Merry Christmas weekend friends!!! Who is still scrambling last minute to get things done? Me, always. I wanted to post a quick tutorial on my Christmas cookies because I’m pretty impressed with how they turned out, especially for a first timer on the frosting piping bag! Real talk…I DID NOT make these from scratch. I went straight for the Pillsbury sugar cookie dough from the refrigerated aisle and Betty Crocker vanilla frosting out of the can because, sorry, but mama’s got no time for “made-from-scratch” this year. 🙂 Where I spent my time was on the fun frosting! And is so much easier than it looks as long as you have frosting bag and plain round size 5 frosting tip.
So, first of all, a tip with your cookie dough. Let the dough sit out for 5-10 minutes to warm up a bit, this will make it easier to work with. Remove the dough from its packaging and place it in a bowl with an additional 1/4 of flour. Use your hands to knead the flour into the cookie dough. Once the dough and flour is combined, you are ready to roll the dough out to 1/4″ thickness and make your cookies (remember to sprinkle some additional flour on your work surface and rolling pin to keep the dough from sticking). I followed package directions for cooking time and temperature, 350ºF for 8 minutes on a non-stick cookie sheet.
I let the cookies sit over night before frosting (because, toddlers) but 20 minutes should do the trick, or until they are cool to the touch.
Let’s start with the Christmas trees. I put about 3 large spoonful’s of frosting into a bowl and added drops of food color gel. I drop in 5 at a time, mix, and check the color. Better to start light, you can always add more to make it darker. On my frosting, here were the food color amounts to get the color I wanted (yours may vary based on the food coloring used.) Also, the place I went was sold out of true red so I had to get “tulip red” which wasn’t as deep as I wanted so I used A LOT of food color plus 2 drops of blue to deepen it a bit.
Brown – 15 drops
Green – 10 drops
Red – 30 drops + 2 drops Blue
Start with the trunk of the tree, draw a simple outline around the trunk with brown frosting, the use a back and forth zig zag motion to fill it in.
The tree itself is probably the part the looks the most difficult but honestly, this is the part where you have the most room for error because it’s easy to hide mistakes.
You will use the same zig zag motion but you will put the frosting on in layers, starting with the bottom of the tree. You want to go a little past the “line” where the next section of tree would end so that the frosting overlaps. Then move on to the middle section, bring to bottom ends of the frosting down over the section below it. If you need to, use your first cookie as practice, and then eat it when you’re done, I won’t tell anyone 🙂
Now for the candy canes!
Pretty straight forward, and similar to the tree trunk, you just want to outline an area and then fill it in. I started at the top with the red section and then worked my way down. One each candy cane, I alternated which color I started with so there was a little bit of variation.
If you want to add sprinkles, do it right away. I was going to add little colored balls to the trees for ornaments but I waited too long and the frosting hardened.
I left the cookies out overnight for the frosting to harden so that I could then stack them up on the cake plate for all to see.