Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas tree, cookie house and sweet Christmas display (mostly homemade)

For me Christmas is a chance to express creativity, make things by hand, bake, ice, decorate and fill the house with a festive display. 

This is my little coffee table tree, all the decorations are made with paper and rolling icing (fondant).
You can find the step by step instructions here.

And this is the big tree, the main colour is white with a touch of red (with South Tyrol/Scandinavian motifs).
I change the design of my tree every year, and this is possible when you make your own decorations to complements what you may already have at home. 

A few decorations have been collected over the years, they are made of wood, felt, porcelain and cotton - no plastic,
but most are paper (just use paper doilies, they fill up the tree nicely and are so pretty and inexpensive) and
white sugar decorations, once again made with rolling icing (fondant).
Click here and here for instructions to make your own.

Lots of reindeers, hearts and stars.

Click here for more homemade Xmas ideas from past years.
This is the sweet table, all white and gold. Christmas decorations which have not been used on the tree are piled in crystal bowl and glasses around the house.  The doilies are real (not paper) come from Italy, some where made by my Mum.
There are cookies made by the kids
Carrot Christmas pastries (so yummy, I'll try to post the recipe for these tomorrow)
Homemade Panforte (recipe here)
And the sweet things that didn't fit in the other plates!
But of course the cutest display of all is the cookie house!
The pattern is my own and comes from my book Party Food for Girls. I call it cookie house because it is not a gingerbread house, but much easier, made with frozen sweet crust pastry. 
Of course I made it with Arantxa (more fun!) and with a few variations: we cut holes for the door
 and windows, and in each window we put a little mint (Golia active plus - blue Italian mints)
 to make the glass. The mints melt while the biscuits bake, and then harden again.
Arantxa also wanted to sprinkle some cinnamon on the biscuit for a sweet smell and rustic look.
The house was assembled and decorated with royal icing made with egg white, hot sugar syrup,
vanilla icing sugar and cornstarch. Max made the snowman with white fondant.
The back of the house
Merry Christmas to all!

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©


  1. Bravo Alessandra - what a triumph of baking!

  2. Che meraviglia Alessandra! Un'atmosfera natalizia da sogno! Tu e la tua bimba siete davvero brave a creare tutte queste cose.....è bello il suggerimento di cambiare ogni anno l'albero con decorazioni home Made e anche i dolci sono bellissimi, complimenti!
    Buona domenica

  3. Everything looks magical...Have a very Merry Christmas my friend...hope it is filled with oodles of and PEACE

    1. Thank you dear Koralee, Happy Holidays to you too!

  4. Un'atmosfera magica a casa tua..

    Buone feste di cuore


  5. What a clever idea making fondant decorations! I bet they don't fall off the tree like gingerbread ones do here (it's too humid).

  6. Thank you Lorraine! It is quite humid in Auckland too, but these get really hard and don't fall off, plus they smell delicious, like vanilla and sugar!

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