Letters Written on Our Hearts

From My Art Studio to the Kitchen!
Thursday, February 1, 2024 by Cynthia L Williams


From My Art Studio to My Kitchen

by Cynthia L. Williams

For as long as I can remember, I have been a baker. As a little girl I would come home from school with the itch to bake something. I would set out whatever I decided to bake and if I didn't know if we had the ingredients or where to find them, I would call my mom at work and nonchalantly ask her questions. When mom would get home from work, there would be a chocolate cake, cupcakes, cookies, or some other sweet treat waiting for her along with a freshly brewed pot of coffee. As I grew older, my   baking itch never went away! I have always loved baking and my favorite is iced sugar cookies. Decorating these sugary treats satisfy my love of art. What can be better than tiny art pieces that can be eaten? 

This was the first recipe I came up with on my own. I have always wanted to create my own recipe. I began by trying to adapt my favorite sugar cookie into my own but every time I baked something up, it would be a total flop. The lesson here is to not give up! Eventually I came up with something that worked! Along the way, I learned a few tips that really helped with the final product, so please read through the notes at the end of the recipe before diving in.

Lemonade Sugar Cookies     

1 c. Butter *     

1 c. Confectioners’ sugar

1/2 c. Brown sugar

2 Tbs. Lemon juice 

1 Tbs. Lemon zest

1 tsp. Vanilla extract

1 tsp. Lemon extract

1 Egg

3 c. All-purpose flour

2 tsp. Baking powder

1/2 tsp. Salt

1 batch of royal icing  


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Cream together butter and sugar until just combined and crumbly-don’t overmix.

Add in lemon juice and lemon zest and mix until combined.

Add in extracts and egg and mix until combined.

Add in flour, baking powder and salt and mix until everything is combined.

Dump dough onto a well-floured surface**.  I use a fine mesh tea strainer filled with flour to dust flour over the dough as needed. If the dough sticks to the rolling pin, I again dust the dough with flour.

Roll dough out to about 1/4" thickness. I use rolling pin measuring rings so I am sure the thickness of the dough is consistent. Use cookie cutters that have been dipped in flour to cut out your cookies. Place cookies on a baking sheet***lined with parchment paper about an inch or so apart. 

Bake for 8-10 minutes. Mine usually took about 9 minutes and I like to pull them out when the edges are just turning brown or slightly earlier. Take pan out of the oven and let cookies cool on the pan for a couple of minutes before transferring the to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. This is important otherwise the cookies can tear easily. I like to wait a day or two before icing them. 

*If butter is too soft, the cookies will spread out when they bake. This was a lesson that took many trials before I realized what the problem was. 

**When I was making this recipe, my kitchen was very warm. I divided the dough into two balls and wrapped one on plastic wrap and placed it in the fridge to keep it from getting too warm. (If you refrigerate the dough, take it out of the fridge and let it stand out on the counter to take the chill off before rolling it out)

***I like to cut out as many cookies as I can in the rolled out dough. Then I start to remove the scrap pieces to  expose the cookie shapes. I use a thin spatula dusted with flour to transfer my cookies from the floured surface to the cookie sheet. It's easy to want to get in a rhythm and move quickly, but sugar cookie dough is delicate and seems to work better when I am slow and deliberate!


Questions? Email me [email protected]

To learn more about making these bow cookies, go to: lilaloa.


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