For the last few years since getting married, my hubby and I have used our not-more-than-2 foot-tall fake Christmas tree to celebrate with. I usually add some Asian inspiration to the tree by decorating it with paper origami ornaments. This year, I was busy (blogging), so my husband went ahead and did all the tree decorating by himself–ornaments, lights, and all. He isn’t a picky person by any means, but when it comes to Christmas trees he insists on lots of lights–a ton of lights, really–to the point where the tree starts to sag. I suppose some tacky Christmas decor is better than no decor at all, right!?
Since I didn’t do a speck of tree decorating this year, this is my contribution…Christmas Tree Stroopwafels! I’ve put all my creative efforts in a tree not more than 2 inches in height, but hopefully you’ll find it charming nonetheless.
Stroopwafels are my favorite cookie of all time, more than Oreos. This simple and humble cookie of the Netherlands has such a satisfying flavor and texture. With soft, pliable caramel hiding between two very thin waffles, this cookie gives just the right toothy bite.
The only thing better than a stroopwafel is a stroopwafel over a cup of hot tea. The heat from the tea slightly melts the inner caramel, making the waffle cookie soft and oozy. I’m quite convinced that I would never be able to make a stroopwafel better than the ones you buy from the store that are imported from the Netherlands, so I won’t even bother trying. What I will do, though, is embellish and enhance them!
To make some rustic looking trees to set atop my stroopwafels, I used marzipan with a few teaspoons of–you guessed it– matcha green tea mixed in. I’m hoping that after Christmas time ends my matcha-madness will be cured as I’ve exhibited a serious obsession with the green powder over the last few weeks. At the very least, I promise this will be my last matcha post of the year. To get a more complex and earthy looking shade of green to the trees, I’ve also mixed a small amount of cocoa powder into the marzipan.
There really isn’t much to this food craft project, just make sure that you have sharp snippers. The more free-form and relaxed you are about making cuts into the marzipan, the more natural and beautiful the trees will look.
It’s also important to use the right size of teacup when serving these embellished cookies. You’ll want the mouth of the teacup to be either the same size as the stroopwafel or smaller. The only way to get around this is to place the waffle cookie off to the side of the teacup (see photo below), but if it isn’t balanced properly the tree stroopwafel could end up taking a plunge into the hot tea, so please be careful!
There are a few extra decorations here–the star sprinkles, the red tree skirt, and the gingerbread man–that make this tea cookie that much more polished, but if you don’t have time for those just focus on the trees. When sprinkled with some powdered sugar right before serving, the plain trees will be just rustic and magical.
Decorated trees, caramel stroopwafels, and warm tea are a trio especially perfect for a chilly Christmas Day. Perched atop your favorite wintertime tea, these trees are just the confection to munch on while your tea is coming down to the right sipping temperature. With less than 5 minutes of tree decorating you’ll be ready to share this festive holiday treat with your friends and family, and entitled to all the bragging rights that come along with serving them!
Christmas Tree Stroopwafels
Makes 6 decorated stroopwafels.
7 oz. tube of marzipan
1 tsp matcha green tea powder
1/2 tsp cocoa powder
vegetable oil (if needed)
yellow star sprinkles
1/2 cup chocolate chips (regular or white)
1 cherry or strawberry fruit roll up (optional)
Wilton’s gingerbread man cookie decorations (optional, I got these at Michaels)
powdered sugar (optional)
teacups, with diameter same or less than stroopwafels
kitchen scissors with sharp tip
round, fluted 2″ diameter cookie cutter
powdered sugar sifter (optional)
1.) Soften marzipan by kneading, placing in microwave for a few seconds if it is too hard to work with. Sprinkle the matcha on the marzipan and knead until you get an even green color, then sprinkle on the cocoa powder and knead again until the color is even. If the marzipan dries out and becomes too crumbly, add a dab or two of vegetable oil and knead in to incorporate.
2.) Roll marzipan into a log and cut into 6 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a tree with a pointed tip and flat, wide bottom about 1 1/2″ in diameter. Use scissors to cut into the side of marzipan tree at a 45 degree angle from the surface, about 1/4″ deep, with the scissor tips facing towards the top of the tree.
3.) When you are done “snipping” the trees, set them aside on a large plate. Melt chocolate in microwave in 10 second increments until it has completely melted. Dollop 2 tsp of chocolate in the center of each stroopwafel and smooth out in a circular motion using the back of a rounded teaspoon, leaving a 1/4″ border of the stroopwafel uncovered, all-around. Use a toothpick to dab a bit of melted chocolate on the back of each star, and attach them to the top of the trees.
4.) Using round fluted cutter, cut out rounds of fruit roll up, making tree skirts in the process. If you want the skirts to show up more obviously, use white chocolate in step #3 instead of regular chocolate. Place the cut outs in the center of each chocolate circle (shiny side up) and allow them to lightly set.
5.) After the chocolate has lightly set, place a dab of remaining chocolate in the middle of the fruit roll tree skirt, then place the tree on top to set. If using, place a little gingerbread man to the side of the tree, allowing his leg to meld to the chocolate base so that he stays upright.
6.) When it’s time to serve, place the stroopwafels atop a teacup filled with hot tea. If you prefer, you can use some powdered sugar to sift on top as snowfall…enjoy!
Love matcha like I do? Please check out my other matcha recipes here.