May the Fourth be With You Sugar Cookies

I went red a few months back and I couldn’t be more happier. I am no stranger to trying new things when it comes to my hair. I’ve been purple, pink, blonde, brunette…I even did the “Jennifer Lawrence” before Jennifer Lawrence. But I feel red suits me the best.  I mean…come on…all the best people are ginger nowadays. Take Ron “Won Won” Weasley, for example. He is easily the best character in all of Harry Potter. And what about the Doctor…he is always wishing that his new regeneration be a ginger, but alas Peter Capaldi is no redhead. And I am convinced that even Princess Leia has a hint of red in those auburn buns of hers.

Speaking of….today is a very special day. It just so happens to be May the Fourth…as in May the Fourth be With You.

So for all of you Star Was fans out there, I made cookies…

May the Fourth be With You

Now I am a complete cookie decorating novice, so I went to the web to research a few things. First, I used the loyal and trusted Royal Icing recipe found on Sweetopia. To be honest, I always end up thinning out my icing with a few more tablespoons of warm water to make it more pliable and easier to work with.

May the Fourth be With You

Second, I read her tutorial on how to use a Kopykake projector. I recently purchased one to help me become a better decorator. Because I am left-handed, it is difficult for me to really freehand any images onto my cakes or cookies, so the the Kopykake basically does the work for me. It projects an image onto a surface below, without much heat, so that I can trace or copy the image onto my cakes or cookies.

May the Fourth be With You

Finally, I had really never worked with black icing before, so I made sure I found the black food coloring to icing ratio that I wanted to ensure that my icing would be black, instead of a dark grey. I found that if you take about a tablespoon of black food coloring to 1/3 cup of icing, then that would give you a nice, black color without the yucky taste of food coloring.

May the Fourth be With You

In addition to it being May the Fourth, this weekend also happened to be Free Comic Book Day, and the 16th anniversary of the battle at Hogwarts. Ahhhh…..a geeky girl’s dream. Happy May the Fourth, you guys!

May the Fourth be With You

Sugar Cookie Recipe

Royal Icing Recipe

No-Better-Way-to-Say-I-Love-You Cookies


I have been on a bit of a cookie kick lately, but I just can’t seem to help myself.

It is like my New Years cookies sparked a whole new world filled with different flavors, icings, and add-ins.

And with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I just couldn’t wait to come up with something new to show you guys how much you are loved.

The Hubs and I don’t really partake in the whole Valentine’s Day celebration. We might give each other a card. Maybe go out to dinner. Say a million I-love-you’s throughout the day, but that’s pretty much normal, every day life for us. But this year, I plan on making him dinner{with meat..I am a vegetarian} and I have hinted around that I would love to be wearing this as a little token of his affection.


It is the Mickey Mouse Birthstone Bangle by Alex and Ani and I am quite enamored. I am so obsessed, that I actually want the red July birthstone instead of my pink June birthstone because it looks way more Disney to me. Don’tcha think? #totaldizgeek


I think my favorite part about these cookies was how easy they were to put together. No, seriously. I plan on writing up a tutorial post on all the how-tos of these cookies, but for now, I will break it down to the bare essentials.

To begin with, I used my basic sugar cookie recipe to create my valentine cookies. The Hubs had bought me an adjustable rolling pin {see below}a few weeks back and it is truly one of my very favorite tools in my kitchen. Not only does it help in making sure my cookies are all the same width, but because of that, they bake more evenly. I like my cookies on the thin side, so I used the 1/16 disc to roll out my dough, but it also comes with 1/6, 1/4, and 3/8-inch removable discs as well.


Once baked and cooled, I came up with a faux royal icing to “glue” on my fondant. Just spread a small amount onto the cookies and then carefully lay your fondant on top. It takes only a few minutes to make, but is much easier to decorate with and tastes great. Simply mix all the ingredients together in your stand mixer bowl. Fast. Easy. And it doesn’t dry out like real royal icing.

