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shortbread cookies cut into triangles and iced to look like christmas tree cookies

Shortbread Christmas Tree Cookies

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A simple, easy-to-make shortbread cookie recipe shaped and iced to make super cute Christmas Tree cookies! Crispy, flaky, sweet cookies that hold their shape when baking!

  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 16 large cookies 1x


  • 2 1/4 cups AP flour
  • 2/3 cup rice flour
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp (18 Tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar or granulated sugar that has been pulsed a few times in a food processor (measure after pulsing)
  • 1 Tbsp heavy cream (optional)
  • green icing
  • red icing


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F
  2. In a large bowl, sift the flours, then add the butter and sugar. Use your fingers to mix the dough together until it is soft and smooth. If it is crumbly, add up to 1 Tbsp heavy cream – slowly.
  3. Divide the dough in half, wrap and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.
  4. Press each half into a 10″ tart pan (I know 2 tart pans is excessive – either bake in batches or use the pan to shape your first half and transfer to a parchment lined sheet pan, or just roll into 2 10″ circles – no pan needed).
  5. Using a knife or dough scraper, slice the dough into 8 sections, like a pizza.
  6. Prick the dough all over with a fork.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until firm and golden.
  8. Let cool for 10 minutes.
  9. Slice the cookies again along the scored edges.
  10. Leave in the pan until completely cooled – at least an hour.
  11. Use green icing with a small round tip and pipe a zig zag line from the bottom all the way to the top of the cookie, like a tree. Use the large round tip with red icing to make the ornaments.
  12. Pro tip: pull straight up and away from the icing to get a perfect circle. It may leave a small tip. Wait a few minutes for the top layer to harden and gently press down to flatten the circle.
  13. Once hardened, store in an airtight container.



  • large bowl
  • sifter
  • cling wrap
  • 2 10″ tart pans (or 1 used twice)
  • parchment paper (optional)
  • dough scraper or knife
  • small round pastry tip
  • airtight container

I used store-bought red and green icing and tips for time’s sake, but if you’d like to make a homemade frosting, this one looks very good!

If you refrigerate the dough longer than 20 minutes (say, overnight), it will be hard as a rock. Allow at least a couple hours for the dough to return to a workable consistency.

You can easily stretch this into 24 smaller, skinnier cookies by slicing each round into 12 sections instead of 8.

  • Author: Sarah | AwayFromTheBox
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian