These Chocolate Dipped Graham Cracker Christmas Trees are homemade graham crackers dipped in melted semi-sweet dark chocolate, and then topped with white nonpareils sprinkles! They're a fun, easy, and delicious holiday treat to make and enjoy with your family and friends!
Homemade Chocolate Dipped Graham Cracker Trees
This graham cracker Christmas trees recipe was inspired by the Stauffer's Christmas graham cracker stars I have been eyeing since Adam and I moved to Central PA 8 years ago. The graham crackers are a little less sweet than what you would typically find in stores. I used a tiny tree cookie cutter, but you can really use any shape and size!
How Do I Make Homemade Graham Crackers?
ingredients needed: whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, unsalted butter, light brown sugar, grade A clover honey, full-flavor molasses, vanilla extract, and milk
Making the graham cracker dough is a fairly straight forward process and much like the sugar cookie recipes I've shared with you.
You can choose to use either a hand mixer or a stand mixer, but the stand mixer will make things much easier because the dough will be on the thicker side.
After making the dough, you'll divide it in half. Then you'll roll out each section of dough between two sheets of parchment paper. Next, you'll stack the two layers (including the parchment paper in between) and place them on a cookie sheet.
I highly recommend doing this because it keeps the dough flat, and it's just easier to transport the dough. You'll refrigerate it for a minimum of 1 hour—or overnight, which is my preference.
After cutting out your graham cracker Christmas trees, you'll then poke holes into the center using a fork. They're then baked for 8-10 minutes at 350ºF.
Once cooled, you can keep them stored in an airtight container at room temperature until they're ready for dipping.
Why Do You Poke Holes into Graham Crackers?
The purpose of poking holes into the pre-baked crackers, is to allow steam to escape during baking.
The poked holes are basically like tiny vents for your graham crackers. They'll also keep your graham crackers flat and on the crispier side.
Of course, the crispiness of your graham crackers is dependent on how thin you rolled out your dough! of your rolled out cookie dough also depends on the crispiness as well.
Chocolate Dipped Graham Cracker Squares
If you're not really feeling the Christmas trees, here is an alternative!
These graham cracker squares are partially dipped in semi-sweet melted chocolate, then topped with red and green sprinkles. I clearly was still in Christmas tree mode when I did the first graham cracker square. Oops!
Quick Tips Before Getting Started
- Make sure you have a cookie sheet that will fit in the refrigerator for chilling the rolled out dough.
- The recommended baking time for the graham crackers is 8-10 minutes at 350ºF. And it has a minimum dough chilling time of 1 hour. Your baking time will vary based on how thin or thick you roll out the dough.
- This recipe makes approximately 6 dozen cookies. Yield results will vary based on what cookie cutter you use!
- The recipe prep time does not include the melting or assembling of the chocolate dipped graham cracker Christmas trees.
Graham Cracker Christmas Trees
- For a thinner graham cracker, roll it out to about ⅛-inch. For a thicker graham cracker, roll it out to about ¼-inch. I wouldn't go any thicker than that though. Remember, thinner gives you a crispier cracker, and thicker gives you a softer one.
- If you'd rather roll out smaller batches of the dough, you can divide it out into thirds.
- Place the dough back into the refrigerator (or freezer) for a few minutes, if begins to soften as you cut out the shapes.
- Don't forget to poke the holes in the cut out cookies before baking them!
- Using a double boiler isn't required for these chocolate dipped graham cracker Christmas trees. But it is definitely helpful with melting the amount of chocolate needed. It's also helpful if melting the chocolate with the paraffin wax.
- Both the paraffin wax and the vegetable shortening will thin the chocolate. Only the wax will give it a subtle shine though. It will also keep the chocolate from melting off the graham crackers when left out at room temperature.
- The Christmas tree shape is from a 6-piece set of small holiday cookie cutters. The smaller size made them easier for dipping into the chocolate.
- The square shape comes from this 24-set of geometric cookie cutters. I'm planning to use these for more pie crust designs in 2020! Eeee! So excited!
- If you're not a fan of the Christmas tree or square, you can use a different shape and size.
- Dipping the cookie cutters into some all-purpose flour will help keep the dough from sticking.
- I suggest using the white or Christmas colored nonpareils sprinkles for the Christmas trees. And for the squares, the red and green sprinkles. Feel free to use whatever type of sprinkles you'd like though!
Recommended Baking Tools for Making Chocolate Dipped Graham Crackers
Chocolate Dipped Graham Cracker Christmas TreesAuthor:
Graham Cracker Christmas Trees
- 2 ½ cups Whole Wheat Flour
- ½ cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- ½ tsp Baking Soda
- 2 tsp Cinnamon
- ¼ tsp Salt
- ½ cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature
- ½ cup Light Brown Sugar, firmly packed
- ⅓ cup Grade A Clover Honey
- 2 tbsp Full-Flavor Molasses
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- ½ cup Milk
For the Chocolate Dipping
- 12 oz Bag Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- ½ Square of Paraffin Wax, or 2 tablespoons Vegetable Shortening
For the Cookie Cutting and Decorating
- 1 Small Christmas Tree Cookie Cutter or cookie cutter of your choosing.
- White or Christmas color-themed Nonpareils Sprinkles, for the trees
- Red and Green Sanding Sugar or Sprinkles, for the squares
- graham cracker Christmas trees
- In a large bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set to the side.
- Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the unsalted butter, light brown sugar, honey, molasses, and vanilla extract on medium-high speed until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Reduce the mixer speed and gradually alternate between adding the whisked dry mixture with the milk until the mixture is fully incorporated.
- Using a bench scraper or sharp knife, divide the graham cracker dough in half, then in between two lightly floured pieces of parchment paper, roll out the dough to either ⅛ inch thick for a thinner graham cracker - or - to ¼ inch thick for a thicker graham cracker.
- Place the rolled out dough that's sandwiched in between two sheets of parchment paper onto a cookie sheet, then repeat with the 2nd section of dough.
- Stack the second layer of dough onto the first (parchment paper should be in between the layers, then place into the fridge and chill for a minimum of 1 hour, or (my preference) overnight.
- When ready to bake, adjust your oven rack to the 2nd level position (just above center) and preheat your oven to 350ºF. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set to the side.
- Remove the top parchment sheet of paper from the rolled out dough.
- Dip the Christmas tree cookie cutter into a little bit of flour, then cut out each shape. Carefully place them onto the parchment lined cookie sheet, leaving about a 1 inch space between them. Repeat until you've used all the dough from that layer.
- Then using a fork, pierce each cookie 1-2 times in the center of the Christmas tree. For the squares, I pierced them with a fork 4 times vertically down the center of the graham cracker.
- Place the cookie sheet into the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes or until they’re golden brown. If your graham crackers are thicker, you may need to bake your cookies 1-2 minutes longer.
- Remove from the oven and, after 5 minutes of cooling on the cookie sheet, transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, you can keep them stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days until you're ready to dip them into the melted chocolate.
- melting the chocolate
- Using a double boiler, fill the bottom boiler with about 1 inch to 1.5 inches of water, then melt the paraffin wax over low heat uncovered until melted.
- Add in semi-sweet chocolate chips and stir continuously until completely smooth and melted. If you have any little lumps of chocolate, press down firmly on them using a spatula until they melt.
- Alternatively, if you are using vegetable shortening, you can melt this together with the chocolate chips at the same time.
- assembling the chocolate covered graham cracker Christmas trees
- Line a large cookie sheet with wax paper and set to the side of where you'll be dipping the graham cracker Christmas trees.
- Using a fork, drop one graham cracker tree into the melted chocolate, then flip it over with your fork and lift up. Tap the fork on the side of the double boiler to remove any excess chocolate, then carefully place it onto the wax paper-lined cookie sheet.
- Immediately sprinkle each chocolate covered graham cracker tree with some white (or Christmas colored themed) nonpareils.
- Alternatively, if you're going with the sqaure shape, you can simply dip half of the square into the melted chocolate, top with sanding sugar or sprinkles, and place onto the wax paper.
- Repeat until all the graham cracker trees have been dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with the nonpareils.
- Allow the chocolate covered graham cracker Christmas trees to set before removing any excess chocolate that may have stuck to the sides of the crackers.
- Store the chocolate covered graham cracker trees in an airtight container at room temperature (or the refrigerator) for up to a week. If you used vegetable shortening in place of the paraffin wax, it's best to keep them in the refrigerator so the chocolate doesn't melt.