Evergreen trees frightened me as a child. No, really – I thought they looked sharp, like they’d pierce your skin if you got near them. Fortunately my Grandma Zella recognized that if I could see the pine in front of her house as pretty, I might be less intimidated by it. Thus she tied a ribbon around its trunk and helped me see that its needles were in fact soft. I’ve loved evergreens ever since, including the enormous pine at the side of our house. I’ve often told Mike that if the evergreen someday needs to come down I’m just going to sell the house and move, rather than see it felled.
These evergreen sugar cut-outs were originally intended to be fully decorated Christmas trees. But after I piped them and stood back, I liked how pretty they looked plain, like a little forest on my table. And so they remained, a plain little forest for our Christmas cookie dessert.
- 1 batch sugar cut-outs, made with 2 additional teaspoons vanilla extract
- Double batch Zella’s icing
- Moss green and Kelly green gel food coloring
Prepare dough and cut out with a tree cutter; bake cookies for about 9 minutes, then remove from oven and cool on wire racks completely before frosting.
Prepare Zella’s icing and add small amounts of moss green and Kelly green food coloring to reach your desired shade of green. Moss green is a muted shade while Kelly is a bright green, and combined they make a nice tree color.
Fit a piping bag with a small star tip and pipe icing onto each tree, moving your tip back and forth to create branch-like shapes.
Allow icing to harden before storing; store in an airtight container between sheets of waxed paper at room temperature. Cookies will stay fresh for about 4-5 days.
Makes about 40 cookies.