Buttery cut-out tree cookies with sparkling candy-glass ornaments! Not only beautiful Christmas treats- but delicious ones!
These fun candy-filled cookies are not an original idea- just an idea I’ve seen around for years and always wanted to try. These turned out great. You need a cut-out recipe that holds it’s shape and size well- otherwise when the cookie bakes, those little holes will expand shut and you won’t have any room to put candy. You also need a cookie that tastes AWESOME without icing. I think these accomplished both goals!!! These were just delicious 🙂
Here is how we made them: (printable recipe here)
INGREDIENTS: (makes about 24 cookies- depending on the size cutter you use)
- 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter (softened)
- 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- 1 teaspoon of butter flavoring
- 3 cups of flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- Green food coloring
- 1 large bag of Jolly Rancher candies
- Star sprinkles (if desired- plus a tiny bit of melted chocolate to attach them)
- Unwrap candy and divide into colors.
- Use a hammer on a solid surface (one that can’t be damaged by a hammer) to crush the candy. Crush it very finely- mine was a little big still, and it made it harder to spoon into the openings. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth.
- Add eggs, vanilla and butter flavoring and mix well.
- Add all dry ingredients and mix until able to knead into a firm ball of dough (add additional flour if necessary).
- Add green food coloring and knead with hands until dough reaches desired shade.
- Roll out on a floured counter with a flour coated rolling pin to desired thickness (I made them fairly thick)
- Cut into Christmas tree shapes
- Place on a parchment paper-covered baking sheet.
- Use a straw to poke “ornament” holes. I used a small straw and a jumbo one to give different sizes.
- Bake at 350F degrees for 4-5 minutes.
- Remove from oven and use a small spoon (I used a tiny little appetizer spoon) to spoon candy colors into each hole.
- Bake at 350F degrees for an additional 4-5 minutes until candy is entirely melted. Check after 2-3 minutes and add a little candy if needed, as the pieces melt and settle.
- Remove cookies from oven and slide the parchment papers off the cookie sheet onto a counter to cool.
- Use a bit of melted chocolate to attach a star on top (if desired).
My thoughts: These were fun to make and they are just so cute and yummy! A few changes I will make the next time: I’d use bigger straws. The larger size was fine, but the mini size holes were hard to fill. I would also crush the candy to a sugar consistency. I had a few bigger pieces that made it harder to fill those tiny holes. I loved the flavor of those buttery cookies with the sweet fruity candy bits- I will definitely make these again! Enjoy! ~r
Other fun treats for Christmas: (click on a photo to see the recipe)