A dessert grows in your kitchen when you stack a series of ever smaller cookies to form a tannenbaum, and top it with a star-shaped cookie. Cream cheese frosting between pairs and confectioners' sugar dusted on top create a sweet snowfall.

Martha Stewart Living, December 2006


Recipe Summary

Makes 120 cookies and 10 trees


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in egg, then molasses, spices, baking soda, and salt. Reduce speed to low. Gradually mix in flour. Divide dough into quarters; shape into disks. Wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours (up to 2 days).

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Transfer one disk of dough at a time to a lightly floured work surface. Roll out to 1/4 inch thick. Cut out shapes using a set of 11 fluted round cookie cutters in graduated sizes (3/4 inch to 3 1/2 inches). You will use each cutter once for every tree. Using a 1 1/4-inch star cutter, cut out 10 stars. Arrange cookies by size on parchment-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate 20 minutes.

  • Bake until firm, about 6 minutes for small cookies and 10 minutes for large. Let cool 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks, and let cool completely.

  • Assemble trees: Put frosting into a pastry bag fitted with a small plain tip (such as Ateco #12). Pipe a dime-size dot of frosting in center of second-largest cookie; sandwich with largest cookie. Repeat in descending pairs with larger cookies on top to make 5 sandwiches. Pipe a scalloped 1/4-inch-thick border of frosting on top of larger cookie of largest sandwich. Top with the second-largest sandwich, larger cookie up, and repeat to make a tree of 5 sandwiches. Top with frosting, then smallest cookie, then more frosting and a star (standing upright). Cookie trees can be refrigerated up to 6 hours (they will soften). Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.


Reviews (2)

99 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 12
  • 4 star values: 23
  • 3 star values: 36
  • 2 star values: 27
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: Unrated
I bought a kit like this but it was Ginger cookies shaped like Stars
Rating: Unrated
I tried to make these trees using star shaped cutters. i first made the mistake of doing in size order largest to smallest but then found it more tree-like putting smaller cookie under each size as in directions above.