Dry ingredients - In a bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices - cloves, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg.
Dough - In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the molasses and egg. Followed by flour mixture, orange, and vanilla extract. Combine well. Pro tip - Make sure to cream the butter and sugar until the sugar is almost dissolved in the butter and it all becomes very lighter in color.
Chill dough - Divide the dough into two, wrap in plastic, and let chill until firm enough to roll - about 2 hours or overnight. Pro tip - Do not skip on the chilling time. Otherwise, it will be too soft to roll and the cookies will spread.
Roll - Roll the dough on a lightly flowered work surface to about ⅛ inch thick. Roll into a long rectangle about 3 inches in height. Then, using a sharp knife cut at an angle to create the long triangle shapes similar to a Christmas tree (as shown in the video). Or, you can use a Christmas tree cookie cutter too!Pro tip - I use a rolling pin with spacers so the dough is the same thickness all over. If necessary, chill the excess dough before you gather the scraps together and re-roll the cookie dough again.
Chill cookies - Place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Leaving a little gap between them for air circulation. Place the cookie sheet in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes. Pro tip - Chilling the cookies is a sure way to ensure the cookies do not spread. You can leave the rolled cookies well wrapped in the fridge for up to 48 hours before baking.
Preheat the oven at 177°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4
Bake the Christmas tree cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, or until slightly golden around the edges.Pro tip - If you do not want to frost the baked cookies you can add sprinkles, colorful dragees, or M&M to the cookies before baking too.
Cool - Once baked, cool them on the cookie sheet for 10 mins. Then, transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Icing for cookies - Combine the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and milk until you have a smooth thick piping consistency. Pro tip - This is a simple eggless frosting. But you can also use royal icing or other flavored frostings to ice these cookies.
Frost the cookies - Color half the icing with garden green gel food colors. Add the white and green icing to two separate piping bags with a small star piping tip. Pipe diagonal lines on the triangle cookies as shown in the video and top with colorful sprinkles.Pro tip - Alternatively, you can also put the icing in a ziplock bag and cut a small snip at the end.
Always have all the ingredients at room temperature so the butter and sugar can cream until light and fluffy.
Rest the dough before rolling the cookies. Resting helps the butter firm up again which makes it easier to work and prevents spreading
If the rolled cookie dough is soft, put it back in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Chilled cookie dough will give well-defined shapes so you won't have to struggle with them being so soft.
Preheat the oven for a good 15 minutes making sure the oven is at the right temperature. A cold oven will spread the cookies.
Place cut cookies in the fridge while the oven is preheating to prevent them from spreading.
When baked leave the cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. This will prevent them from sweating on the bottom.
Bake Ahead and Freezing Instructions
Dough - You can freeze the dough for 3 months wrapped well in a ziplock bag. Then, thaw in the fridge overnight when ready to use.
Rolled cookies - And, you can also freeze the rolled cookies on a cookie sheet between parchment papers. In addition, wrap the tray in plastic to prevent drying out. They will stay for up to a month.
Baked cookies - Alternatively, freeze the baked cookies between parchment papers for up to 3 months and thaw in the fridge overnight when ready to use.
The nutrition information and metric conversion are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee its accuracy. If this data is important to you please verify with your trusted nutrition calculator. Thank you