Green Tree Cookies

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My mom always made a lot of cookies (and fudge) around Christmas time. While I liked the Russian tea cakes and chocolate chip cookies, the green tree cookies were always my favorite.

I’m not entirely sure why I liked them so much. They aren’t overly sweet. They don’t have a particularly strong flavor. It may just be that I could eat a lot of them without getting overwhelmed by them.

Whenever I have these cookies, I always think back to high school when I had lunch with a friend of mine. At the time, I wanted her to be a bit more than a friend and so, I, of course, shared some of the cookies with her. The cookies didn’t help with that situation but it wasn’t the cookies fault.

They’re still my favorite Christmas cookie. And as it was getting closer and closer to Christmas, I realized that I had to make them fast or I’d miss out this year. So I decided to whip up a batch.

It’s a pretty easy recipe. It just required me to dig out our cookie press (last used for these cookies last Christmas). And, as usual, I had trouble getting the cookies to stick to the baking sheet after pressing them. They’d much prefer to stick to the cookie press, much to my chagrin. It didn’t help that I made the mistake of greasing the cookie sheet at first (I corrected that pretty quickly).

I’m not sure the provenance of this recipe. I got my copy from my mom who has claimed that it’s a variation on a different recipe (apparently the almond extract and shape are her derivation). I did have a friend who claimed that her mom made the exact same cookie so I’m not entirely sure. I don’t know where the original recipe is from. It may have been the Betty Crocker Cooky Book.

Still, they’re quite good.

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Green Tree Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 tsp almond extract
10 drops green food coloring
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
extra sugar for dusting

  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
  2. In an electric mixture, cream together the butter and sugar at a medium-low speed.
  3. Add the egg and mix until combined. Add the almond extract and food coloring.
  4. Add the flour and salt and mix until well combined.
  5. Place the cookie dough in a cookie press fitted with a Christmas tree die. Press cookies onto an ungreased baking sheet about 1/2″ a part.
  6. Bake until the cookies are set but not browned, about 6 to 9 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle sugar over the cookies immediately after removal from the oven.

Makes about 6 dozen cookies (depending on your cookie press).

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7 Responses to “Green Tree Cookies”


  1. 1 Patricia Scarpin December 19, 2007 at 9:09 am

    These look so beautiful. And so Christmassy!

  2. 2 innovatel December 19, 2007 at 2:48 pm

    After the spinning’s lesson … I’m very hungry and I’d like to eat one or more of this cookies :)

    Thank for the “step to create it” … I try to translate it and after I try to do :)

    Bye :)

  3. 3 catsford December 19, 2007 at 3:00 pm

    my mom made these every year…they’re called spritz and yes, from the “betty crocker cooky book.” i still have my copy with my 4th grade handwriting in the margins (notes like “really yummy”)
    we put red sugar or multi color nonpareils on them.

  4. 4 Matt December 19, 2007 at 5:04 pm

    innovatel – Il mio italiano non e buono ma io auitaro tradurre la ricetta si vuele. Mandate un e-mail: mleese [at] gmail.com
    (My Italian isn’t good but I will help translate the recipe if you want. Send me an email: mleese [at] gmail.com).

    catsford – They probably are just a variation of spritz cookies but traditional spritz cookies don’t use almond extract. My mom likes to sprinkle on colored sugar or sprinkles but I think using plain white sugar makes it look a bit like there’s snow on the trees.

  5. 6 innovatel December 21, 2007 at 12:15 am

    @Matt -> No problem :) It’s a good opportunity to learn english … I hope that to read english blog :)

    Did you find the post on my blog? :)

  6. 7 thegeneralx January 19, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    Like another poster said, those are called spritz (short for spritzgeback) and they appear in a few Betty Crocker cookbooks. My mom makes them for christmas every year also.

    You probably don’t care since you’ve liked them like that forever, but if they’re browned on the bottoms they’re over-baked.


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