I had decided to use a homemade marshmallow fondant recipe I found, rather than spending up to $20 on store bought fondant. I don’t necessary like the taste of store bought fondant and in my opinion, it doesn’t last as long. Homemade fondant is fluffy, sweet, and stays soft on top of your cookies. Like a little marshamllow-y cloud of goodness.

To create the fondant patterns, I used the following mold below. They are really easy to use. Just dust the mold with confectioners sugar and carefully roll a small amount of fondant onto the desired design until thin and then peel away the excess. I also used a small fondant tool to smooth out my edges as well.


I promise the hardest thing about these cookies was taking photos of them. We are in the midst of a “snow storm” here in the south and everything is so dark and dreary. Sounds like the perfect opportunity for a hot cuppa and a good book.

No-Better-Way-to-Say-I-Love-You Cookies

 Recipes and Resources

Basic Sugar Cookie Recipe

Marshmallow Fondant

Faux Royal Icing:

2 cups confectioners sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

8 tablespoons heavy cream

*You can add more cream for a thinner icing or use less if you like a thicker icing.

Champagne-Frosted New Years Cookies

Champagne Frosted New Years Cookies

I have always said that New Years Eve is my least favorite holiday.

The champagne, the staying-up-late, and the New Years resolutions just don’t appeal to me. Like at all.

Whether it is a sip or a glass of champagne, my body totally does a 180° and yells at me the next morning. I mean, I am not a crazy drinker to begin with, but there definitely is something in the champagne that makes me feel like I am going to die a slow, painful death the next morning.

As for staying up late, I am more of the early to bed, early to rise kinda girl. I hate to waste daylight hours on sleeping in when I could be whipping up a new recipe for you guys or holding a Harry Potter marathon in my living room. ;)

To me, New Years resolutions are just, plain silly. If I have something I want to accomplish or overcome, then why wait until the new year to set my goal. I started a new goal to lose a few lbs. in the middle of the holiday season this year. I know, crazy, right? But it taught me to watch what I ate during the worst possible time of the year. And you know what? I have lost 12 lbs.

So to brighten my outlook on New Years Even, I made cookies.

Champagne Frosted New Years Cookies

I have to admit, these champs cookies were a total last minute. I had purchased the champagne glass cookie cutter a few days after Christmas on Amazon and never dreamed that it would get here in time. But of course, Amazon proved me wrong and it arrived early yesterday. So I whipped up a batch of sugar cookies and got to frosting.

Champagne Frosted New Years Cookies

When it comes to royal icing, my go-to recipe is from Sweetopia. Not only does she provide the most amazing royal icing recipe from Antonia74{}, but she also gives some great tips and helpful hints.

Champagne Frosted New Years Cookies

To give it some champagne flavor without the actual champagne, I added a few drops of champagne flavoring oil to the icing. A little bit goes a long way… Adding too much can overpower the cookie and you definitely don’t want that. Cuz these are good..#nomnomnomnom

Champagne Frosted New Years Cookies

I used a small brush and some yellow sugar crystals to mimic the bubbles in champagne. I started at the top and worked my way down, making a stamping motion with my brush. I also added this brittle, transparent sugar glass to make the stem of the champagne glass look more realistic.

Champagne Frosted New Years CookiesI hope you have the happiest of New Years filled with joy, love, and cookies…


Champagne-Frosted New Years Cookies

Yield: 4-5 dozen

Recipe by Carrie


  • 1 cup {2 sticks} unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Champagne flavoring oil {add just a few drops to your royal icing}
  • Royal Icing


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line cookie sheet with silapat or parchment paper.
  2. In your stand mixer bowl, combine butter and sugar; mix well.
  3. Add egg, almond extract, and vanilla extract; mix well.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cream of tartar, and baking soda.
  5. Add dry ingredients to your stand mixer bowl.
  6. Chill dough for 1-2 hours.
  7. Take small portions at a time to roll out and cut.
  8. Bake for 5-7 minutes; watch carefully, as these can burn easily.
  9. One completely cooled, frost cookies accordingly.
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Impromptu Sabbatical and Christmas Cookies

Over the past year or so, I have made an effort to post at least once a week. And for the most part, I have been successful.

