Dotty Winter Trees

...otherwise known as the "Trees of Indecision."
As soon as I saw these two-tone trees from A Dozen Eggs, I knew that tree cookies were in my future.

But, since I seem to have an obsession with dots....whether it be on cakes or apples or presents....I added some dots.
The indecision came in with the sanding sugar and the wood grain trunk. To sugar or not to sugar. To wood grain or not to wood grain.  Those were the questions.

{You know you are having serious cookie issues when you wake your husband up at the crack of dawn to say, "Sweetie, which do you like better, this plain tree trunk or the wood grain one?"}
Wood grain it was.

Now, *someone* in my house does not care for sanding sugar.  (Not the way it looks, but the way it tastes.)  Had I known this before marrying him, we would have been in for some MAJOR pre-marital counseling.
I, on the other hand, love that bit of crunch on a soft sugar cookie.  So, I went for half and half.

To make these trees, you'll need:
Dotty Winter Tree Cookie Tutorial:
With a #3 tip, outline the tree on green, piping 3 sections of the tree.
With a #2 tip, outline the trunk in brown.

Thin the green, light green and brown icings with water, a bit at a time, until it is the consistency of thick syrup.  Cover with a damp dish towel and let sit several minutes.

Stir gently with a rubber spatula and transfer icings to squeeze bottles.
Working 6-8 cookies at a time, fill in the trees in the 3 colors of green.  Use a toothpick to spread to edges and pop large air bubbles.
Come back over the filled trees while the icing is still wet and drop on dots of thinned icing.
Fill in the trunks in brown.  Use a toothpick to spread to edges and pop large air bubbles.

Let dry overnight.
The next day, set up a sanding sugar station.  Mix equal parts meringue powder with water.  With a small paintbrush, brush the mixture on the area to be sanded.  Sprinkle on the sanding sugar and shake excess over a coffee filter.  The filter can be used as a funnel to go back into the bottle.

For the wood grain, I used a cookie painted technique from Renee of Kudos Kitchen.  She is a fabulous artist, check out her painted tiles, and she shared a video of how to add wood grain on cookies at University of Cookie.

Basically, mix water with food coloring....a 1 to 1 ratio or so.  Trim your fan brush, so that it is uneven.  Dip the brush into the food coloring mixture, dab on a paper towel and brush onto your cookies. (I used the same technique on the Harry Potter broom cookies.)

Tell me....are you a sanding sugar lover like me, or do you side with Mr. E on this one?
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