Colourful Christmas Cookies
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These beautiful and fun Christmas cookies are designed with different colours of dough instead of icing. By mixing and matching colours, and by using cookie cutters of varying sizes, you can get as creative as you want. Finding quality natural food colours can be a challenge, so for this recipe we made our own. To get the different colours we added beetroot powder for red, matcha for green, turmeric for yellow, and cocoa for brown.
- 2 3/4 cups Anita’s All Purpose White Flour
- 3/4 tsp Baking powder
- 1/2 tsp Fine sea salt
- 1 cup Butter (room temperature)
- 1 cup Cane sugar
- 1 Egg
- 1 Egg yolk
- 1 Vanilla bean, just the seeds
- 2 tsp Vanilla extract
- In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or with a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium high speed for 2-3 minutes scraping the bowl as necessary. The mixture should begin to lighten and become fluffy.
- Add the egg and yolk and mix until fully combined.
- Add the vanilla seeds and vanilla and mix until combined.
- Add the flour mixture and mix until just fully incorporated. Do this step by hand if using a hand mixer.
- Divide the dough into several portions depending on how many colours you choose. For most designs you will require a bit more uncoloured dough than coloured dough. Mix in the colouring of your choice to each portion of dough and mix until the colour is uniform. If using cocoa or a lot of powdered colour, you may need to add a few drops of milk or cream to maintain the consistency of the dough. If you are using liquid colouring, add a small amount of icing sugar if the dough becomes too soft.
- Shape each piece of dough into a disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Roll out each piece of dough to a thickness of ¼” (5mm). Place the rolled dough on a sheet pan in the freezer for a few minutes to firm up.
For the Christmas Trees:
- Using a long sharp knife, cut a strip of brown dough the height of the stump of your Christmas tree cookie cutter.
- Cut a strip of white dough approximately the height of your cutter. Cut this dough again into 2-3 pieces.
- Cut a thin strip of the other colours and place each strip between the strips of white dough.
- Gently press all of the layers together. Very lightly roll with the rolling pin to smooth out the layers.
- Cut out trees with cookie cutter.
- Place the dough in the freezer for 5 minutes to firm up.
- Using a medium-sized, round icing tip, cut circles out of the trees for the ornaments. Use the same tip to cut out coloured circles to put in the holes on the Christmas trees.
- Use a small star cutter to cut out a star on the tip of the tree and replace it with a coloured star cutout.
- Use an offset spatula to loosen the dough and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
- Chill dough for 5-10 minutes before baking.
- Bake at 350˚F for 10 minutes or until bottoms of the cookies just begin to brown.
- Cool on the cookie sheet for 1 minute and then transfer to a wire cooling rack.
For other shapes:
- Try using cookie cutters of different sizes to cut out shapes inside of shapes. Use the same techniques as the Christmas tree to laminate different colours together and make round ornaments. Get creative!
It is important to keep the dough well chilled to get clean cutouts, so you may have to let the dough sit in the freezer a few times while you work on the designs. A helpful tool to have handy is a long offset spatula to loosen the dough cleanly from your work surface and transfer cookies to the cookie sheet. Rolling out the dough between two pieces of parchment or two silpat mats is an easy way to cleanly roll the dough and prevent sticking. Use rings on your rolling pin to make sure your dough is an even thickness. Having a uniform thickness is important when matching up the different colours of dough.
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