However, this year’s Christmas season has totally taken over my life. No kidding.

I am talking hosting Christmas parties. Baking Christmas cookies. Wrapping Christmas presents. Even, singing Christmas carols. {Ok, so that last one was totally just in my kitchen, but still…}

And because of my severe Christmas obsession, I have neglected you. And I am sorry.

But today is Christmas and Christmas is all about love, forgiveness, and cheer. Amiright?

So Happy Christmas! I made you cookies!

Christmas cookies

When I was a little girl, I would watch my Mom bake in the kitchen for days during the holiday season. She would make all kinds of Christmas cookies. Ginger cookies for my brother. Chocolate peanut butter for my Dad. But my favorite were her sugar cookies. She would make a big batch just for me. She would roll them out very thin, cut them out into Christmas trees, stars, stockings, and candy canes, and then my brother and I would frost them.

She would make her own icing too. Mom would whip up several bowls and color them red, yellow, green, and white. We would have sprinkles and colored sugars to decorate on top. And the rule in our house was that if you broke the cookie while frosting it, then you had to eat it. You guys can see where this is going, right? By the time my brother and I were done decorating the cookies, we both had tummy aches due to large amounts of “broken” cookies.” We were so clumsy.. *wink wink*

Christmas cookiesThese cookies are known in my family as bird’s nest cookies. My mom says they are my Mama’s{my grandmother’s} mother’s recipe. The same woman that I am named after, so you know they have got to be good. ;) The thing is, these cookies aren’t just for Christmas. You could whip up a batch of these cookies any ol’ day of the year. They have only a few ingredients and are incredible easy to make.

Christmas cookiesOnce you’ve got the dough mixed up, roll about a tablespoon of dough into a circle. Then give it a good egg wash and roll it in crushed pecans. When I do this, I roll out all my dough balls first, and then move on to the egg wash and pecan step. This prevents a big mess to clean up later. I also make sure that my egg wash is good and frothy. I keep a fork handy if I have to whip it up in between cookies.

Christmas cookiesTo make the indentations for the nests, I used a small measuring spoon, but you could use the end of a wooden spoon too. You have to do this a few times while they bake to make them stick.

Christmas cookiesAfter the cookies have cooled for a minute or two , fill them with your favorite jam, jelly, or fruit spread. You can even fill them with Nutella. I choose to fill half of them with Nutella and the other half with the French black raspberry fruit spread above I received for Christmas.

Christmas cookies

From my kitchen to yours, I wish you the merriest of Christmases and the happiest of holidays!

Bird's Nest Cookies

Yield: 1-1/2 dozen

Recipe by Carrie


  • 1/2 cup {1 stick}unsalted butter
  • 1 egg yolk - save egg white in separate bowl
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Cream butter and sugar in your stand mixer bowl.
  3. Add slightly beaten egg yolk.
  4. Add flour until dough forms.
  5. Roll into balls and dip into hand beaten egg white {just beat with a fork until frothy} and roll in finely chopped pecans.
  6. Make an indentation in the center and bake for 8 minutes.
  7. Remove and press centers in again and bake another 10 minutes.
  8. Remove them and indent one more time and fill with your favorite jelly.
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Oatmeal Pumpkin Spice Cookies

I have been spending all my free time lately catching up on Breaking Bad. I was never a fan when it was on because, well,  I am not a big T.V. person. But all the hubbub about the season finale a few weeks back caught my eye and I have been watching it on Netflix ever since. I mean, it is ridiculous. The other night I stayed up until midnight with an early wake up time of 5 am just to make sure if Hank, one of the characters, survived. Like I said, total crazy obsessed.

