Marbled Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies

I rarely step outside of the realm of cakes, but my office was hosting a cookie challenge and I couldn’t resist whipping something up! There is no baking blog I trust more than Sally’s Baking Addiction (every recipe she shares is MAGIC!), so I used her sugar cookie recipe as the base for these. Just like always, the recipe delivered! The cookies were soft, chewy, and most importantly they kept their shape! They didn’t spread at all, and had nice clean edges. I swapped out some of the vanilla and almond extract with maple extract to mix things up, but other than that I followed Sally’s recipe to a T.

The icing was a whole different story. I’ve never made royal icing before, so this was definitely a learn-as-you-go experience. I didn’t want to deal with a double boiler and fresh egg whites, so I decided to try a recipe by Wilton, and added some maple extract into the frosting. Making the base frosting isn’t too difficult. The hard part is getting this base to flooding consistency so you can dip the cookies into it. I found that the figure 8 test is the best way to ensure you have the right consistency (thank you Serious Eats for the tip!!!). If the figure 8 disappears in exactly 8 seconds, the icing is ready to use as a cookie glaze (more details below!).

And then there’s the design! I’d seen marbled sugar cookies on Instagram, and when I saw these beauties by Sana Sodawala (@sugarbase_) pop up on my explore page, I was totally inspired!! Below are all the recipes I used, the things I learned along the way, and a step-by-step tutorial.

Sugar Cookie Dough (adapated from Sally’s Baking Addiction)

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons maple extract
  • 2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Royal Icing (adapted from Wilton)

  • 3 tbsp meringue powder
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 5-6 Tbsp water, room temp
  • 2 tsp. maple extract
  • additional water to bring to flooding consistency (I believe I used around 4 1/2 Tbsp – but this can vary!)


Begin by making the sugar cookie dough. In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy (at least 2 minutes). Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the egg, vanilla, and maple extract and beat on high until fully combine, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.

Mix in the baking powder and salt. On a low speed, add about half of the flour, beating just until combined. Add the rest of the flour and continue mixing until the dough has just barely come together. If the dough still seems too soft, you can add 1 Tablespoon more flour until it is a better consistency for rolling.

MVI_2101_Moment (2)

Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Lightly flour the parchment paper and your rolling pin, then roll each portion out onto a piece of parchment to about 1/4″ thickness. Stack the pieces (with parchment paper) onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Chilling is what allows the cookies to keep their shape, so this step is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.

Once chilled, preheat oven to 350°F. Line 3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat (silicone baking mats work best!). The number of batches you bake will depend on how large/small you cut your cookies. Remove one of the dough sheets from the refrigerator and using a cookie cutter, cut in shapes.


Transfer the cut cookie dough to the prepared baking sheet. Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all is used. Chill the cut out shapes for another 10 minutes, then pop the trays into the oven.

Bake for 8-10 minutes (varies based on size and thickness of cookie), until the edges just begin to lightly brown. Rotate the baking sheets halfway through bake time, to ensure they’re evenly cooked. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before icing (at least 1 hour).

While the cookies cool, make the royal icing. Place confectioners’ sugar and meringue powder in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, and combine with short, slow pulses. Add in the water and maple extract, and mix on a medium speed until stiff peaks form (takes about 5 minutes). Next, add in water 1 Tbsp at a time until flooding consistency is reached. I had to add about 4 1/2 Tbsp of water, but I also think I was a bit heavy handed adding in the powdered sugar.

To test the consistency, use the Figure 8 test!! Lift up your spoon or spatula, and create a figure 8 with the run off frosting. If the figure 8 disappears in exactly 8 seconds, the icing is ready to use as a cookie glaze. If it melts away faster, thicken by adding a spoonful of powdered sugar. If it takes longer than 8 seconds to disappear, thin by adding a few drops of cream. Repeat this test, making adjustments as you go, until the figure 8 takes exactly 8 seconds to disappear.To prevent crusting, place saran wrap directly on top of the royal icing. This is very important!! If you leave the frosting exposed to air for too long, it will crust and form a chunky top layer! Be sure keep frosting covered until right before you plan to use it.

Once you’re ready to frost the cooled cookies, color 1/2 cup of the royal icing bright green, and place into a piping bag. Color another 1/2 of frosting a deep green, and place in a separate piping bag.

