I’m about to blow your mind. 
Have you ever just wanted to take a bite out of a Christmas tree?? Admittedly, neither have I; however, I love Christmas so much that I would eat it if I could. That borderline-irrational love is probably what sparked this out-there idea. I acknowledge these cookies are not for everyone, but if you love Christmas flavors and consider yourself something of a foodie, you’ll definitely want to try them.
The dough combines all the flavors of traditional edible tree decorations- candy canes, cinnamon dough ornaments, strung cranberries and popcorn, and my favorite, some very finely chopped rosemary to replicate the scent of the pine tree itself. Speaking of rosemary, I’m going to pass on the advice given to me when I started one of my first restaurant jobs: “When you think the rosemary is chopped enough, chop it again, and then twice more.”  Lastly, if you don’t care for peppermint or candy canes, add ⅛ teaspoon of orange extract. Some might find the combination of orange and peppermint off putting, so generally speaking I recommend one or the other. Keeping the flavors of the cookie balanced is key.

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Christmas Tree Flavored Cookies

½ cup butter-flavored shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
½ cup milk or milk replacement
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
½ tsp table salt
1 ½ tsp minced fresh rosemary
7 Crushed mini candy canes (2 ½ Tbsp)
½ cup Pipcorn or chopped popcorn
2 Tbsp coarsely chopped dried Cranberries
⅛ tsp ground cinnamon
Royal icing (optional)

Double-bag candy canes and crush using the back of a knife. Finely chop rosemary and set aside.
Using an electric mixer, combine shortening, sugar, cinnamon, and rosemary. Cream on medium high speed until mixture is fluffy.
Reduce mixing speed to medium low and add egg and milk. Beat for one minute. 
While egg is incorporating, combine flour, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl. With mixer running on low, gradually add in flour mixture. Mix partially until some dry flour remains. At that point, add Pipcorn, crushed candy canes, and chopped cranberries. Continue mixing until all ingredients are evenly incorporated.
Transfer dough to plastic wrap and shape into a disc. Refrigerate for at least three hours to allow flavors to infuse into the dough.
Preheat oven to 350°. When dough is chilled, roll it out on a cleaned, floured counter to about ⅛-¼” thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out pine tree shapes. Place cutouts on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes. Note that these cookies won’t brown.
Cool completely. Drizzle royal icing on if desired, and let icing dry before stacking and storing the cookies.
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