The Great Cookie Caper of 2018

Cookie Decorating at Relish Cooking Studio

On the sunny afternoon of December 2, families and friends from across the MHBPNA neighbourhood arrived at Relish Cooking Studios on Victoria St. for some sprinkle covered fun.

We were greeted with the delicious smell of fresh baked sugar cookies, and the kids (and adults) did not have to wait long to slather frosting on cookies and apply layers of festive sprinkles.

A batch of Basic Sugar Cookies made by the Relish Cooking Studio team.

Donna-Marie Pye, best-selling cook book author and co-owner of Relish Cooking Studios, had some tips to share with the group and suggestions on other ways to utilize the recipe during the holidays and beyond:

  • To get cold butter warm enough to beat for the recipe you can grate it using a regular cheese grater
  • Use proper measuring cups for wet and dry ingredients
  • When measuring flour, scoop the flour from the container into your dry measuring cup and overfill it and then level it off with a flat utensil.

Sprinkles galore! A decorated cookie from the event.

In addition to using festive cookie cutters, you could also try:

  • Try cutting out small circles, bake and cool. Then layer your favourite jam on a cookie and top with another for sandwich cookies.
  • After cutting out small circles, instead of baking them flat on a baking sheet, fit the dough into mini-muffin trays and bake. Then fill the cookie with chocolate sauce or caramel for a treat.
  • This recipe works well all year long. Try using different seasonally themed cookie cutters, or add food colouring to the frosting.

Donna-Marie and Relish Cooking Studio have shared their recipe for Basic Sugar Cookies below so everyone can enjoy some cookies over the holidays!

Basic Sugar Cookie Dough


  1. In large bowl, beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy; beat in egg and vanilla. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; stir into butter mixture in 3 additions. If necessary, knead to form smooth dough.
  2. Divide dough in half; shape into discs. Wrap each in plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.(Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 24 hours.) Let stand at room temperature until soft enough to roll out, about 15 minutes.
  3. To Make Cookie Cut Outs: Between waxed paper or on lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Place cookie cutter on dough; cut to make shapes, re-rolling scraps as necessary.
  4. Arrange, 1-inch apart, on parchment paper–lined rimless baking sheets. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, in 375°F oven until edges and bottoms are light golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on pans for 1 minute; transfer directly to racks to cool completely.(Make-ahead: Layer between waxed paper in airtight container; store for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 1 month.)
  5. To Make Lemon Frosting: In bowl, beat lemon juice with meringue powder until foamy and glossy, about 2 minutes; beat in icing sugar until stiff, about 4 minutes.
  6. Divide icing among small bowls (you’ll need 1 bowl for each colour of icing). Using food colouring, tint each bowl to desired shade. Working with 1 colour at a time, spoon some of the icing into piping bag fitted with small plain tip; pipe outlines around edges of cookies. Let stand until dry, about 20 minutes.
  7. Gradually add water to some of the icing, 1/2 tsp at a time, until mixture is consistency of molasses. Spoon onto centers of cookies; using toothpick or skewer, spread to piped edges, popping any air bubbles. Decorate with dragées, sprinkles and/or coarse sugar (if using). Let stand until dry, about 30 minutes.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies

This event was a partnership between MHBPNA and Relish. For information about partnership opportunities or other MHBPNA events please contact us at

written by Kate, Partnerships Director

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