MVI_2108_Moment (3)

Cut the tips of both piping bags to create a small opening (1/4 of an inch). Drizzle both green frosting over the uncolored icing. Use a toothpick to drag lines through the colors to create a swirled pattern. Then dunk cookies in to the glaze, one at a time. Be sure to cover the entire surface of the cookie.

MVI_2109_Moment (2)

Allow some of the frosting to run off before carefully flipping the cookie frosting side up, and placing onto a wire rack to dry. This part can get a bit messy, so be sure to have paper towels or a hand towel nearby. After each cookie, drizzle and swirl a bit more of the green icing, to ensure every cookie is nice and colorful.

IMG_2122 (2)

Allow the cookies to dry for at least 3 hours. The frosting should be firm to the touch, but I was still too scared to stack them on top of each other!! I placed them in a large, flat box, to bring into work.

I used a variety of cookie cutters (I have a ton of cookie cutters I’ve never used, and I wanted to break them in :P), and also made some cacti, a couple cats, and mini gingerbread shaped men.


Chewy Funfetti Chocolate Chip Cookies

For a livestream with food network, I decided to make a funfetti cookie dough cake! I’ve shared my go to vanilla cake batter (which I added chocolate chips to), and my edible cookie dough recipe, but needed to share my funfetti chocolate chip cookie recipe! These cookies are soft, chewy, and oh so colorful! This recipe is a modification of Pinch of Yum’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe.

Funfetti Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough:

  • 3/4 cup melted butter (just above room temp)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 light brown sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup sprinkles
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cream together butter and both sugars, using a paddle attachment or hand mixer. Mix in the salt and vanilla on a low speed. Mix in the egg, just until combined. Add the flour in two installments, mixing on low until the dough comes together. Gently fold in chocolate chips and sprinkles with a spatula.


Allow the dough to chill in fridge for about 15 minutes. Scoop and shape 1 inch balls of cookie , and gently press onto a lined cookie sheet (I used a silicon baking mat!). Bake for roughly 12 minutes, until the edges are just beginning to brown. Remove and allow to cool for 10 minutes before transferring from baking sheet. And ENJOY!!


Nutella-Filled Cookie Cake


This cake has everything a person could want…a Nutella filling, thick, chewy cookie layers, and an ice cream cone topper!! It’s definitely an indulgent cake, but sometimes you need to treat yourself 🙂 If you’re a visual learner,  you can watch me make this cake here.

Chewy Cookie Layers:

  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar (preferably dark brown sugar)
  • 1 large egg and 1 egg yolk
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups  all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 large jar of Nutella + 1/2 cup heavy cream (filling)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line and grease two 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper. Place a 2 inch metal circle cookie cutter in the center of each of the pans. Set aside. Combine the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside. In a medium bowl, mix the melted butter and brown sugar sugar together until smooth. Whisk in the egg, vanilla, then the egg yolk. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together with a large spoon or rubber spatula. The dough will be very soft, yet thick. Fold in the chocolate chips. Evenly divide the dough between the cake pans, filling the pans around the cookie cutter while leaving the center unfilled. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until golden brown and fully cooked through.

If you don’t have metal cookie cutters, you can bake normal cookie layers, and cut out the centers once baked.

Allow both cookie layers to cool fully. While these cool, prepare the frosting.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:

  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 waffle cone (decoration)
  • sprinkles (decoration)
  • green and blue gel food coloring (optional)

Beat the butter on medium-high speed until creamy. Reduce the speed to medium-low and slowly add the vanilla and salt. Add powdered sugar, in 4 installments, until it has all been incorporated. Mix in a VERY small amount of the blue and green gel food coloring (I mean a drop at a time), until desired color is reached. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for another minute. Once you’ve made the buttercream, you can move onto the last aspect of this cake, the chocolate ganache! We’ve saved the best for last.

Chocolate Ganache:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Place the cream into a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high for about 45 seconds (until its just beginning to bubble). Gently pour chocolate chips into the cream, and let sit for two minutes. After this, stir until the mixture is fully incorporate. Place in the fridge for about 15 minutes to allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.

