Category Archives: Cookies

Tiaras and Stars Birthday Cookies

Tiara and Star Sugar Cookies  | Lil Miss Cakes

I was asked to make some birthday cookies for a first birthday.  The colors of the party were pink and gold.  Talya’s mom asked for pink tiaras with gold accents and gold stars with pink accents.  When she received the cookies, she was even more excited about the cookies than she expected!

Pink and Gold Tiara Cookies | Lil Miss Cakes

I baked some tiara cookies using my favorite sugar cookie recipe that you can find here and here.  I used my favorite tiara shaped cutter that I once got as a birthday gift!  Once baked, I piped the tiara cookies with pink royal icing.  Once dry, I used yellow royal icing for the details.  Once the yellow was dry, I painted over all the yellow with gold pearl dust mixed with some vodka.

Stenciled Star Sugar Cookies | Lil Miss Cakes

I had a clear vision of what I wanted these cookies to look like and they look just as I imagined!  I baked a simple star shape and then iced them with yellow royal icing.  Once dry, I airbrushed the star cookies with gold airbrush color.  Then I used a star stencil that I designed and 3D printed.  Working one cookie at a time, I placed the stencil over the star cookie and airbrushed it with bronze airbrush color.  I carefully lifted the stencil off and had an amazing starry effect!  I didn’t want to cover it up, but the cookies needed a number 1! So I piped the 1’s on in pink and they looked perfect!  Happy birthday Talya!

Elegant Hanukkah Cookies

Elegant Hanukkah Cookies | Lil Miss Cakes

The first time I ever ever made this sugar cookie recipe I was small, and made them with my mom for Hanukkah.  This cookie recipe is a holiday family tradition!  But every year I like to design new ways to use this perfect cookie dough.  A few years ago I made stenciled cookies that came out cute, but the colors were much darker than I intended.  My favorite design to date is my standing menorah made from cutters that I designed!

Menorah Hanukkah Cookies | Lil Miss Cakes

I wanted to make some elegant Hanukkah cookies so I chose a simple color palette of blue, white, and silver.  I used some cute shaped cutters to cut out these shapes.  This small plaque cutter is actually available in my shop.  I iced these cookies with white royal icing, and then swirled in some silver airbrush color to give them a marbleized look.  I used an amazing tutorial from Amber of SweetAmbs which you can see here!  Once the cookies dried overnight, I piped simple menorahs on top.

Happy Hanukkah Cookies | Lil Miss Cakes

These cookies gave me a hard time.  I had an idea that just flopped, twice.  I covered the cookies with light blue royal icing, that was easy.  I had an idea that I saw in the latest  issue of JCreate Magazine to use silver and stamp out the dreidel shape.  I could not get it to look good in edible form!  So I needed a new idea fast.  I decided to stencil these cookies using silver airbrush color.  The only problem was that  I had no stencil!  So I designed one and had my husband print it out using our 3D printer.  It is the best gadget we have ever gotten; we keep coming up with new uses for it!  Once my herringbone stencil was printed, I airbrushed the cookies.  My next idea was to pipe some dreidels, but every design I tried just looked gross.  I was starting to get frustrated.  Then I remembered that I had a “Happy Hanukkah” stencil and tried that.  Now my simple and elegant cookies were actually simple and elegant!  Happy Hanukkah!  Here are some great holiday recipes from some of my best blogging buddies!

Thanksgiving Cookie Platter

Turkey Cookie Platter

I wanted to share this cookie platter with you on Thanksgiving day, but I got pretty busy so I will have to settle for Thanksgiving weekend!  I had made these Turkey Cookies a few weeks ago and I loved them.  Then I got an order for 2 cookie platters, one for 50 cookies and another for 35 cookies.  The turkey cookies were cute, but since they are made up of 2 cookies, they are much more work.  I thought this platter inspired by one of my favorite cookiers, Sweet Sugarbelle, would be the perfect sweet treat for the holiday.

