Winter Tree Cookies

With a paintbrush and bit of icing, our verdant green trees get a romantic dappling of winter snow. Follow along with our simple tutorial to make these festive cookies.

Royal Icing Cookie

5.0 from 1 reviews
Winter Tree Cookies
 
Materials Needed
Ingredients
  • Royal Icing (recipe here)
  • Wilton Gel Food Coloring in Kelly Green, Juniper Green, and Brown
  • Water, as needed
  • 3 pastry bags
  • 2 Wilton No. 1 piping tips
  • Squeeze bottle
  • 1 Wilton No. 2 piping tip
  • 36 (3½-inch) tree-shaped Christmas Sugar Cookies (recipe here)
  • Wooden picks
  • Paintbrush
Instructions
  1. Divide Royal Icing among 3 bowls: 4 cups (720 grams) in the first, 1¾ cups (315 grams) in the second, and ¼ cup (45 grams) in the third. Cover bowls with a damp paper towel or kitchen towel to keep from drying out.
  2. To the first bowl (4 cups [720 grams]), slowly add Kelly green food coloring until a bright green is reached; slowly add juniper green until the desired color is reached. Add water, 1 teaspoon (5 grams) at a time, until border consistency is reached. Place 1 cup (180 grams) in a pastry bag fitted with a very small round tip (Wilton No. 1). To the remaining 3 cups (540 grams), add water, 1 teaspoon (5 grams) at a time, until flood consistency is reached. Place in a large squeeze bottle.
  3. To the second bowl (1¾ cups [315 grams]), add water, 1 teaspoon (5 grams) at a time, until border consistency is reached; cover airtight, and set aside.
  4. To the third bowl (¼ cup [45 grams]), add brown food coloring until desired color is reached. Add water, 1 teaspoon (5 grams) at a time, until border consistency is reached. Place in a pastry bag fitted with a very small round piping tip (Wilton No. 1).
  5. Using green border icing, pipe an outline along edges of tree part of a cookie. Using green flood icing, fill in center. Using a wooden pick, remove any air bubbles and make sure there are no gaps in the icing. Using the brown icing, pipe border of trunk (including next to green icing). Fill in using the same consistency, and use a wooden pick to remove any air bubbles and make sure there are no gaps in the icing. Repeat with remaining cookies. Let dry for 2 to 3 hours.
  6. Place white border icing in a pastry bag fitted with small round tip (Wilton No. 2). Place paintbrush in water. Starting at the base of the tree, pipe a row of dots, keeping in mind they will be grouped in 2 or 3. Remove brush from water, and wipe of excess water. Place brush tip in the center of each dot and brush away from you, creating groups of 2 or 3 that meet. (Wipe of any excess icing as needed that the brush picks up.) Place brush back in water and then pipe another row of dots. Remove any excess water from the brush, and repeat procedure until you reach the top of the tree. Repeat with remaining cookies. Let dry until hardened, about 30 minutes. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Notes
Decoration Details: Winter Tree Cookies
Once your green and brown base icing has dried, you can begin creating snowy details. Place white border icing in a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip (Wilton No. 2). Place paintbrush in water. Starting at the base of the tree, pipe a row of dots, keeping in mind they will be grouped in 2 or 3. These should be generous dots of icing, not tiny pinpoints, so you can brush them into snowy sweeps.
Remove brush from water, and wipe of excess water. Too much water on the brush will dilute your icing and make you lose definition. Place brush tip in the center of each dot and brush away from you, creating groups of 2 or 3 that meet. It should look like dimpled teardrops that join thinly at the top.
A fine-tipped paintbrush like the one we used tends to spring into a narrow cone shape. We want a more fanned-out broom shape, leaving dramatic swept trails in the icing. If you start losing the detailed sweep look, flatten your brush tip between your fingers to fan it out again.
Continue to dot and sweep your way to the top of your cookie. Use 2-dot clusters in narrow spaces at the top and edges. Let dry until hardened, about 30 minutes.

 

 

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