Cute little holiday trees, perfect for the winter season. Plus, the simplest and tastiest shortbread we’ve ever made. Soft and buttery, with a kiss of cream cheese.
- 1 stick softened Challenge Butter
- 4 ounces softened Challenge cream cheese
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 ¼ cup flour
- 1 pound powdered sugar
- 2 ounces Challenge cream cheese
- ½ cup Challenge butter
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla
- 1-2 Tablespoons milk
- green food coloring
- red food coloring
- rainbow candy balls or sprinkles
- Also needed: mini wooden craft sticks
In a large bowl, mix together all shortbread ingredients, until a soft dough forms. Press into the bottom of a 8x8” baking pan which has been sprayed with nonstick baking spray. (For a 9x13” pan, double the batch).
Bake in an oven preheated to 400ºF for 20-25 minutes or until edges are golden brown and center is set. Cool completely.
To prepare frosting, in a stand mixer, beat together powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter, vanilla and 1 Tbsp milk. Add more milk, as needed, until frosting is light, fluffy and spreadable. Tint ¾ of the frosting green, and the remaining ¼ red. Transfer red frosting to a zip-top bag.
Gently remove cooled shortbread from baking pan. Frost with green frosting. Cut into 3-4” strips, then slice each strip into 3-4 triangles. Press a wooden craft stick into the large bottom of each triangle to form a “tree trunk”.
Pipe red frosting across the top of each tree, to resemble strands of holiday lights. Press rainbow candies along the red frosting, or sprinkle with rainbow nonpareils.