When I first started following baking blogs back in 2009, I noticed I was drawn to all the blogs geared towards cookies. These talented women were making beautiful sugar cookies decorated with royal icing. I couldn’t believe how gorgeous a cookie could be, and they made it look soooo easy! I was intrigued and decided to explore the art of cookie decorating. Oh is it an art! I started reading all the techniques involved and tips and tricks such as how thick or thin to make your royal icing depending on if you are outlining the cookie or flooding the cookie, which angle to hold your piping bag or bottle when outlining, making sure the icing doesn’t pipe too fast or too slow etc. After a lot of practice and time spent, I came to the realization that I am not cut out to create those types of beautifully decorated cookies, for a few reasons, one being I have shaky hands and you have to be completely steady when outlining. I envy all of those that can decorate cookie masterpieces!
With that being said, I have a bazillion cookie cutters and try to get creative with decorating cut out sugar cookies in other ways other than with royal icing. So when I saw this holiday tree cookie idea and its simplicity, I knew I had to make it! What I love about this cookie, is it is just a simple tree made elegant with it’s snowy tips, which are just dipped in white candy melts! I used my all time go to sugar cookie recipe dyed green then used vanilla CandiQuik to dip the edges of the tree to acheive the “snowy” look. Viola! You then have a beautiful, crisp looking snowy tree sugar cookie! This is another great cookie idea for cookie exchanges, teacher gifts, holiday parties, Santa, etc. And the best part is they don’t take much time to make, which you know I am all about simple and saving you time! This is what I like to call a relaxing recipe, does not require much focus, so you can zone out late at night making these and they will turn out great! 😉
Since the sugar cookie dough recipe is pretty straight forward and simple, I did not include the step by step photos this time.
You literally just whisk the flour and baking powder in a bowl, set aside. Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixer bowl on medium speed with the paddle attachment for a couple of minutes, then add the egg and vanilla extract until combined. Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredient mixture and add as many drops of green food color as you like until you achieve the shade of green you want. When all ingredients are combined, and the cookie dough is crumbly, you are ready knead it all together and roll out.
Roll dough to the thickness you like on parchment paper, then place rolled cookie dough/parchment paper onto a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for 5 minutes. The chilled dough will make the trees much easier to cut out and will also help to keep the shape/prevent the dough from spreading while baking.
When finished baking, remove from oven and leave the cookies on the baking sheet to cool for about 5 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack. Allow the cookies to cool completely. Heat the candy melts (with the vanilla Candiquik, I heated mine in the microwave in the tray it came in at 50% power for 30 seconds twice, then at 50% power for 15 seconds twice. Stir candy melts in between each time interval until you achieve a liquidy consistency.) Dip the edges of your cookies in the candy melt, then set cookie on a sheet of wax or parchment paper to dry.
Vanilla Sugar Cookie Recipe
*Makes about 36 cookies. The tree cookie cutter I used is 2 1/2 inches wide and 3 1/4 inches tall.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- In large bowl, combine the flour and baking powder by whisking together, set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until just combined.
- Add the egg and vanilla extract to the butter mixture until just combined. Add a few drops of green food color.
- Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredient mixture and beat until just combined and crumbly.
- Knead the dough together until no longer crumbly and roll out on parchment paper. I rolled mine to about 1/4″ thickness. Put the parchment paper with rolled dough on a cookie sheet and place in freezer for 5 minutes.
- Remove dough from freezer and cut shapes. Place shapes on parchment lined cookie sheet.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until edges of cookie brown ever so slightly.
- When finished baking, remove from oven and let cool on cookie sheet for five minutes. Then transfer the cookies to a cooling rack until completely cool.
- Heat candy melts, dip edges of cookies, and let dry on wax/parchment paper. (With the vanilla Candiquik, I heated mine in the microwave in the tray it came in at 50% power for 30 seconds twice, then at 50% power for 15 seconds twice. Stir candy melts in between each time interval until you achieve a liquidy consistency.)
- Once candy melt has cooled and hardened on the cookies completely, the cookies are ready to serve or package!