HAPPY BLOGMAS DAY 7!
I tend to get a lot of my inspiration for baking from Pinterest. It’s one of those websites that once you’ve got an account with them, that’s it, your life is officially over. You’ll find yourself spending the majority of your day scrolling through Pinterest looking at photos you had no intention of getting the app for.
Whilst scrolling through Pinterest one evening, I kept stumbling upon photos of these incredible biscuit based christmas trees that people had made. They genuinely are a piece of art and each individual tree that had been made by different people, was just as inspirational as the other.
Can you guess what I’m about to say? Yes, your right… I instantly knew I wanted to give this tree ago myself. I knew it was never going to be easy YET all I could think about was how amazing it would be for Blogmas! Who doesn’t love a homemade bake, especially when this one in particularly will feed a whole family and there will still be left overs.
I have actually put my own spin on this biscuit based christmas tree, I never followed any recipe – I just went with my gut and the final result was worth it. I do believe these other tree’s were made from either vanilla biscuits or gingerbread (which I believe to be sturdier) but I went for shortbread as I know that’s my families favourite. Whilst decorating was my artist brain being unleashed!
Ingredients You Need To Make The Shortbread:
- 8oz Of Unsalted Butter
- 4oz Of White Caster Sugar (Plus Extra For Dusting)
- 12oz Of Plain Flour
Ingredients You Need For Buttercream:
- 200g Of Unsalted Butter
- 400g Of Icing Sugar (Plus Extra For Dusting)
- 2 Teaspoons Of Vanilla Essence
- Green Food Colouring
Other Ingredients You Need To Decorate:
- Tube Of Smarties
- Christmas Icing Decorations (Gingerbread Men Especially)
- Bag Of Cadburys Chocolate Snowballs
How To Make The Shortbread For The Christmas Tree:
- Firstly, gather together all your ingredients, equipment, line 2 baking trays with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 160oF / 180oC / Gas Mark 3.
- Secondly, add the 8oz of unsalted butter and 4oz of white caster sugar into a large mixing bowl, and cream together until it becomes lighter in colour and smooth.
- Once you’ve creamed together the butter and sugar, slowly stir in the 12oz of plain flour and mix together until it’s combined (don’t be alarmed if it resembles crumbs).
- Now your ingredients are mixed together, turn the mixture onto a floured surface and knead into a soft, lightly coloured dough.
- Next, roll the dough out into a thickness of at least 1cm. Once you’ve rolled, you can begin to cut out your different sized stars (I used the Lakeland 3D Christmas Cookie Cutter Set https://www.lakeland.co.uk/14489/3D-Christmas-Cookie-Cutter-Set?gclid=Cj0KCQiAgMPgBRDDARIsAOh3uyI8Wt7e4Pjq8iwhKP9B2gsaxrIUQqjo-iC6w9HRaw3rZUm5VvQuhjoaAlYiEALw_wcB&src=gfeed&s_kwcid=AL!49!3!243816316467!!!g!42886705944!&ef_id=XBGxdAAABfZNkhTS:20181213011012:s and cut 3 of each sized star out). I started with the smallest ones and built my way up to the biggest.
- When you’ve cut as many stars as you possibly can out, place your stars onto the baking trays and place into the oven. Cook the shortbread for around 12-15 minutes or until it’s a nice golden brown colour.
- Finally, when they’ve finished cooking, leave the shortbread stars to cool for as long as possible before moving them onto a wire rack (this will prevent breakages).
I had to repeat this method, 4 times before I finally finished cooking all the stars. This may sound extreme but the result was defiantly worth the cooking hours – your loved ones will think so also.
How To Decorate The Shortbread Christmas Tree:
- I actually left my shortbread to cool overnight to allow it to breathe and prevent any breakages!
- Now, onto buttercream;
- Beat the 200g of unsalted butter for around 1-2 minutes or until it’s really light in colour and supple.
- Slowly, add in the 400g of icing sugar a little at a time and beat fully after each incorporation.
- Once your buttercream has been beaten together, add in 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract, green food colouring and beat until light and fluffy.
- Using a round piping tip, add a swirl of buttercream in the middle of the stars to allow the tree to start assembling. Start with the biggest stars at the bottom and build upwards.
- When your tree is officially assembled together, using the medium size round tip and buttercream, pipe zigzags on each shortbread star tip (to give a tree like affect).
- Now the main part of the tree is done, it’s time to start decorating!
- Begin to attach any of the candy decorations that you want, I obviously went for smarties, christmas icing decorations (I chose gingerbread) and chocolate snowballs.
- Using any left over buttercream, attach the chocolate snowballs to the tree as they’re slight larger.
- Finally, once you’ve finished decorating – place a small amount of icing sugar into a sieve and carefully tap over the Christmas tree to make it look snowy.
That’s your Shortbread Christmas Tree prepared, baked, cooled and intensely decorated!
Admittedly, this isn’t my easiest bake I’ve ever written about, actually far from it BUT the final result was worth the hours I spent in the kitchen.
I genuinely believe that if you have patients and enjoy baking yourself, that you should give this ago! If you do, or have already then do send me photos as I’d love to see your creations.
I hope you got some extra baking inspiration today from this post! Keep your eyes peeled, as a couple more bakes are to come…
Sending tons of love & hugs as always,