If you have never seen the show, it is about a high school chemistry teacher who finds out that he has stage 3 lung cancer. The doctors basically tell him to start making funeral arrangements and it is then that he realizes that he needs to find some way to provide for his family after he his gone. So he becomes a meth “cook” with a former student, Jesse Pinkman. After he goes to treatment and then into remission, he finds himself deep in the drug cartel and unable to escape. Gripping, isn’t it??

Anyway, it has totally taken over all of my free time.  Well that, and a 14-hour Raleigh field trip and oh, preparing for first term conferences. Thus preventing me from making a post since the Monday before last.

But the wait is over, my friends. I have discovered the cookie of all cookies. The perfect fall treat. May I introduce you to…

Oatmeal Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Oatmeal Pumpkin Spice Cookies

This recipe makes 3-3 1/2 dozen and let me tell you, they were gone in days. And it wasn’t just me. I swear.

I think it’s the combination of white chocolate chips, spices, and pecans that take this ordinary oatmeal pumpkin cookie to the extreme.

And that’s when they basically became my favorite cookies ever.

Oatmeal Pumpkin Spice Cookies

They are so addicting. It sorta reminds me of Heisenberg’s infamous blue ice. They are 99.1% pure awesomeness.

Oatmeal Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Oatmeal Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Yield: 3-31/2 dozen

Recipe by Carrie


  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon baking spice or cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 1 cup, brown butter, cooled to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped


  1. Heat the bottom of a medium saucepan on medium heat and slice 3 sticks of butter into tablespoon-sized slices.
  2. Add your butter to your pan and whisk continuously until butter has melted.
  3. Your butter will foam up a bit, but continue whisking frequently until lightly browned specks begin to form at the bottom of the pan. Smell the butter; it should have a nutty aroma.
  4. Remove from heat and place on a cool surface to help stop the butter from cooking further and perhaps burning.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F degrees.
  6. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  7. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together. Fold in the oats.
  8. Once your butter has cooled to room temperature, pour into your standing mixer bowl.
  9. Mix on low until light and fluffy; about 2 minutes.
  10. Add brown sugar and granulated sugar.
  11. Once combined, whisk in the egg.
  12. Add the pumpkin and vanilla and mix until thick and completely combined.
  13. Pour in your dry ingredients a little at a time and gently mix until combined.
  14. Fold in your pecans and white chocolate chips.
  15. Scoop cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets; about 2 or 3 Tablespoons of dough per cookie.
  16. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes until very lightly browned on the edges, and still appearing soft in the centers.
  17. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.
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Turtle cookies

Turtle Cookies

Last night, the Hubs and I went to go see “The World’s End” with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. We are both pretty big fans of “Hot Fuzz” and “Shaun of the Dead”, {although undoubtedly he is a bigger fan than I} so this was a total no brainer. We decided to go to my favorite movie theatre in town because Terrapin Beer Co. was there hosting a beer tasting for opening night of the film.

We made sure to show up early so that we could see for ourselves what Terrapin Beer Co. had to offer. They are based out of Athens, Georgia and up until now, I had just barely heard of them. But by the time our theatre was being seated, we were huge fans. They had 4 very different types of beer for the tasting: Rye Pale Ale, which is their original, signature taste, the Hopsecutioner IPA, brewed with six different hops, the Tree Hugger, which is more of your amber ale, and my favorite, Pumpkin Fest, their seasonal and perfectly balanced pumpkin ale.

So we ordered our favorite brews, mine with a sweet, brown-sugared rim around the glass, and sat down at our table and lounge chairs….yes, lounge chairs, and happily waited for the movie to start. At one point, one of the ushers came in and announced they would be holding a trivia contest focusing on the Cornetto Trilogy. They had “The World’s End” posters and T-shirts to giveaway and so I told the Hubs I just had to have one. Thanks to his mad trivia skills, he was able to win me both. If you are at all a Simon Pegg fan or into SciFi or enjoy a little British humor, then you must go see “The World’s End”. It is totally worth it.