Thanksgiving Turkey Cookie Platter | Lil Miss Cakes

I designed a feather cookie set to make three sizes of feather cookies.  I baked lots of feather cookies using my favorite recipe (with the baking powder reduced to 1 1/2 tsp.)  I decorated the feathers using 3 different colors.  The most feather cookies were made brown by mixing royal icing with Americolor gel paste in chocolate brown and a bit of super black.  To make the burnt orange color I used orange gel with a touch of warm or chocolate brown.  And the ivory feathers were made by adding just a drop of ivory gel color to the royal icing.

Scared Turkeys | Lil Miss Cakes

The other turkey cookies I designed were cute but they were not so cartoonish.  I really like how these instagrammed turkeys have giant heads and tiny bodies!  The faces were inspired by the Bearfoot Baker, although I did not make royal icing transfers.  Instead I piped everything directly on the cookies.  For the cener of the eyes I used the dark chocolate brown that I already had on hand.  You can purchase the cutter set I designed to make your own platter here!

Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies {recipe}

Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies | Lil Miss Cakes

This recipe happened by accident. I was trying to make my favorite chocolate chip cookies for my sisters birthday.  They happen to be her favorite too.  The recipe calls for a package of vanilla pudding mix.  I started putting the recipe together and went to the pantry to grab a pudding mix from my stash…my empty stash!  I was all out of vanilla-my options were lemon or pumpkin spice pudding mix.  If I were baking for my mom, I would have grabbed lemon.  My sister is not a lemon fan though, so I went for the pumpkin and hoped for the best.

Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies Close Up | Lil Miss Cakes

Yum!  They taste like my soft chocolate chip cookies, but with a hint of pumpkin spice.  It’s nice for once to not be overwhelmed by pumpkin especially this time of year.  Even I need a break.  And I’ve posted pumpkin a lot! See pumpkin cinnamon buns, pumpkin spice pudding cookies, pumpkin doughnuts, pumpkin doughnut holes, and pumpkin snickerdoodles (my first ever post-I’ve come a long way).  Anyway, these cookies were gone so quickly!  My sister was so happy and had a great birthday weekend, thanks to this dairy-free cookie recipe.

Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies {recipe}
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3 dozen
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) margarine
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp, vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2¼ cups flour
  • 1 package pumpkin spice pudding mix
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In the bowl on an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the margarine with the sugars and vanilla extract until smooth.
  4. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and mix until combined.
  5. Mix in the flour, pudding mix, baking soda, and salt, and mix until combined.
  6. Add in the chocolate chips and mix just until combined, trying not to break up the chips.
  7. Using a 1½ Tbs. size cookie scoop or spoon, scoop cookie dough onto parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 8-11 minutes until edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on baking sheet to firm up a bit. Enjoy!

Thanksgiving Turkey Cookies

Thanksgiving Turkey Sugar Cookies | Lil Miss Cakes

Hi I’m Melissa, and I’m bad at icing sugar cookies.  Okay, I can get my royal icing to the proper consistency, I can color the icing to every color in the rainbow.  But I can’t look at a blank cookie and create a cute, fancy, intricate design.  I have spent years dabbling with royal iced sugar cookies and I have gotten the basics down!  I finally realized that I need to be esigning cookies my own way.  I can decorate a simple design really well.  So I deconstructed the turkey and created 2 simple designs.  The feather cookie is a simple design, and the turkey cookie is simple as well.  When they get stacked together…tada! Here’s a breakdown of how I made these.

Turkey Royal Icing Cookies

I was going for an orange brown color for the turkey, I guess I ended up with a pumpkin pie color, but I  like it!

Adding royal icing feathered wings

This is the exact color I envisioned for the feathered wings.  I used Sweet Sugarbelle’s color tutorial on these cookies, it was so helpful!  I had a few ideas for the look of the feathered wings so I tried them all.  I definitely don’t love how all these styles look, but I was playing around.

Turkey Cookies Coming Along

I added white eyes, a dark brown center iris, and yellow beak and feet.  I used the tutorial from the Bearfoot Baker to make the uneven crazy eyes.  I didn’t make royal icing transfers because these cookies were pretty small, but I used the same idea.  I had a few ideas for the look of the turkey feet as you can see here, but in the end I only liked one of the choices.

