How to Make Pecan Shortbread Trees

Are you planning to bake some cookies, and just want to be creative about it? This recipe is pretty creative, so why not give it a try? Read on to find out what you need and what to do!


  • 1 cup of butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 5 drops of green food coloring
  • 1 3/4 cups of Gold Medal all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of coarsely chopped pecans
  • 32 pecan halves
  • 3/4 cup of white vanilla baking chips
  • Granulated sugar (if desired)
  • 32 yellow decorating stars (if desired)


  1. 1
    Preheat the oven to 325 F. Spray/lightly grease 2 large cookie sheets.
  2. 2
    In a large bowl, beat the butter and powdered sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until it's light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla (not the baking chips) and the food coloring. On low speed, beat in flour just until mixed. Stir in the chopped pecans.
  3. 3
    Divide the dough into 4 equal parts, and shape each of them into a ball (e.g. 4 equal parts = 4 balls). Place 2 of them on each cookie, on opposite ends. With a rolling pin (or floured fingers, either one comes with the same results), gently flatten and shape each ball into a 6-inch circle.
  4. 4
    With a large knife, divide and cut each circle into 8 wedges, slightly separating each cut with the knife. Poke the tops of the wedges with a fork, and place 1 pecan half in the middle of each outer edge to make a "tree trunk".
  5. 5
    Bake them in the oven for 15-18 minutes or until it's brown, but not firm. While it's still warm, cut the wedges into smaller wedges. When it's done baking, let them cool on the cookie sheets for 30 minutes.
  6. 6
    Place the tree wedges on some cooling racks/waxed paper. Place the baking chips in a small resealable freezer plastic bag. Microwave them on High for 40-60 seconds/1 minute, turning the bag over after 30 seconds.
  7. 7
    Squeeze the bag gently until the chips are melted and smooth. Cut a small tip of a corner of the bag, and drizzle sideways (see photo in introduction) over the wedges to make a tree garland.
  8. 8
    Sprinkle with the granulated sugar (if you want to). Top each tree with a star.
  9. 9


  • If you're making this before/after Christmas, you can make these without the food coloring, pecan "trunks", and stars if desired.
  • If you're using paste food coloring, you would need only a small amount to get a nice green color.

Things You'll Need

  • Oven
  • Spray bottle to grease cookie sheets
  • 2 large cookie sheets
  • Large bowl
  • Electric mixer
  • Large knife
  • Rolling pin (for Step 3, if you have floured fingers, then you don't have to use a rolling pin)
  • Fork
  • Cooling racks/waxed paper
  • 1 small, resealable, and freezer plastic bag

Article Info

Categories: Christmas Cooking | Sugar Cookies and Biscuits