Cookie trees work so well as dessert table centerpieces! While you can make them with any kind of cookies, I find that madeleines look particularly beautiful. Below, I share how I make my holiday tree!
Building the TreeI make my tree using two different kinds of madeleines:
- Classic madeleine cookies dipped in chocolate and rolled in candy canes
- Madeleines made entirely of candy canes
(Details on how to prepare the candy cane madeleines are in the next section of this post.)
Start with a styrofoam cone. You can find these in all kinds of sizes at most craft stores.
Working from the top of the cone, insert a candy cane madeleine into the cone using its integrated toothpick. Then, hold a regular one next to it and stick a toothpick through the center of the madeleine and into the styrofoam cone to affix it to the tower. The toothpick will stick out just a little bit (it will eventually get covered by the next layer of cookies).
Continue to work your way around and then down the whole tower.
Decorate the base of the tower with candy canes, peppermints, and more madeleines.
Serve the same day or simply display as you would a gingerbread house.
As a general rule of thumb, to make a tower that fits a 3.9″ x 11.8″ cone, you will need to double the recipe below. Make the same number of candy cane madeleines, too. (You will need about two crushed mini candy canes per mini candy cane madeleine.)
Candy Cane Madeleines
You can only make candy cane madeleines using a silicone mold. If you try to use a metal pan, you likely won’t be able to remove them.
Start by crushing candy canes. You can do this by putting them in a sandwich bag and using a rolling pin to roll over them or whack them. (I don’t recommend that you use all-natural candy canes. I tried using them and they never set up properly.)
Fill the Silpat mini madeleine mold with the crushed candy canes. Be sure to fill each well all the way to the top as they will shrink when they melt.
Then, insert a toothpick into each unbaked madeleine at an angle, as shown below. If you wait until the candy cane madeleines are baked, they will be too hard to add a toothpick to and you won’t be able to use them in your tower.
Bake the candy cane madeleines at 300 F until the candy cane is totally melted, about 12 minutes. If they shrunk a lot, add a little more crushed candy cane and return to the oven to melt.
Once they cool, they easily peel out of the molds.
Dip the candy cane madeleines in melted chocolate just as you did the regular kind.