The holidays are all about cookies. This year, instead of making a few dozen individual cookies, use one big cookie as the base for a festive Christmas wreath. We're using a buttery shortbread cookie instead of the more traditional softer sugar cookie because it doesn't spread during baking and will hold its shape. The wreath is frosted with a simple sweetened cream cheese frosting and topped with fresh fruit. Strawberries and blueberries are always popular, but you can use whatever fruit you like. To round out the holiday look, we've garnished with plenty of fresh mint.
- For the Cookie Base:
- 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 8 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- For the Toppings:
- 1 cup strawberries (sliced)
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 apple (Red Delicious or other red-skinned variety, cored and thinly sliced)
- 1 handful fresh mint
Gather the ingredients.
To make the cookie base, combine the softened butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a bowl. Using a hand or stand mixer, beat until all the ingredients are combined.
Slowly add the flour and mix until the dough comes together. Turn it out on a floured board, shape it into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least half an hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Roll out the chilled dough to fit a greased round pizza pan. Place a small heatproof ramekin in the middle and trace around it using a paring knife. Remove the dough and set the ramekin inside so that the hole will keep its shape.
Bake for approximately 20 to 30 minutes or until the edges of the cookie turn a light golden brown. Set aside to cool.
Make the frosting. Add the softened cream cheese, sugar, and lemon juice to a bowl and beat together with a whisk or hand mixer until the sugar is fully incorporated.
Spread the cream cheese mixture on top of the cooled cookie base and arrange all of the fruit on top. Garnish with fresh mint.
- Don't have a large round pizza pan? Spread the dough out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and do your best to make it a round shape. When it comes out of the oven, place a large plate, cake stand top or even paper template over it and cut out clean round edges while the cookie is still pliable. Nobody will be able to tell.
- No time to make your own cookie dough or something went wrong with the mix? A store-bought sugar cookie mix will do fine, but add an extra 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour to the mix to keep it from spreading too much.
- No time or ingredients to make the cream cheese frosting? Use a ready-made vanilla frosting, but stir a tablespoon of lemon juice into it to brighten the flavor and tone down the sweetness.