royal icing across the tree.

silver or multi colour decs!

Diagonal lines worked much better than straight ones!

Add the Sprinkles to the Christmas tree cookies

Then I added the sprinkles. These ones were from the supermarket and looked so much better than I expected.

The glitter worked well too but made a lot of mess! Once dry I had to dust off in between the lines of glitter with a paint brush.

Add the balls

Individual dots of icing were great for holding the silver balls in place. On some I made the dots of royal icing bigger, added a ball and then added sprinkles on top. These were my favorite ones!

I had to do these when my daughters weren’t around or I wouldn’t have got a look in! It is so much fun to do.

Once you have finished decorating the cookies leave them overnight to dry, then bag them up in cellophane bags with festive ribbons. They make the perfect personal Christmas gift.

I can’t wait to take these to the party on Saturday!

What are you baking for gifts this Christmas? I’d love to know.

Christmas tree cookies

Biscuit recipe Cookie recipe Cookies

The easy way to make Viennese biscuits

The easiest way to make Viennese biscuits I was given one of these fab cookie press gadgets to test for a feature I was writing for ‘Feel Good Food’ magazine last year. It was around New Year so I made some biscuits to take to a party. I put them on a plate and made …

Chocolate Cookies

Vanilla biscuits recipe – Chocolate style!

Basic vanilla biscuits / Cookies

Last night: Sunday, 7.30pm as Beau get’s out of the bath.

Beau: You said you would make biscuits for school for our biscuit tasting

Me: Yes I will. When is that?

Beau: Tomorrow!

Me: Tomorrow!!!!

Beau: Yes what will you make?

Me: Ahhhgghhh!

Beau studies a new topic each term and this time it’s chocolate. They are doing a biscuit tasting to see what different brands make and how they differ. As I had limited notice (let’s say 1 ½ hours, as Downtown Abby was going to be starting at 9pm) I had to think on my toes. “What do I have in the house-ingredients wise- that will suit?” I decided that you can’t go wrong with a vanilla biscuit and as I have recently discovered, these ones taste amazing with dark chocolate.

This is the recipe I always use when I ice biscuits as gifts, but with a chocolate topping on them they taste completely different and are very quick to make and decorate. Also melting chocolate and ‘drawing’ all over biscuits is really good fun.

Ingredients

Makes around 30 biscuits

  • 200g unsalted butter- at room temperature
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 400g plain flour
  • 1 egg – at room temperature
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g dark chocolate

To make the biscuits

  1. Place the butter in a bowl. I had to cut mine up into small pieces so that I could warm it up quickly when I mixed it, but it’s best if it’s at room temperature.
  2. Add the sugar, flour, egg and vanilla essence
  3. Mix the ingredients by hand. I always mix biscuits by hand as the warmth from your hands means that it’s all being blended really well and for some reason they taste much better than when mixed with a machine. You can always start the mixing with a wooden spoon if you don’t like gloopy hands.
  4. Be careful not to overmix biscuit dough. It will not only become tough, but the biscuits will spread more when baked and we want them to keep their shape perfectly.
  5. Once it is nearly all blended I turn it out onto the worktop and knead it till it all holds together nicely.vanilla cookie
  6. Then wrap it cling film and pop it in the fridge for 30-60 minute. I was on a tight time scale last night so I put it in the freezer for 10 minutes. The dough is much easier to handle once it’s been properly chilled. Mine was really soft and sticky so I just added a little more flour when rolling it out.vanilla cookie
  7. Use spacing sticks (available from cake decorating shops) to ensure that when you roll out your biscuits they are all the same thickness.vanilla cookie
  8. Cut out the letters then remove the excess first. This way you can pick up the biscuit without denting it.vanilla cookie
  9. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and place in the fridge for 20 minutes. This will stop the biscuits from spreading when they are baked.vanilla cookie
  10. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes at 160° or until the biscuits start to brown on the edges
  11. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

To decorate

  1. Place long strips of cling film across your table. This is great as the chocolate makes a huge sticky mess and when you are finished you can simply lift it up and bin it.
  2. In a microwaveable bowl melt the chocolate. The easiest way to do this is to break it into small pieces and heat it up for 30 seconds at a time and stir in between. That way you can ensure that the chocolate doesn’t burn.
  3. Place all the cooled biscuits on the cling film so that they are close together but not touching.vanilla cookie / vanilla biscuit
  4. To transfer the melted chocolate into a plastic icing bag place the bag inside a drinking glass and fold the edges over. Snip the bottom off when you are ready to go. The chocolate will dribble out from the moment you cut off the end of the icing bag so be ready to go.
  5. Decorate each biscuit in turn by adding the chocolate in a circular or zig zag action. Leave the chocolate to harden for 5 minutes then transfer the biscuits to a cooling rack to harden completely.chocolate biscuits / chocolate cookies
  6. Once dry and hard place the biscuits in a box or on a plate and enjoy.

These are a great biscuit to make as a gift. The first time we made them was for Beau’s friend Dixie’s 8th birthday a few weeks ago. We wrote her name and did a few dog shapes too. They always go down really well.

Enjoy!

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