These Christmas tree cookies are decorated with 4 colors of royal icing to create an ombre effect! With different shades of green you’ll get a fun, festive and impressive cookie to add to the list of Christmas cookies.
Saving the best for last! Can’t believe we made it to the final day of Christmas cookie week. This recipe for ombre Christmas tree cookies is the last of seven new cookie recipes I shared this week to celebrate Christmas and give you inspiration to make tackle some serious Christmas cookie baking.
Let’s do a recap of the recipes I shared this week:
- Christmas Melting Moments Cookie Sandwiches
- Salted Caramel Ginger Cookies
- White Chocolate Pistachio Cookies
- Chocolate Andes Mint Cookies
- White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
- Chewy Turtle Cookie Bars
And now we’re here, the last day of my favorite week of the year. With one of my favorite recipes I’ve made to date. And I’m so excited to be sharing them with you!
Ombre is a trend for hair and nails, but why can’t it be a trend for cookies? It totally should be. It makes your cookies look just as pretty as they are delicious to eat.
So let’s break this recipe down by two things: the cookie itself and the decorations on top. Because the ombre frosting for these Christmas tree cookies are definitely an attention grabber, but the cookie itself should not go without notice because it’s really good!
I tested the recipe for these cookies a few weeks back and just wasn’t thrilled with the result. The taste was there but the texture wasn’t right. They spread too much and looked like a sad Reese’s cup tree that just aren’t right.
I went back to one of my favorite cookie recipes and decided to modify it a bit because I’ve tried SO many recipes, and tested a lot of my own too and nothing seems to be as good. Why change what doesn’t need to be changed?!
This cookie recipe is soft and chewy, but holds it shape really well in the oven. No spreading here. Which makes your cookies come out so much better. But there are a few tricks to make them really well!
Tips for making Christmas tree cookies
- Do not skip chilling your dough! The cookies will spread in the oven if you don’t allow the cookies to chill in the fridge. It also lets the flavors sit together to get extra flavorful.
- Measure the flour correctly. To measure it perfectly, spoon the flour into the measuring cup then scrape it off the top.
- Lay down parchment paper and roll it out on top of that with some flour so the dough doesn’t stick to your counter. Easy clean up too!
Once you have the cookies done you’re going to make the royal icing. Don’t be intimidated by it because it’s actually really easy.
How to Make Royal Icing for Ombre Christmas Tree Cookies
To make royal icing, beat all of the igredients with your hand mixer or with your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Just mix them together on high for 5 minutes and you’re done.
You’ll know it’s the right consistency when you lift some off with a spoon and the icing falls back into the bowl and smooths out after about 10 seconds. If you see that you know when you put the frosting on it will me silky smooth.
Another royal icing tip: try to use gel food coloring. You want to minimize the amount of water added to the icing. It’s a little tricky to find but I ordered this set on Amazon and it came in two days.
How to frost Ombre Christmas Tree Cookies
Start by dividing the frosting equally into four bowls. Use the food coloring guide in the recipe below to color each icing: one dark, one medium, one light and one extra light.
You’ll want to make sure your cookies are sitting on something easy to move, like a baking sheet, because you’re going to place them in the fridge to set and harden.
Once you’ve colored the frosting, start with the darkest color icing for the bottom of the trees. Pour into an icing bag and cut a very, very small portion of the bottom to make a tiny opening or us this frosting tip. Place a damp towel over the other three frostings so they don’t dry out.
Outline the bottom of the tree with the dark green then flood the middle with more icing. Use a toothpick to cover any small holes. Repeat this process until you’ve frosted the bottom of every cookie.
Repeat the process with every color of icing, going up the tree and ending with the lightest color at the top of the tree. Place the tray of cookies in the fridge to set and dry completely.
That’s it! A little time consuming, but totally easier than it looks. And so much fun! I asked my fiancé to flood the middle of these and we had a blast doing it together. It’s a great recipe to do with kids because you can do the outline and they can fill in the middle.
Plus, it’s totally okay if they aren’t exactly perfect. We’re eating these, not selling them, so imperfections are fine by me.
I REALLY hoped you love this recipe as much as I do. And you have a great time making them too!
It’s been a blast sharing all my Christmas cookie recipes with you this week and I hope you stick around by grabbing my top 6 cookie baking tips or follow me on insta (I hang out there every day). I can’t wait to see what you bake!
- Christmas Tree Cookies:
- 2 and ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¾ cup (1 and ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- Royal Icing:
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons meringue powder
- 7 to 9 Tablespoons room temperature water
- green, yellow, and blue food coloring
- Food Coloring Guide:
- Darkest Green Frosting: 20 blue, 60 green, 7 yellow
- Middle Green Frosting: 40 green, 10 yellow, 5 blue
- Light Green Frosting: 5 green
- Very Light Green Frosting: 1 green
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.
- In a large bowl using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer or a stand, beat the butter and sugar together on high speed until smooth and creamy, at least 2 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla, and almond extract and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 more minutes. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until combined. Divide the dough into 2 equal parts and roll each portion out onto a lightly floured piece of parchment paper or silicone baking mat to about ¼-inch thickness.
- Stack the two pieces of dough on top of each with parchment paper in between then refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.
- Once chilled, preheat oven to 350°F and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mats. Remove one of the pieces of dough from the refrigerator and using a Christmas tree cookie cutter, cut into shapes. Re-roll the leftover dough and continue cutting until all is used. Repeat with the 2nd piece of dough.
- Arrange the cookies on the prepared baking sheets about 3 inches apart. Bake for 11-12 minutes or until they're lightly browned around the edges, rotating the pan half way through the baking time. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5-7 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating with icing.
- Once cooled, make the frosting. In a large bowl using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the powdered sugar, meringue powder and 7 tablespoons of water together on high speed for at least 5 minutes. If you lift the whisk or beaters up the icing should drizzle down and smooth out within 10 seconds. If it's too thick add water a tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency.
- Divide the frosting equally into four bowls. Use the food coloring guide in the recipe above to color each icing: one dark, one medium, one light and one extra light. Make sure your cookies are sitting on something easy to move, like a baking sheet, to easily transfer to the refrigerator.
- Once you’ve colored the frosting, start with the darkest color icing for the bottom of the trees. Pour into an icing bag and cut a very, very small portion of the bottom to make a tiny opening or use a small frosting tip. Place a damp towel over the other three frostings so they don’t dry out.
- Outline the bottom of the trees with the dark green then flood the middle with more icing. Use a toothpick to cover any small holes. Repeat this process until you’ve frosted the bottom of every cookie.
- Then repeat the process with every color of icing, going up the tree and ending with the lightest color at the top of the tree. Place the tray of cookies in the fridge to set and dry completely.
- Store cookies in an air tight container at room temperature for 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.