Simply outstanding as both a Christmas centerpiece and treat, this beautiful creation produces a visual feast well suited to your holiday table.
Tiered Biscotti Tree
In our trials of this recipe, we found the basic recipe produces a somewhat interesting but bland looking Christmas tree, so we continued our experimentation and added Jordan almonds we found in gold, silver, blue and green, as well as a generous sprinkling of silver Dragees. In fact, we made a gingerbread star cookie, slathering it lightly with royal icing and dipping it in the dragees to make a silver star to top our tree in place of the holly. The result was a much more attractive decoration.
Tiered Biscotti Tree

Tiered Biscotti Tree
Recipe type: Desserts
Serves: 1 tree
  • 1 1/2 Cups slivered almonds
  • 3/4 Cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Marmalade Icing:
  • 3/4 Cup orange marmalade
  • 1 pound sugar, powdered
  • 1 Tablespoon Grand Marnier or orange juice
  1. Constructed from baked biscotti dough, the cookie tree is an edible centerpiece.
  2. Place almonds in a 8 to 9 inch pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven, shaking often, until golden, about 15 minutes; cool.
  3. In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar and orange peel until fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
  4. Combine 4-1/2 cups flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, nutmeg and nuts; add to butter mixture and stir to blend thoroughly.
  5. Divide dough into 3 equal pieces.
  6. On a well-floured board, pat each piece into an evenly thick triangle that measures 9 inches across base, 2 inches across top and 12 inches on each side. Make edges neat by pressing with a ruler.
  7. Carefully transfer each triangle with wide spatulas to an oiled 12x15 inch baking sheet. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes; triangles can wait for oven space.
  8. Remove from oven; cut crosswise (NOT diagonally) into slices exactly 5/8 inch wide, using a long knife. Tip slices onto a cut side.
  9. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes; turn cookies over once while baking. Cool on racks. If made ahead, package airtight up until next day or freeze.
  10. To build the tree, pipe (using a 1/4 inch tip) or spread a little frosting on 1 side of each of the longest cookies. Lay icing-side down on a flat platter, tips touching, to form a triangle.
  11. Pipe or spread icing down center of each cookie on plate. Stack the 3 next-longest cookies on the first, inverting position of the triangle (looking down from the top, it will look like a Star of David).
  12. Build tree, using the next-smallest cookie trio for each level and cementing with icing. If you like, pipe icing to drip over the edge of the cookies.
  13. Decorate top with holly. Let guests lift off cookies to eat.
  14. If made ahead or to protect from dust, seal in plastic wrap; cookies stay fresh up to 4 days, depending on moisture in air. Kept longer, they hold their shape but get stale.
  15. Icing: Smoothly mix together 3/4 cup orange marmalade, 1 box (1 lb) or 4 cups sifted powder and 1 Tablespoon orange-flavor liqueur or orange juice. If icing thickens as you work, stir in a little more orange juice.
While it is a bit difficult to put this entire creation together, the effort is not without its rewards.

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