Tree branch cookie cutters

It all started when I first saw these whole grain tree branch cookie cutters.

“How odd, but interesting…” I mused. Then, I had to have them. Quirk is my middle name.

Cutting out tree branch cookie shapes

My chai cookie dough is the perfect color for this.

I rolled the dough out about 1/4″ thick and started cutting out the branches.

Cut tree branch shape turned over

The thing about this kind of cookie cutter, is that you have to make sure to turn over the cut out cookie before you turn over the cookie cutter to press the wood ridges design into the dough.
Pressing bark design into cut out

Make sure to dip the ridge side into flour and shake off the excess before pressing the design into the dough, otherwise the dough will stick to the cookie cutter.

Press down firmly, about halfway, and lift up.

Tree branch cut out with bark impression

Nice clean bark ridges.

Tree branch cut outs on baking sheet
Since there were four different branches, I cut out and pressed each cookie one at a time so I wouldn’t mix up the cutters and designs.

Bake them up along with any other cookie cut outs that strike your fancy.

Nonfat powdered milk mixed with boiling water
Some vanilla milk glaze from the chai cookie recipe makes simple decorating easy.

Here I’ve mixed the powdered milk thoroughly with boiling water, right before adding sugar.
Vanilla milk glaze for chewy chai cookies
The finished vanilla milk glaze after powdered sugar has been mixed in.

Ready to decorate!

Mushrooms, gnome, log cookies on red plate

First, add a gnome and mushrooms to a log.

For purists, a nice black and white, or rather brown and cream scene.

Mushrooms, gnome and log cookies on green tray

But then let’s add some color and enchant things up a bit.

Enchanted forest cookies on tray 1

How about a whole forest of enchantment?

Whoa, it’s getting a bit crowded with all these gnomes, and mushrooms, and owls! Look, it even snowed on a few branches.

This tray would definitely bring the happy vibes to a gathering, especially if there are any kids around.

Enchanted forest cookies, close up, side view

Everyone seems to like munching on the tiny mushrooms while deciding which big cookie to choose.

Organizing cookies into favor bags

Or you could make up some cookie favor bags with different scenarios: owls on logs, gnomes and mushrooms, mushrooms and teapot (a la Alice in Wonderland).

Those chocorooms can be found at most asian food stores, and surprisingly I found a 6 box pack at Costco today.

Cookie favor bags
Package them up in clear cellophane bags.

Deorate with some bows, or not. The ribbon loops on the owls seemed to be enough.
Favor bags lined up on tray

Now I have a little piece of my enchanted forest to hand out to any guests that stop by.

Felt owls on log pillow

I  got these cute little felt owl ornaments at World Market.

That log looks awfully comfy.

Tree branch cookies and log pillow, left side view
Maybe because it’s really a pillow.

Log cookies + log pillow = match! This combination seems like it would make a good “guy” gift. After all, you feed most guys, then they want to take a nap. =)
Tree branch cookies and log pillow,top view

I made these branch/log cookies with my chocolate malt cookie tablet recipe. It only takes a few minutes longer to bake than the tablets do. This larger cookie though, tends to burn, so you need to watch them closely towards the end of the baking time. Like the chai cookies, they should be removed from the oven while they are cooked, but still a little soft, as they’ll harden up as they cool.

These are not very sweet cookies, so they would be good for someone who actually does not like sweets.

The funny thing is, the cookies didn’t really taste fantastic when eaten fresh, but when I stored the cookies in an airtight container and let them age for a week or two, they were great– almost addicting in their non-sweet, chocolatey taste. I wouldn’t serve this cookie to little kids though–they would probably enjoy the chai cookies more.

Enchanted forest cookies on tray 2
Chewy Chai and Chocolate Malt Enchanted Forest Cookies

Happy Holidays!

Now, has anyone seen a white rabbit?