Somehow Christmas is only five days away. I don’t know where the rest of December went, but I’m trying to pack in as many Christmas-y things in before the big day arrives. One of those fun things involves making these fun Christmas Tree Hand Pies. I even have a template you can use if you don’t have a Christmas tree cookie cutter. 🎄
Cranberry and orange are two classic Christmas flavors, and they make for a sweet, yet tangy filling. Add a little bit of icing to each hand pie and you’ve got yourself some fancy, decorated trees.
To get started, you’ll first want to to combine all of the dry ingredients, including the flour, sugar and salt together in a large bowl. Gently work in the butter with your fingers or a pastry blender until it is pea sized. Pour in the water, stir it with a fork, and then use your hands to form it together.
Be careful not to overwork the dough. If it’s too tacky, add a little more flour and if it’s too dry add a little more ice water. The dough should be slightly tacky, but not wet. Wrap it up in plastic wrap and let it chill.
As the dough chills, download, print, and cut out the template below. I recommend printing it on card stock, but any paper will work.
Once you’ve cut out your template and your dough is chilled, roll out the dough and gently place the template on top. Use a sharp knife to carefully cut around the template. Place each tree on a parchment lined baking sheet and chill. You’ll do this several more times until you have a total of 8 trees.
Next you are ready to make the cranberry filling. Whisk together all of the cranberry ingredients and let them sit for several minutes. Heat the cranberry mixture for 8-10 minutes until it reduces down to a jam-like state.
Carefully spoon cranberry filling into the centers of four of the trees. Brush the tree’s edges with an egg wash before gently placing another tree on top of each of the four with filling.
Carefully press down around the edges. You can also use a fork to crimp the edges if you like. Some cranberry filling will leak out, but that can easily be fixed before they head to the oven.
Brush the top of each tree with more egg wash and sprinkle a little bit of sugar on each of them before chilling them one last time. Once they have been chilled again, they are ready to be placed in the oven.
Once the hand pies have been baked and are cooling, whisk together the ingredients for the icing. Using a small plastic bag or piping bag, carefully pipe the icing onto each hand pie to make it look like the tree is adorned with garland. Enjoy!
Christmas Tree Hand Pies
Author: Marisa Guerra
- 1 ¼ cups flour
- 1 ½ tsp sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, cubed
- 3-4 tsp ice cold water
- 1 cup cranberries
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ tsp orange zest
- 1 tbsp orange juice
- ⅛ tsp cornstarch
- ½ tsp vanilla bean paste
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp water
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp milk
- Preheat oven to 350º.
- As the oven preheats, download, print, and cut out the Christmas tree template.
- Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.
- Blend the butter into the flour mixture with your hands or a pastry blender until the butter is about pea sized.
- Pour the water over the flour and stir together until it begins to form into a dough.
- Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for 20 minutes.
- Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and chill for another 10 minutes.
- Place the tree template over the dough and carefully cut around it using a sharp pairing knife. Transfer each tree to a parchment lined baking sheet and place back into the fridge until ready to use.
- Repeat this process, rerolling the dough as needed, until you have a total of eight trees.
- While the trees chill in the fridge, whisk together the cranberries, sugar, orange zest, orange juice, cornstarch, and vanilla bean paste in a nonstick pan. Let mixture sit for several minutes.
- Cook the cranberry mixture over medium heat for 8-10 minutes until it begins to thicken and the berries start to burst.
- Transfer the mixture to a heatproof bowl and chill.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and water.
- Carefully spoon cranberry filling into the center of four of the trees.
- Brush the edges of the trees with egg wash and gently press down so that the edges of the top tree adhere to the bottom tree. Some cranberry juices may leak out.
- Brush the top of all four trees with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
- Chill the hand pies for another 10 minutes before baking them for 25-30 minutes or until they are golden brown.
- Whisk together the powdered sugar and milk. Spoon the icing into a small plastic bag or piping back.
- Carefully pipe the icing onto each hand pie to make it look like garland.