Deck the Halls

Posted by Anne Yorks on Sunday, December 4, 2011

Have you put up your tree yet? Our house is decorated, but we will wait another week or two before we get our tree. In the meantime, we set up our cookie tree!

I really love this time of year. And with my two little girls, the entire season just seems to have an extra dusting of twinkle to it. For me, Christmas is a season for celebrating Jesus, giving to others, baking, and decorating - the house and the cookies!

Last weekend, I officially changed Black Friday to Bake Friday. I decided to kick off the season by putting together my dream Christmas scene all in cookies.

The cookie tree is more than 13" tall and was baked in 5 different sections. I sketched the tree and tried to plan the decorations. Then I made a stencil. I hand-cut the tree using a Pampered Chef pastry cutter with the fluted wheel. I could have gone with a smooth edge, but I thought the scalloped would be more tree-like. (I've had it for a year and this was the first time I used it - on cookies of course)

Everything in my Christmas tree scene is a cookie except for the small rug for my sleeping puppy, Toby. 

The fireplace was my favorite cookie to decorate. Because I wanted a red background for the wall, I decided against a brick fireplace. Instead, I made the grout black and I used three different shades of gray on the stone. The fire itself is accented with red disco dust...gives it a little extra sparkle, don't you think? The stockings are mini stocking cookies 'glued' on with royal icing.

On the mantel, I included some milk and cookies for Santa and a set of candlesticks for decoration. I also attempted a very mini family photo. It's small, so it's difficult to see in this photo, but we all ended up looking more like the Pointer Sisters than the Yorks' family. There's always room for improvement. Besides, Toph and I got a good laugh out of it and then couldn't stop singing "Jump (for my love)" Which is featured in one of our favorite Christmas movies, Love Actually

The kneeling Santa cookie is a combination of two cookie cutters. I really wanted him kneeling at the base of the tree placing the gifts. I used both a small present cutter and my Mary cookie cutter from my Nativity set. I cut them and pressed them together before baking to make them one cookie. 

I used the same technique for Santa's toy bag. I cut together a teddy bear with a diamond ring cookie cutter and viola...I got an overflowing Santa bag.

When I was little, I remember Christmas morning and stacks of presents for my brother, sister and I. It was the only morning of the year we were allowed to eat a cookie for breakfast (now I do it all the time). The stocking stuffers were, and still are, my favorite thing to open. I love stockings!

The teddy bear and ice skates in this cookie present pile are my favorite.

Do you see the snow through the window? This is definitely a white Christmas! I baked this cookie in three pieces...the window, the wreath, and the snow cookie. To make it look extra snowy, I put a few layers of royal icing on the window panes. I iced each cookie separately and then attached them together with royal icing.

A little disco dust on the wreath bow and I was done.

Like my Thanksgiving dinner in cookies, this cookie scene was a lot of fun to put together. I don't know what I'd do without Topher. He helps me with my photos. And I need it, because by the time I'm done assembling everything I'm pooped. He's been so helpful lately. I know he loves me, but I think he also knows ... Santa is watching!!

Have a sweet week!!