2 part turkey cookie

I forgot to take a separate picture, but added the red hanging thing to the turkey beak (did you know it’s called a snood?  I did not).  I also decorated the feather cookie extremely simply, kind of looks like a peacock.  Here you can see the cookie cutters I designed to cut these cookies.  I have had this cookie idea for a while, but I am not a fan of cutting cookies by hand.  With this cutter set, it makes cookie making much more fun!  You can buy the cutter set here.

Stacked Turkey Cookies

Gobble gobble.

How To Decorate 3D Menorah Cookies {Video}

3D Menorah Cookie

I hope you get really creative when decorating the 3D menorah cookies I designed.  Get the kids involved, they will absolutely love decorating their own cookies and truly enjoy standing them up!  Here’s a simple way I decorated my cookies…I made you a little video!

For a picture tutorial and my sugar cookie recipe, go here.
Head to my shop for the cookie cutter I designed for this project.

Standing Menorah Cookie {Tutorial}

3D Menorah Cookie

I’m so excited to share all my tips and tricks for creating perfectly rolled sugar cookies. All these tips will help to create these super cute menorah cookies that stand on their own! This is the method I use to roll out all my shaped sugar cookies.  Rolling out the dough my way takes a little more time, but each shape will be exactly perfect, the days of crooked cookies are over!  I definitely recommend using my recipe (which can be found at the bottom of this post) since that is the only recipe I have ever used; it’s tried and true.  But if you have a favorite recipe, go for it!  My method will still help create perfect shapes.

Floured parchment paper

Cut a piece of parchment paper about the size of your baking/cookie sheet.  Place your parchment paper on your work space and lightly dust with flour.  You want your dough to stick a bit to the parchment paper!Cookie dough dusted with flour

Place a round piece of dough on the lightly dusted piece of parchment paper and dust with flour.  Using a rolling pin, roll out your dough making sure you do not roll over the edges.Rolling out sugar cookie dough

Rolling out cookie dough

Do not lift your dough off the parchment paper!  Turn your whole piece of parchment paper 90 degrees and continue rolling out your dough.  Turn your dough 90 degrees again and continue until your dough is your favorite thickness.

Tips for rolling out cookie dough

To make the standing menorah cookies, your dough needs to be 1/4 inch thick or less.  If it is too thick, the pieces will not fit together.  The menorah cutter can be found here.Measuring your rolled out dough

Once the dough is rolled out, dip your cutter in flour, shake it off and press your cutter into the dough; pressing down firmly.  Lift the cutter off of the dough, slightly jiggling if the dough is stuck.  If the dough lifts off with the cutter, place your shape back into place.Cutting out sugar cookies

Continue cutting your shapes out, making sure not to cut too closely or the cookies may bake and stick together.Cookie spacing is important

Once your cookies are all cut, carefully remove the excess dough from around each cookie. Be careful not to disturb the shapes of the cookies.  The cookies should be sticking slightly to the parchment paper which helps in keeping their shapes.Remove excess cookie dough

Carefully remove the excess dough

When all the dough is removed, lift the whole piece of parchment paper and place on your baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees F for exactly 8 minutes (if you are using my recipe).  If using your own recipe, follow the baking time listed.Cool baked cookies on wire rack

Once the cookies are baked, they should be slightly puffed and light brown on the bottom and edges.  Remove the cookies from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack before removing them from the parchment paper.  Once cooled, your cookies should be exactly the shape you intended!  To assemble the standing menorahs, simple fit the slot in the base cookie into the slot of the menorah cookie and stand!