Once the cakes are fully cooled, assemble the cake. place a small dab of frosting onto the surface you will be using to serve the cake, to secure the cake. I always use cardboard cake centers, but this can be done on a cake stand or plate as well. Place down one cookie layer, and frost the top with buttercream. Place a cookie layer on top of this, and frost the top of the layer again. Also frost the center cut out of the cake. Cover the exterior of the cake with a thin layer of buttercream, and smooth with an offset spatula and/or cake bench. Heat up Nutella and 1/2 cup heavy cream in a heat-proof bowl for 30 seconds in the microwave. Mix until fully combined, then pour into the center of the cake, filling fully to the top.

Place in the fridge or freezer for 10 minutes to allow the frosting to set. While chilling, scoop some buttercream into the ice cream, and shape into large ball. I find doing this in stages, and putting the cone into the freezer between additions of buttercream allows me to get perfect ice cream scoop shape.

Remove from fridge/freezer, and apply a thick coat of frosting (about 1 cm). Smooth, and place in the freezer again. Once fully shaped, use a dab of buttercream to secure the cone to the cake, upside-down.

While the second layer of frosting cools, pour the room temperature ganache into a squirt bottle of some sort (I use a cheap diner-esque clear ketchup bottle from Amazon). Take the cake out of the freezer, and place the ice cream cone upside down in the center of the cake. Squirt ganache over the frosting “ice cream scoop”, and allow it run down, until the entire scoop is covered. Then squirt ganache over the entire top of the cake, leaving about an inch of frosting uncovered. Spread the ganache evenly with a smooth utensil (knife, frosting spatula, etc.), and work it out to the edges of the cake, so that the entire top of the cake is covered. Next, gently drop ganache down the edges of the cake. Start slowly, as you can always make bigger/longer drops as you go, but you can’t take back an epic stream of ganache (trust me, I’ve learned the hard way).

The finishing touch is sprinkling the ice cream cone with sprinkles of your choice.

Soft-Batch Oreo Funfetti Cookies


You can never go wrong with cookie on cookie action, and the crushed birthday cake Oreos and sprinkles in these cookies really take them to the next level. The secret to keeping them soft and chewy is a touch of cream of tartar. Sounds strange, but trust me on this one.

Cookie Dough Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter,  room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar (MUST INCLUDE!!)
  • 1/2 cup sprinkles
  • 1/2 cup crushed or finely chopped oreos (centers included!)

In a large bowl, cream the softened butter for about 1 minute on medium speed. Add the sugar on medium speed until fluffy. Mix in egg and vanilla, scraping down the sides of as needed.

Add in the salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Mix until just incorporated. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add the flour to the butter mixture 3 different parts. The dough will be quite thick. Lastly, add in 1/2 of the sprinkles above (reserving the rest for later), and the crushed oreos. Mix on low until the sprinkles/oreos are evenly distributed throughout the dough.

Scoop and roll about 3/4 inch cookie dough balls. Chill the balls of dough on lined cookie sheet for at least 2 hours ( I use silicon baking mats, but parchment would work fine too). This helps keep the cookies chewy, as it prevents them from spreading too much while baking!

Preheat oven to 350F. Bake the chilled cookie dough for about 7 minutes. The cookies will appear undone and soft, but will continue to bake and firm up while they cool on the baking sheet. I pressed a few pieces of crushed oreos onto the top to these cookies once they’d been out of the oven a few minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheets for 5 minutes, then move them to wire rack to cool completely.


Swirled Brownie Chocolate Chip Cookies


I really struggled with the name of this post. They’re basically a brookie, since they’re part brownie, part cookie. But when I hear brookie, I think of cookie cups or bars…and these beautiful swirled cookies deserved a different name! This recipe combines the two cookie batters, a decadent brownie cookie batter, and a browned butter chocolate chip cookie batter. Two balls of each dough are rolled together to create these wonderful swirled cookies. The recipe I used listed below.

Brownie Cookie Dough:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg (room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough:

  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon plain greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips

Yield: 36 cookies

First, make the browned butter cookie dough. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. The butter will begin to foam. Make sure you whisk consistently during this process (or else little bits on the bottom of the pan will burn!). After a couple of minutes, the butter will begin to brown on the bottom of the saucepan; continue to whisk and remove from heat as soon as the butter begins to brown and give off a nutty aroma. Immediately transfer the butter to a bowl to prevent burning. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.

