Baking Frosted Sugar Cookies for Christmas with Tracey Rapisardi

As the year closes, Tracey Rapisardi of Tracey Rapisardi Style and I fit in one last collaboration for you. We hope you enjoy it!

It was a sweet treat to work with such a talent in styling and photography (not to mention Interior Design). The real gift was to sit and spend time with Tracey, warm up with a steaming cup of sweetened green tea, and to create this fanciful gathering which we would then come to share with you.

cookies and ingredients

Another special gift this season came to me in my very own kitchen. I have actually, finally, figured out how to mix Royal Icing – the kind that hardens – from scratch. You know…the kind you see on snowmen cookies at Starbucks or at the cash wrap in Whole Foods around holiday time. If you know me, you probably know I have been experimenting with this tasty confection for some time (remember my Failure Happens post?)

Icing Decorates Cookies

Once I figured out the recipe, I admittedly went a little overboard. I bought a junk drawer load of pastry bag tips, used for decorating and writing with icing, and a few extra sets of couplers, which are used to secure the tip of choice to a pastry bag. Using all the tools I picked up, I created white, pink, green and blue shades in both outlining and flooding consistencies. Then I set up a Decor Station, which included icing, sugars, sprinkles, nonpareils, pearls, candy snowflakes and more, each in their own ramekin.

Icing on Sugar Cookies

Lots of fun work and experimentation led to a strong sense of accomplishment. (My newfound success was inspired by a video tutorial, Royal Icing Wet on Wet Technique, by Simply Sweets by Honeybee. Her steady hand and the quick, easy strokes she takes with the icing is a true art.)

Green Sugar Decoration

While the icing was still wet, sanding sugars in different colors and sizes are sprinkled over top. Immediately shake off any excess and place your decorated cookie on a flat surface to dry.

Letters Gift Tags and Star Sugar Cookies

Trick: Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper before using sanding sugars or embellishments. Place a cooling rack on top and sprinkle away. You can then funnel that special fallen sugar back into the jar for later use. Happy baker, padded wallet for more ingredients.

Delicate Cookies with Royal Icing

I had a blast creating different patterns and textures on tag cookies, letters, stars and snowflakes. The possibilities are endless!

Sugar Cookie Success

This snowflake is my favorite because of the warm and fuzzy, wintery feelings it evokes.

Royal Icing and Decorated Cookies

Glam Your Sugar Cookies

Don’t you just love Tracey’s use of colors and patterns? I bet those lollipops are as much of a delight to taste as they are to look at.

Area to Decorate Cookies

McLean Sugar Cookies

It is snowing in sunny Florida! Is it snowing where you live, too? 🙂

Decorated Sugar Cookies

The holiday tunes on the radio turned my afternoon with Tracey into a real party. Wait until you see what she did with the decorated cookies, and don’t forget to sign up for email updates on her blog!

Whether they arrive via visits with close friends, within personal achievements of any size, or under your tree, I hope you receive the gifts you have been wishing for this Christmas.

Petite Treats from Starbucks

So, I went to one of my offices the other day (Starbucks, Midtown Plaza). I am surprised they’ve never thrown me out because I am there all. the. time. But, I find great focus there; I feel creative and energetic all while sipping my fave drinks made by some of the best barristas in Florida. I have even met a few very nice people who are happy to share a business story, a conversation or their favorite places to frequent in town.

That particular day, Starbucks was hosting a giveaway (how generous!) of the adorable, fanciful “Petites,” as they are called. They are new. And delightful to look at. And inexpensive. And, believe me when I tell you, I was more than excited to sample them.

I will let you in on a little, itty-bitty secret. They let me sample TWO! Here they are:

Birthday Cake Pop

Red Velvet Whoopie Pie




The Birthday Cake Pop was pink, so of course I had to try it. The outside is a chocolate dip with white sprinkles and the inside is a dense vanilla cake. I first heard about cake pops on (love you Bakerella!) Seeing the pictures (which are really awesome) and reading the blog (such innovative baking techniques) is not quite like tasting the actual treat. It was sinfully delicious…

It was really nice to sample two, especially since these Petites are all very cute looking and tremendously tempting. The Red Velvet Whoopie Pie, which you have witnessed went by in three mouth-watering bites, was sugary, chocolaty and creamy all at once. The small red velvet cakes sandwich a dollop of cream cheese that is smooth and satisfying. YUM!

Now I am thinking I must hit the gym…Although it was totally worth it!

Thanks Starbucks Midtown!!