After the movie, my excitement for Terrapin Beer Co. got me thinking…

You have all heard of turtle brownies, right?

Ooey, gooey brownies filled with nuts and caramel?

Well I decided that to celebrate my new found love for Terrapin Beer Co., a batch or two of Turtle Cookies were in order.Turtle Cookies

Terrapin actually means turtle, so I thought these cookies were only fitting.

Turtle Cookies

So I took my old fashioned recipe for the ordinary chocolate chip cookie and razzle, dazzled it up with chopped pecans, fleur de sel, and my homemade Salted Caramel Sauce.

Turtle Cookies

Turtle Cookies


  • 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup {2 sticks} butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
  • Salted Caramel Sauce
  • fleur de sel, for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 375° and line your cookie sheet with a silapat or parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In your stand mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar on medium speed.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well until incorporated.
  5. Add vanilla extract and paste.
  6. On low speed, gradually beat in your flour mixture, a little at a time.
  7. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, fold in 1 cup of chocolate chips and your chopped pecans.
  8. Drop rounded tablespoon dollops onto ungreased baking sheet.
  9. Use the additional 1/4 cup of chocolate chips to sprinkle the tops of the cookie dough.
  10. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown.
  11. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  12. When cool, drizzle Salted Caramel Sauce and dust with fleur de sel.
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Turtle Cookies



Chocolate Cherry Macadamia Nut Cookies

I hope everyone had a wonderful Independence Day! The hubs and I decided to stay home this year, as neither one of us are particularly fond of crowds. Plus, if we really wanted to see some fireworks, then all we had to do was walk outside our front door. It’s that simple thanks to our small town life!

Ok…I don’t typically vent, but this has become a major pet peeve of mine.

So I took the kiddos to our local theme park last Monday for some roller coaster fun. They are old enough to walk around by themselves, so while they were riding rides, I hung out near the pool reading my latest in my long list of must-reads. At one point, I walked up to the concession stand and bought myself a bottled water and fruit cup. Ok…so here comes my pet peeve. The fruit cup was the size of Mt. Everest! No lie. It was big. HUGE.  For $3.99, I had enough strawberries, cantaloupe, and honey dew melon for not just a snack, but also for my breakfast and snack the next day. Not to mention, the size of the “bite-size” fruit pieces had to be cut into 2-3 smaller pieces before I could even put them in my mouth.

Is it not possible to pay $1.99 for a snack size portion of fruit with bite size pieces? Why is it that we Americans have to have the super-size of everything? Or the need to buy the “extra-value” meal? Almost every time the Hubster and I go out to eat, I am asking for a to-go box. Sometimes I remember to eat the leftovers and sometimes I totally forget…thus wasting food aaaand money. I would rather pay a smaller price for a smaller plate. Truth.

WHEW. Alright, I am done ranting. I feel loads better.  Now onto cookies.


These cookies are the perfect summer snack. They are crunchy and chewy and who doesn’t love chocolate and cherries together. I was in a total chocolate craze when I came up with the idea. And AND these cookies literally took 15 minutes to put together.


I made sure to coarsely chop the cherries and macadamia nuts beforehand to give the cookies some crunch-a-riety.

Yeah. I totally made that word up, but I love it and I’m usin’ it.


I love the idea of tart cherries paired with chocolate.

It gives it a nice contrast from the traditional sweet velvety goodness of the chocolate cookie.


Chocolate Cherry Macadamia Nut Cookies

Yield: 2 1/2-3 dozen

Recipe by Carrie


  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup tart cherries, coarsely chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line your cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silapat.
  2. In your stand mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add one egg at a time to the mixture until well combined.
  4. Add vanilla to your butter mixture.
  5. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
  6. Slowly add your flour mixture to your butter mixture, a little at a time until combined.
  7. Fold in your macadamia nuts and tart cherries.
  8. Drop tablespoon sized cookie drops onto your baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
  9. Let cookies cool on a wire rack for several minutes.
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