Lemon Shortbread Christmas Tree Cookies
lemon shortbread christmas tree cookies

Lemon Shortbread Christmas Tree Cookies

A tender shortbread cookie dough is delicately flavored with lemon, then shaped and decorated to resemble Christmas trees.

The Story Behind the Recipe
45 min
03 hrs 15 min



1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup cornstarch

1 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 to 3 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest


1/2 cup pretzel twists or sticks, broken in half


Decorator sugar

Decorator sprinkles

Red cinnamon candies, if desired

How to make

  1. STEP 1

    Combine flour, powdered sugar and cornstarch in medium bowl; set aside.

  2. STEP 2

    Beat butter in large bowl at medium speed until creamy. Add flour mixture, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat  at low speed until dough forms.

  3. STEP 3

    Shape dough into 2 (8-inch) logs; press in sides to form triangles with 1-inch base and 2-inch sides. Wrap each log in plastic food wrap; refrigerate 2 hours or until firm.

  4. STEP 4

    Heat oven to 350°F. 

  5. STEP 5

    Cut logs into 3/8-inch slices with sharp knife. Place 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Insert pretzel half into bottom edge to form tree trunk. Press zigzag-style potato masher or fork tines into cookies to create horizontal lines for "trees." Decorate with decorator sugar, sprinkles and red cinnamon candies, if desired.

  6. STEP 6

    Bake 9-11 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to cooling rack. Cool completely.

  7. STEP 7

Tip #1

- If dough is too firm to insert pretzels, allow to soften at room temperature a couple minutes.

Tip #2

- Sprinkle with white sparkling sugar or edible glitter after baking.


4Fat (mg)
10Cholesterol (mg)
45Sodium (mg)
6Carbohydrates (g)
0Dietary Fiber
1Protein (g)


Explore reviews from
our online community

  January 01, 2013

The dough was extremely hard after refrigeration; inserting the pretzel tree trunks was impossible. Variation: Omit pretzels. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls, roll the balls in 1/4 cup white sugar to coat completely. Place dough balls on baking sheet and press flat with the bottom of a drinking glass or cookie stamp. Bake 8 to 9 minutes.

— says Anonymous_Baker
  December 15, 2009

Tried it, but found the dough hard to mold and a lot of work, unless you have a lot of time and patience I would try another shortbread recipe for these pretty cookies.

— says Linda
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