Troubleshooting:

  • If the cookie base doesn’t fit into the menorah you may have baked your cookies too thick.  Simply use your finger to press down the cookie in the spots where the cookies fit together.  Make sure to do this when the cookies are slightly warm so the cookies don’t crack.Pressing down puffy cookies
  • If the cookie base doesn’t fit into the menorah, the slots may have moved too close together.  Use a sharp knife (I like using an xacto knife) and trim the slots slightly larger.Trimming cookies
  • If your cookies are too thin, they may not stand up so well.  Simply add some frosting or royal icing to help attach the base cookie to the menorah.  The cookies should have a lot more stability this way.  Adding some frosting or icing also helps if you are planning to travel with the cookies. Filling the gap
  • I like my sugar cookies puffy and fluffy and that is how my cookies bake up.  If you are decorating them with royal icing and need the cookies to be completely flat, bake as usual.  Once they come out of the oven, wait one minute, then place a clean piece of parchment paper over the top of the hot cookies and place a second cookie sheet directly on top of the cookies.  You want the flat bottom of the baking pan pressing down the tops of the cookies.  Allow the cookies to cool like this.  Once the cookies are cool, they will be completely flat but they will still have kept their shape and they will still taste perfect!  Here’s my simple, favorite, dairy-free cut-out sugar cookie recipe:

Perfect Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 5 cups flour
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 6 Tbs. orange juice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, beat the shortening, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy.
  3. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
  4. Add in the flour, baking powder, and salt all at once and combine.
  5. With the mixer running at low speed slowly add in the orange juice.
  6. If the dough is very sticky, refrigerate before trying to roll out.
  7. When ready, roll the dough on a floured surface so the dough doesn't stick. You can also roll the dough directly on a sheet of parchment paper. The dough can be rolled thinner to create a crunchy cookie or thicker for a soft and chewy cookie.
  8. Cut shapes out using your favorite cookie cutter.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees F for exactly 8 minutes until just barely light brown at the edges.
  10. Cool on wire rack.

Check here to purchase my custom cutter!
Want to learn how to decorate your menorah cookies? Check out my video tutorial here!

Pumpkin Spice Pudding Cookies {recipe}

Pumpkin Spice Pudding Cookies

It’s pumpkin season!  I love pumpkin desserts, as you can probably tell from these recipe for pumpkin snickerdoodles, pumpkin doughnuts with marshmallow and graham cracker glaze, pumpkin doughnut holes, and pumpkin cinnamon buns with maple glaze.  When I spotted pumpkin spice pudding mix at the supermarket, I scooped it up with a few ideas in mind.

Pumpkin Spice Pudding Mix

If you see this pudding mix, pick some up! It’s a seasonal release and won’t be around for long!  I have no intentions of actually using this as pudding because after the success I’ve had using pudding mix in my favorite chocolate chip cookies, I knew I needed to make a pumpkin spice version.  I wanted to keep these cookies simple, I didn’t want to add chocolate chips to the mix because I think it would be too many competing flavors.

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

After mixing up a sugar cookie dough, I rolled the cookie dough into 2 tsp. sized balls and then rolled them in cinnamon sugar.  I tried using pumpkin pie spice mixed with sugar, but the flavor was too subtle after baking.  This recipe is so easy and bakes up perfectly. The cookies puff in the oven and then slightly settle after cooling.  They are soft, spiced, and perfectly orange in color.  These cookies have all the flavor you expect in a pumpkin treat without actually using any pumpkin; kinda cool.  Here’s the dairy free, margarine free recipe!  They freeze well too!

Pumpkin Spice Pudding Cookies
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5 dozen
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup oil
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2½ cups flour
  • 1 pkg. pumpkin spice pudding mix
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup sugar+1 Tbs. cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix the oil and sugar until combined.
  3. Add in the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.
  4. Add in the flour, pudding mix, baking soda, and salt and mix slowly until combined.
  5. In a small bowl mix the ¼ cup sugar with 1 Tbs. cinnamon.
  6. Scoop the cookie dough using a 2 tsp. sized cookie scoop and roll into a ball.
  7. Roll the ball in cinnamon sugar mixture and place on parchment lined cookie sheet.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes until the cookies are puffed and slightly cracked.
  9. Cool on wire rack.
  10. Cookies freeze well!

Smoked Chocolate Chip Cookies

Smoked Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have a confession to make.  I don’t challenge myself enough in the kitchen.  I love experimenting, but with two young kids around, I just don’t want my kitchen adventures to fail.  I don’t have a lot of time to waste!  and while I love participating in the Kosher Connection link-up (a group of bloggers that share a recipe each month with the same theme), I often find myself skipping them.  Sometimes I run out of time, but mostly, the theme is too hard!  This month’s theme is smoked or smoky food.  I was determined to share a smoked or smoky dessert!

