December 02, 2013


Winter Cookies

Sometimes you need to make Christmas cookies but you don't want them to be too 'Christmasy'. So here are some ideas for when winter is here but Christmas is still a ways around the corner. I'm also finally sharing the cookie and royal icing recipes I like to use. I think I mentioned posting these about 8 months ago. Whoops.

Winter Cookies

These cookies were made gluten-free and were equally delicious! The recipe below can be used with regular flour or gluten-free cup-for-cup flour. I used an all-purpose gluten-free cup-for-cup flour from local Cloud 9 specialty bakery. It contains a bit of buckwheat which is what gives the cookies their lovely speckled appearance. 

Winter Cookies
Flooded Cookies

Here is a great video on how to flood cookies. I use the same consistency she suggests of a 14-16 count icing as well as using a #3 or #4 icing tip. If you are a pattern-maker/baker like me you might also recognize her icing "tool". Why its an awl! You can wash and scrub yours or else a toothpick will do in a snap.

The brush embroidery pine cone with pine branches was one of my favourite designs. You can find a great video for the brush embroidery technique here.

One note about this cookie recipe is that it is very tender due to the use of icing sugar. This makes it melt in your mouth delicious but also a bit delicate and crumbly. 

Cut Out Sugar Cookies
Recipe Adapted from Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle

Yield: About 2 dozen

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 1/2-2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 350° F (180° C).

2. Cream butter and icing sugar together in the bowl of your stand mixer using the paddle attachment for 2 minutes.

3. Lightly beat the egg in a small bowl with the almond extract. Add to the butter mixture and beat on medium until incorporated.

4. Sift the flour and salt into a medium bowl and then add gradually to the butter egg mixture until most of the dough sticks to the paddle. You know enough flour has been added when you can press the dough without any sticking to your finger. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

5. Roll out dough onto parchment paper to a 1/4" thickness and cut out desired shapes. Place on cookie sheet and place in freezer for 10 minutes.

6. Remove tray from freezer and bake cookies for 10-12 minutes. Watch carefully to ensure your cookies do not brown. Let cookies cool completely before decorating.


I decorate these cookies a day later because they are very tender and can use a little drying out. Once cool place them in a sealed container to rest. Of course day-of will do in a pinch and be extra melty.

Perfect Royal Icing

  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 5 tbsp meringue powder (I use Wilton)
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar (only if not using Wilton)
  • 1 kg icing sugar

1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk the warm water and meringue powder together by hand until frothy or for about 30 seconds.

2. Dump Pour icing sugar into the mixing bowl and place on mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix on the lowest setting for 10 minutes, stopping mixer early to scrape down sides once. The icing will thicken and become creamy.


This icing needs to be thinned with warm water to a piping or flood consistency. My preferred piping consistency is like toothpaste and my flood is a 14-16 count icing. What is a 14-16 count icing? Drop a blob of icing back into the bowl and count the number of seconds it takes for it to completely meld back into the icing.

Tint your icing with gel food colourings. I like to use tiny amounts of ivory and black to neutralize and soften most colours.

Icing will crust quickly when exposed to air so get it in a sealed container toot suite. Icing will keep in a sealed container at room temperature for 2 weeks. 

Oh look, some hiking.

Baden Powell

This was at the end of October. What spectacular weather we had this Fall. Here we're heading over the Eagle Bluffs on Cypress Mountain and following the Baden Powell trail down to Horseshoe Bay.

Baden Powell

This is likely covered with snow now, sigh. But almost time to strap something to my feet and slide down the side of a mountain! I'm thinking about switching to skiing this year... Hope you're excited for winter too!

xoxo Melissa


  1. Gorgeous cookies! :-)

  2. Do you know that I hate you? Not only do you sew, pattern draft, quilt, and dye cloth, you make amazing cakes and cookies? AND you snowboard? Do you sleep, ever?


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