Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Trees on the Traditional Side

My only male child is the BEST at hide-and-seek. Well, I mean, as long as the rule "If I can't see you, then you can't see me" applies and as long as hiding in the same place over and over is considered skill, then he's like a super hero of hide-and seek. World Champion even. A few days ago he was hiding behind the bassinet, under the Christmas tree while I was mopping the kitchen floor. (See what I did there? See how I managed to ever so casually mention that I was ACTUALLY cleaning my house? And then I made it seem like something that happens all the time and not something that was happening for the first time in a week...or three.) He talks to me all the time while he's hiding. As long as there is no visual contact, he's happy to be "hiding" out for a while.

We were talking about all sorts of important life things.

Male Child -- Mom, why are you cleaning?
Me-- Because its good for our house to be clean. It keeps us healthy and makes us happier.
Male Child -- Oh.


Male Child -- Mom, did you want to ask ME a question?
Me -- Umm, yeah, I sure did.
Male Child -- Okay. You can ask me a question.
Me -- Why do you like lying under the Christmas tree?
Male Child -- Because I like to look at all the colors of Christmas.

And contrary to what you might think after the pink trees and the blue snow cookies...my tree is actually decorated a very traditional red, silver, brown and green. Pretend there are pine cones on this tree...and its like you are sitting in my living room. We're practically neighbors now.

I LOVE making these trees. They are really easy to make and even better --  OH SO VERY FORGIVING. Nothing needs to be perfect. At all. Not even a little bit perfect.

You need a #233 (grass) tip for these cookies and some real thick icing. Like, thicker than outline icing. As a reference, it should be able to hold a peak until it dries. And it should crust over in about 30 seconds. Oh yeah -- and you might want some thinner brown icing. Which is totally not in this picture. But I'm not about to re-take a picture just so you can see what thinner brown icing looks like.

Pipe on your tree trunk first. And let it dry a bit. Or not, actually. It really doesn't matter as long as it is on there first.

You want to start from the bottom of the tree and work your way toward the top, making branches as you go.

The key to having individual pine segments is to keep the tip from touching the cookie. Hover over the cookie and squeeze until the icing hits the cookie, squeeze for just a moment longer, and then pull away in a downward direction until all the icing strands have broken. It sounds complicated, but its really, really not.

Finish making clumps of branches all the way to the top of the tree. The less careful you are, the better. If you stress out about perfection, you're going to ruin everything. Unless, of course, you're really good at perfection, and then, you know, do your thing. (Clearly, I am NOT on the "good at perfection" team. That's why I LOVE these cookies.) 30 seconds. Done.

Oh, and you can make wreaths the same way. And just think about all the possible decorations you could add to these trees...sprinkles and sugar pearls and shiny stuff and...you know... more stuff. But if you are going to add  some kind of beautiful and creative decorations, you should do it IMMEDIATELY after piping all the branches. Trust me on that one.

24 comments:

Vtay said...

I love these!! I just re-discovered my "grass" tip and used it for "fringe" on a hat!

Katrina {In Katrina's Kitchen} said...

Gah I always use my star tip on my tress- duh!! You are so smart! And I must try the chocolate cookie reice!

Karen - Trilogy Edibles said...

These are fantastic! I'm so on the "not so good at perfect" team!

Haniela said...

You make them look so easy but I just can't seem to find a way to work the grass tip, love the natural feel of these.

Trish - Sweetology101 said...

YEE HAAWWW....I super LOVE seeing a cookie design I don't have to DREAM about, this I can do! WHOOOP Thx for the Christmas present.

Jenny said...

These are gorgeous (as usual). I use glaze, so I couldn't do it, but maybe with buttercream.

Sherrene (The Sugar Tree) said...

I love the look of these tree! Gotta get me a grass tip! Thanks for sharing your skills and your ever so entertaining stories!

lizy b said...

Okay, my most favorite thing to do as a kid was to lay under the Christmas tree and look at the lights up through the branches! Not only is your male child brilliant, I totally knew we were family....

Stephane in Alaska said...

Really charming! : )

Cristin (Pinkie) said...

Adorable post. Like seriously ADORABLE. Love your trees. They are so pretty. Unfortunately my glaze icing just doesn't do it, but I can still drool over how beautiful your trees are!

Paula said...

Love your trees and your wreaths and your chocolate cookie dough recipe. I made a batch recently and the cookies came out perfect. My decorating of them did not however :(

Cupcakes by Dana said...

Love them!!!

Lora said...

These a so fabulous. Must try this asap!

Simply Pam said...

I am in love w/ these cookies. Very classic Christmas. Love it!

Pam

Susan1961 said...

I just love these trees. It makes me want to run out and buy that tip right now...but it is 9:47 PM on a Sunday night in rural Michigan so finding the right tip might not be so easy...unless WalMart carries them!

I am enjoying your Blog and have subscribed so I don't miss anything. I am new to decorating cookies so I am rounding up some ideas and am going to make a batch of Christmas cookies, gingerbread cookies and maybe some peanutbutter kiss cookies. Thank you for sharing!

Susan

Sue said...

I think I can do this! Thanks always for the inspiration! I still need to try your chocolate cookies too:)

Sue @ Cakeballs, cookies and more said...

I love how they turned out!

Glora said...

These are the PERFECT Christmas tree cookies (and I love the wreaths too). You are so flippin' talented!!! Beautiful job! Aah Christmas! Hugs- Glora

SweetSugarBelle said...

Oh, now I have to get this one out. These are beautimus, and you make me LOL. This is why ur one of my faves! PS I won't use any names but only an idiot {like Callye alvarado} would retake a whole pic because they left out the brown...

Infotainment Lounge said...

I found your blog when I was looking for a different sort of information but I was very happy and glad to read through your blog. The information available here is great. Thanks for sharing.

IFeelCook said...

Lovely Christmas cookies!! :D

Camelia Galletas said...

Hola from Mexico!!!! I have just discovered you! I canot believe I haven´t found you earlier, you could have made my cookie life soooo much easier and fun too. These trees are awesome. I just have one question: how did you manage the snowy look in them? Will I see you at CookieCon? Thanks a lot!! :D

LilaLoa said...

For the tree in the back left with snow drifts -- I piped some white icing randomly on top of it and sprinkled it with sugar glitter.

For the tree in the front right, I dusted it with silver luster dust.

Easy peasy! :)

And sadly....I will NOT be able to go to Cookie Con this year. It is just too far for me and my young children to travel. But you can be sure that I will be completely jealous of all you lucky cookie decorators that get to meet each other there!!

connie sua said...

Your cookies are beautiful. I love your page. Hugs...

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