We are smack dab in the middle of the holidays and I don’t know about all of you, but my jeans are screaming, “For the love of God, woman, eat a salad!” And then my sweatpants are all, “No worries, girl, we got you.” It’s a very confusing situation, especially with alllllll the goodies I’ve been making.
That’s why when I had the bright idea to make this gingerbread cookie Christmas tree tower, I planned to get rid of it as soon as it was finished. There’s no way I’d be able to keep this in my home and not eat it, and there’s ABSOLUTELY no way my sweatpants would still be #TeamMe after all is said and done. Therefore, I made this week’s treat with the intention of giving it away. But of course I snacked on some extra cookies along the way ;)
Let’s start with the framework of this tower. I made a super yummy gingerbread cookie dough and froze it for three hours. Gingerbread cookie dough tends to be very sticky, and the temperature drop helps with handling the dough - especially if you want to roll it out to cut shapes. I, fortunately, didn’t have to do that. Instead while the dough was chilling, I found random circular objects around my kitchen to trace to create descending sizes, like tupperware containers, cookie cutters, and wine bottles. Once the dough was ready, I pressed them into patties and smushed them into the circles I traced, leaving a little space around the edges so that they would spread out into the correct shape. Well, I guess this was a stellar gingerbread cookie recipe because they barely spread out! For the most part it worked out pretty well, however two of the cookies near the top ended up being very similar in size which truly isn’t that bad in the grand scheme of things.
In between each cookie layer, I created height by using gum drops.
I figured if they were a solid choice for decorating gingerbread cookies all these years, I could also use them in my gingerbread Christmas tree tower. I piped a rope of buttercream on each cookie and placed the gumdrops in it so that when I let the buttercream harden in the refrigerator, it would provide a sturdy structure for the tower.
After it set in the fridge for 15 mins or so, I took it back out of the refrigerator and piped all of the leaves to create the tree. I loved decorating this Christmas tree because it used only one piping bag and only one piping tip: the leaf tip. This is one of my favorite tips to use because in addition to piping leaves (duh), it also creates pretty flower petals.
This is one of the tips that I teach in my beginners decorating classes because it helps beginners practice repetition, but if you aren’t perfect with your pressure or movement it doesn’t matter because flower petals and leaves are not always consistent in real life, and they certainly don’t have to be when piping. My favorite part was sprinkling it with powdered sugar to give it that snow dusted appearance.
Next I added my Christmas blend of sprinkles. This was a challenge that turned into simple hilarity because by the end of it, I was just throwing the sprinkles onto the tree and hoping they stuck.
Also as I’m sure you can tell from the countertop in the video, there were sprinkles ALL OVER MY FLOOR by the end of this. And I’ll be finding sprinkles for weeks after this, guaranteed.
I shared this dessert with some friends today, and my main take away is that if you make this super festive dessert, bake some additional plain cookies to dip in the buttercream. This confection uses A LOT of buttercream, and it would have been nice to have extra cookies to dip in the extra buttercream instead of watching it pile up on all of our plates.
What festive treats are you making this year? Share photos below or on my social media!
Happy eating, y’all!