With an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, yolk, vanilla, and yogurt until combined. Add the dry ingredients slowly and beat on low-speed just until combined. Gently fold in all of the chocolate chips. Allow dough to chill dough for 2 hours.

Next, make the brownie cookie dough. Cream the butter and sugars together with a hand or stand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom as needed. Beat in the egg and vanilla until combined, scraping down the sides as needed. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Slowly mix it into the wet ingredrients. The dough will be quite thick. With a rubber spatula, mix in the milk and then fold in the chocolate chips. Allow this dough to chill for about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line cookie sheet with silicone baking mat or parchment paper (I prefer a silicone baking mat!). Measure 2 Tablespoons of browned butter cookie dough, and roll into a ball. Take 2 Tablespoons of brownie cookie dough, and roll into a ball. Swirl the two balls together,rolling them into 1 large ball. Repeat for each cookie. The chocolate cookie dough will stick to your hands, so wash/wipe them as needed throughout the process. It is important the chocolate cookie dough is chilled, or else it will be even harder to handle.

Bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes. The cookies will be soft and barely set, but they will continue to set and bake as they cool on the baking sheet. I like to press a few more chocolate chips into the top of the cookies when they are still warm, to make them prettier.

I got tired of swirling together cookie balls towards the end of the process, and make one giant swirl cookie for fun. I use two tennis ball sized portions of dough, and baked for about 20 minutes.


These cookies last up to 10 days in an airtight container.

Giant Christmas Cookies

holiday cookie1

Happy Holidays! Now that it’s finally December, I figured it’s time to make some giant Christmas Cookies. For the cookie base, I used my favorite browned butter, chocolate chip cookie recipe. I mixed in some Christmas chocolate chips (had no ideas these existed until a week ago!), a couple handfuls of Christmas M&Ms, and snowflake and gingerbread man sprinkles, and the cookies were transformed into festive Christmas cookies!! I’m positive Santa would approve 😛

Cookie Dough Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoon plain greek yogurt
  • 1 cup Christmas chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup Christmas M&Ms
  • Holiday sprinkles (I used snowflake and gingerbread man sprinkles)
  • 6 chopped up peppermint Oreos
  • Peppermint kisses (for decoration)

Servings: 8 Giant Cookies (or 20 regular sized cookies)

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Chill Time: At least 2 hours

Bake time: 9-10 minutes

Begin by browning the butter. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, until it begins to foam. Make sure you whisk consistently during this process. After a couple of minutes, the butter will begin to brown on the bottom of the saucepan; continue to whisk and remove from heat as soon as the butter begins to brown and give off a nutty aroma. Immediately transfer the butter to a bowl to prevent burning, and let it cool.

018 021 023

With an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars. Beat in the egg, yolk, vanilla, and yogurt until combined. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt,  and beat on low-speed just until combined. Gently fold in all holiday mix-ins using a spatula. I used some Christmas colored chocolate chips, Christmas M&Ms, holiday sprinkles, chopped peppermint Oreos, and peppermint kisses 🙂 Make sure you don’t add in more than two cups of mix-ins, or else the dough will be overloaded!

025  028

Chill your dough overnight, or AT LEAST 2 hours. This allows the dough to absorb the flavor of the brown butter, and results in a chewier, thicker cookie. Trust me, don’t skip this step!!!

The following morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. For giant cookies, form cookie dough balls with about 3 tablespoons of cookie dough. Place the cookie dough balls onto a greased cookie sheet about 4 inches apart, and gently flatten the dough with your hand. Bake the cookies for 15-18 minutes, until the edges just begin to brown.

If you want to make regular sized cookies, use 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough, and place cookie dough balls 2 inches apart. Bake for 9-10 minutes.

I made a few giant cookies, and a dozen normal sized cookies.

holiday cookie 2

Let the cookies cool on a wire wrack. After they’ve been out of the oven for about 10 minutes, press a few additional chocolate chips and peppermint kisses onto the tops of the cookies. Once the cookies are fully cooled, they can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.

holiday cookie 3