Smoky Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have never come across a smoked dessert before.  The first thing that came to mind was smoked salt.  I could make chocolate chip cookies with smoked sea salt.  My problem was, I don’t have any smoked salt.  I did a little research and discovered that it’s actually quite pricey, but I could make my own with some wood chips on the grill.  Perfect, except I don’t have any wood chips handy either.  It would be so much fun for me to experiment with smoking salt, but again, I don’t have time to run around searching for ingredients and other supplies.  I needed a more accessible recipe, with easy to find ingredients.  After lots of internet browsing I came across a comment somewhere that recommended adding liquid smoke to your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe.  I knew I had to try it!  Liquid smoke is easy to find; I have seen it countless times and was always tempted to buy it, but never knew what I would do with it.  This was my chance!

Liquid Smoke Chocolate Chip Cookies

I decided to use oil instead of margarine in this recipe because I know a lot of people prefer to bake with oil over margarine and I wanted to keep these cookies dairy free.  I bought a hickory flavored liquid smoke and replaced some of the vanilla extract with it. It’s extremely concentrated, a little bit goes a long way!  These cookies are a perfect dessert for a summer barbecue and that’s exciting because most desserts associated with barbecue are smores and fruit.  It’s fun to mix it up and offer something new.  The smokiness in these cookies really compliment the sweetness of the chocolate chips.  I love the intensity and rich background flavor the liquid smoke offers.  These are definitely not your average chocolate chip cookie!

Smoked Chocolate Chip Cookies
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3 dozen
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup oil
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2¼ cup flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¾ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¾ tsp. liquid smoke
  • 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  3. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the oil with the sugar and brown sugar until combined.
  4. Add the eggs and mix to combine.
  5. Add in the flour, baking powder, salt, vanilla, and liquid smoke and mix to form cookie dough.
  6. Add in the chocolate chips and stir to combine. The dough will seem greasy, and the chips may be difficult to incorporate, but that is ok!
  7. Chill in the fridge for about half an hour just to firm up the cookie dough.
  8. Scoop the dough using a large cookie scoop or a tablespoon into the parchment lined cookie sheets.
  9. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the edges are slightly brown.
  10. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks.

Here are some more fun smoky recipes to try!

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love bananas, but I often find myself with overripe ones.  I usually peel them and stash them in a ziplock in the freezer for smoothies.  But how many frozen bananas do I need to keep on hand?!  So I am always on the hunt for desserts using bananas.  I’ve shared my recipe for strawberry banana crumb cake, banana muffin top cookies, and even a Passover banana muffin.  But I needed more!  So I’m sharing this recipe for peanut butter banana chocolate chip cookies.

peanut butter banana chocolate chip cookies

The original recipe from Mommy Matter was for a peanut butter banana cookies; adding chocolate chips just seemed obvious to me!  The cookies don’t spread all that much so I suggest pressing them down with the tines of a fork just like a classic peanut butter cookie before baking. My version freezes really well and is dairy free.

Sleeping Then Eating Cookies

I was able to make these cookies when my son Charlie took an unexpected nap.  When he woke up, Charlie got to snack on fresh cookies!  He was really happy with these cookies, he didn’t stop at just one!

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 dozen
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup (1 stick) margarine
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 banana
  • 1 egg
  • 1¾ cups flour
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 12 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 Tbs. vanilla
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  3. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the margarine with the brown sugar and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the peanut butter and banana and beat until smooth.
  5. Add in the egg and beat until smooth.
  6. Add in the flour, baking soda, salt, and vanilla and mix on low until the dough forms.
  7. Add in the chocolate chips and mix until chips are incorporated.
  8. Scoop cookies onto parchment lined cookie sheet using a medium sized cookie scoop. Press the top of each cookie in two directions with a fork to slightly flatten.
  9. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the edges are slightly golden brown.
  10. Cool on wire rack and enjoy!