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Sugar Cookies

sugar cookies

Let's face it there are a million Sugar Cookie recipes out there! Why add one more? Well because this one is pretty darn good. The flavor is spot on, but my little secret ingredient does that to all my cookies, and they hold their shape during baking amazingly well. You can bake them straight after mixing or you can chill them and come back to them later. It's a very forgiving recipe, and let's face it with 5 kids running around I need my cookie dough not to be high maintenance. 

1 cup Salted Butter (any temperature will do for this, remember I said it wasn't a high maintenance recipe)
1 1/4 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 tsp Almond Extract (the secret ingredient)
4 cups Flour
1/8 tsp Baking Soda
3 tsp Baking Powder

Beat together the butter and sugar until mixed through. Add extracts and eggs and beat just until mixed in. Next add your baking powder and soda, no need to sift this in if you add it before you add the flour. Turn your mixture on medium-low and add the flour 1/2 cup at a time. The dough will become fairly stiff with that last scoop. Now I have my kids help me when I make these most of the time and they aren't particularly precise about their 1/2 cup scoops. Sometimes we have to add a tad bit more because they have under filled the measuring cup. You want the dough to hold its shape and be the consistency of Play-Doh. It is a very forgiving recipe, one that works well for little helping hands, as long as you aim for that Play-Doh feel you will be good.

Pick out your favorite cookie cutters and roll the dough out between two pieces of parchment paper. About 1/4 inch thick will cook up nicely at 350 for 10 minutes. If you go thicker around 1/3 inch you can drop the temp down to 325 and cook them for 15 minutes. I usually do thinner ones simply because it yields more cookies and with 5 kids and the friends of those 5 kids I want a few extra cookies.

Royal Icing
1 lb Powdered Sugar (that's a whole bag)
3 Tb Meringue Powder
1 Tb Kyro Syrup
3-4 drops Lemon Juice
1 tsp Extract of choice

In a mixer add the meringue powder and about 4 Tb of water and mix until frothy. Add the kyro syrup and another minute. Slowly add the powdered sugar, SLOWLY or you'll have a giant sweet and sugary mess on your hands. Add water about 2 tsp at a time until the icing is the desired texture. I generally go for Elmer's glue consistency for the flood coat. The icing that goes above the flood coat, the stuff I want to be more precise I will add 1 Tb of powdered sugar to every cup of icing. Now with the kids helping to decorate one of our favorite things to do is flood all the cookies with white. We then pull out the gel food coloring and dilute it with 1 tsp of milk and we paint the cookies, it is like doing watercolor on cookies. It seems to be the easiest and least messy way for them to decorate AND they still get the fun of decorating. We also love putting the undecorated cookies in bags along with 1-2 piping bags of frosting and delivering them to neighbors for a fun afternoon of family cookie decorating.

christmassugarcookies medium

*This article contains affiliate links to some of my favorite products. These aren't just any products though, they are the actual ones I use and order (or have on subscription). By choosing them you know your cookies should taste exactly like the ones I make.

Fruit and Root Bread

My darling boy loves bread so I thought I'd make him a little something special packed with more then just your usual bread. He loves it so does the little girl. Here is the recipe no pictures though we ate it all to fast.

  • 2 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp all-spice
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 14 Tbs melted butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 apple
  • 1 sweet potato

Peel and grate all the "fruits and roots" and then use an emmersion blender to blend it all up into a mush and set it aside. Combine all the dry ingredients and set aside. Beat the eggs for 3 seconds then add the butter and vanilla. Once combined slowly add the dry ingredients then fold in the puree.

Bake at 350 degrees.

  • large loaf pan (makes 2) 1 hour 15 minutes
  • small load pan (makes 4) 50 minutes
  • muffins (makes 24-30) 40 minutes
  • mini muffins (makes 4-5 dozen) 22 minutes

Bread Making

Okay so many of you know I LOVE to bake, but having to toddlers doesn't exactly give me time for making bread as often as I like with all the kneading and stuff. This book has made it so we can have fresh bread, rolls, buns, pizza at least 3 times a week and sometimes more. Not to mention it's good and has that bakery taste to it ater you've made a few batches, my little boy jumps out of my arms when he realizes there is fresh bread in the house. This book is a must buy for any bread baker with kids.


Celantro Lime Marinade and Dressing

I marinated flank steak in this Chimichuri then grilled it to a perfect medium rare and sliced it thin. I put the steak over a mixed green salad with grilled corn, cherry tomatoes, and goat cheese and used the remaining Chimichuri to dress the salad. Even my super picky husband loved it, I was super happy with how it turned out.


  • 1 bunch of celantro
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 4oz can diced green chillies (with juice)
  • pinch of salt to taste
  • juice from 1 lime
  • zest of half lime
  • enough olive oil to make it smooth in the blender.

Yep you guessed it chuck it all into a blender and blend until it's smooth and creamy. A traditional Chimichuri would omit the chillies double the garlic add a bunch of parsley and white wine to smooth it all out.

Fruit Pizza

One of my favorite snacks from my childhood was Fruit Pizza. My mom ran a nutrition program and it was one of the recipes for her providers. In a perfect world more than strawberries would be available but thats all I found at the store this week


  • 1 c unsalted butter at room temp
  • 2/3 c powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract (you'll find I put it in everything)
  • 1 c unbleached flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour


  • 1 6oz package cream cheese softened
  • 1 tub of yoplait yogurt (I usualy use mixed berry but you can mix it up with other flavors)

Cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Add in extracts a pinch of salt and the flours. Dough should be slightly crumbly. Press into a tart pan or roll out on a pizza tin (it makes two tart sized crusts). Cook at 325 for 14 minutes.

Cream together cream cheese and yogurt. Spread over the crust once cooled or as you eat it. Arrange the fruit on the top, since it is a pizza and not a tart I like to toss the fruit on instead of maticulously arranging it.