How to Make Christmas Tree-Shaped Snacks and Desserts
There’s no better time of year to pull out all the stops at a holiday party! Whether it’s an informal happy hour for your colleagues, an intimate dinner party, or a big bash held at your home, holiday gatherings are all about embracing the festive spirit, with a touch of indulgence and a lot of fun. Everything, from the table settings to the playlist, should reflect the host’s creativity. But, between laundering the linens and shopping for champagne, there’s not always much time left for cooking complicated dishes.
Here are four, no-stress ways to make Christmas tree-shaped snacks and desserts that will delight your holiday party guests:
With so many shapes, colors and sizes, raw veggies are the perfect food to sculpt into a tree shape. Add a few dips, and you’ve got a crowd-pleasing appetizer!
On a large serving platter or cutting board, arrange florets of raw broccoli into a Christmas tree shape. Add strips of red and green bell pepper, like garland across the tree. Then, add rounds of Persian cucumbers and grape tomatoes like ornaments, and bite-sized pieces of cauliflower as the “snow” on the ground. Cut a yellow pepper in half and flatten it, then use a small star-shaped cookie cutter to create the tree-topper. Arrange various dressings and veggie dips in small, square-shaped dishes under the tree like presents.
Kids love fruit salad and it makes a great dessert alternative for guests avoiding gluten. Turn your fruit into a tree for an even more-popular stop at the treats table.
Slice Granny Smith apples into bite-sized pieces. Arrange the apples, skin-side-up in a tree shape on a platter or cutting board. Add green grapes to fill in any gaps. Add pieces of any kind of red-skinned apples and red grapes, to appear like garlands. Then, add any other fresh fruits you like — melon balls, strawberry slices, blueberries, pineapple chunks and orange segments — as the “ornaments” on the tree. Place one slice of starfruit as the tree topper, and arrange small dishes of caramel dips and fruit dips in small dishes at the bottom of the tree.
There are two cute methods for making 3-dimensional Christmas trees out of cookies. One is a centerpiece, and the other is a personal-sized tree. Both work best with sturdy, flat cookies, like sugar cookies and gingerbread cookies.
How to make a centerpiece:
Bake large, flat cookies in star or snowflake shapes. Working from the bottom, arrange the first layer of cookies in a wide circle. Use a dollop of caramel dip or frosting as a layer of “glue” and then add the next layer of cookies on top, placing each layer at a slightly different angle than the first layer. Repeat, making each layer smaller than the one before, to create a recognizable conical “tree” shape. Pipe white frosting onto the outer edges of the cookies, add some small gumdrops or other colorful candies as “ornaments,” and dust the whole thing with snowy powdered sugar.
How to make personal-sized trees:
Bake sugar or gingerbread cookies in three different sized circles (stars can work, too): small, medium, and large. Once cooled, place the largest on the bottom, frost with green icing, add the medium-size cookie, frost the top of that, and then place the smallest cookie on top. Add a small yellow star cookie or candy to the top. Decorate with more green and white icing, candies, green sprinkles or anything else you like, to create a Christmas-tree effect.