I know you’ve all seen the ready-to-bake sugar cookies in the refrigerated aisle in festive shapes like hearts, bunnies, pumpkins, and turkeys. When winter rolls around, you’ll find sugar cookie trees filling the shelves at the store.
Though these cookies might seem completely impossible to make from scratch, we’ve found a way to create your own sugar cookie Christmas trees – complete with ornaments and a star on top!
Our Christmas Tree Slice & Bake Cookies are a delicate treat with a surprising raspberry flavor that is sure to impress! This recipe does require some precision, which is why we made a step-by-step guide to help you through this somewhat intimidating recipe.
To get started, combine the sugar, butter and egg in a bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add the flour, salt and baking powder, and then beat at low speed until well- mixed.
As evenly as you can, divide the dough into thirds. If you have a food scale, you can weigh the dough pieces to ensure they are the same size.
Tint one-third with green food color and mix in nonpareils. Tint another third with red food color and raspberry extract. Leave the final third as it is. Wrap each third in plastic food wrap and refrigerate 40 minutes or until slightly firm.
I like to shape my dough into thick pancakes before I wrap them so the dough chills more evenly.
Here comes the really exciting part: shaping the Christmas tree! So grab your green dough from the fridge and let’s get started.
I like to start out by rolling the dough into a log about 10 inches long on a very lightly floured surface.
Now you can begin to shape the triangle. Place your hands on either side of the log and gently press the dough into a rough triangular shape. Move your hands down the length of the log and continue to shape the dough. This technique does tend to leave the sides of your triangle a bit dimpled from your fingertips. If you have a pastry scraper, you can use it to smooth out the sides of your dough.
To achieve a more defined shape, lightly pinch the tip of the triangle for sharper edges.
Your Christmas tree is ready once the triangle is 1 inch wide at the base, 2 inches tall, and 11 inches long. I’m serious, don’t eyeball it – go get your ruler and measure. This recipe requires precision if you want beautiful, perfect slice & bake trees.
Place the dough in the fridge for 10 minutes.
Grab the white dough and roll it out to a rectangle on a lightly floured surface. As your roll out the dough, be sure to lift it up every so often to ensure it isn’t sticking to the counter.
Your finished rectangle should be 11 inches long and 6 inches wide – did you measure it?
After you finished rolling out the dough to an 11x6 rectangle and you lifted it up to make sure it hadn’t stuck to the counter, you are ready to wrap it around the tree.
Place the green dough into the center and wrap the dough completely around it. I like my seam to be on the bottom of the tree, so I laid the triangle on its side. Pinch the dough together to seal and run your hands along the side (similar to when you shaped the first triangle) to ensure all the white dough has adhered to the green dough.
Refrigerate the dough for 10 minutes.
Roll out the red dough on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle 11 inches long by 7 inches wide. Be sure to check the measurements and counter sticking. Since this dough is being rolled out a little thinner than the white dough, and is a little softer due to the addition of raspberry extract and food color, it might have more of a tendency to stick to your counter.
If you find that your lightly floured surface isn’t enough to stop the dough from sticking, place the partially rolled out rectangle on a sheet pan and pop it back in the fridge for a few minutes to harden again.
Once you’ve reach the desired 11x7 inch rectangle, you are ready for the final wrapping.
Place the green/white dough log into center of red dough and wrap the red dough completely around the log. Pinch at the seams to seal. Press along the sides of the triangle to ensure that the dough has adhered.
Wrap the finished log tightly with plastic food wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Heat your oven to 375ºF.
Remove your dough from the refrigerator and trim the ends to create an even edge. Check out that Christmas tree!
Cut into 1/4-inch slices with a sharp knife and place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. If the triangle gets a little misshapen when you slice, you can gently reshape the dough on the cookie sheet before baking.
If you would like to put the finishing touch on these Christmas tree cookies, press a star-shaped sprinkle lightly into the top of the dough tree before baking.
Bake 6-8 minutes or until edges are lightly browned, and then remove cookies to a cooling rack.
These delicate and adorable cookies are a MUST on your cookie platter this year. Please give this recipe a try and let us know what you think!