cookie love

Sugar cookie cut-outs. Finn loves them. I think what he actually loves is the fact that they contain two of his favorite words – sugar and cookies…

We made these last Wednesday, the day before Valentine’s Day. I’d been wanting to bake cookies. It’s (usually) something fun to do together, especially during the long winter months, when it can be a bit too stormy or too cold to go outside…plus it’s a great way for Finn to learn about baking, measuring and numbers – math and science rolled into something you can eat – why not bake?

So, Valentines Day presented the perfect excuse to make a batch of these super delicious and buttery sugar cookies (aka Love Cookies). Who couldn’t use a little extra love every now and then?

The ingredients are common, inexpensive and minimal – sugar, butter, flour, plus a few ‘extras’ – what’s not to love?

Here’s what you’ll need;
(recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Baking Book)
Sugar Cookie Cut-Outs

2/3 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
dash of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour

Here’s what you’ll need to do;

1.sugar + butter combined

In a medium mixer bowl beat butter on medium to high speed for about a minute. Add sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and vanilla.

2.add flour

Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer…I was able to mix nearly all flour with the mixer…

3.mix remaining

Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flower.

4.ball of dough

5.wrapped dough

Divide dough in half, cover and chill the dough for about 2-3 hours or until easy to handle.

6.flour in scooper

7.roll out dough

On a lightly floured surface roll half of the dough at a time to about 1/8-inch thickness.

9.cutting out cookies

Cut into desired shapes. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.

10.cookies cut-out

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 7-10 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are very lightly browned.

11.cooling cookies

Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.

12.cookies with icing

If you like your cookies with a bit of extra sweetness, then drizzle with a bit powdered sugar icing (recipe below) or dip into melted chocolate…not matter how you enjoy them – frosted or not – you will not be disappointed!

To make icing;

In a mixing bowl combine 1 cup sifted powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon milk*. Stir in additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until icing is easy to drizzle.

Want a touch of color in your icing, but not the chemicals? Try using the reduced juice from fresh or frozen raspberries, strawberries or blueberries. Beet juice works well too (not pickled) and doesn’t need to be reduced down. *If using juice for color, add 1/2 tablespoon milk to 1 cup sifted powder sugar, and 1/2 – 1 tablespoon juice – then more as needed…I chopped a few fresh strawberries


and then added a few frozen raspberries in a sauce pan added a touch of water and cooked down on medium heat, continually adding water as necessary until fruit is ‘cooked’/mushy/very soft.


Drain, reserving both fruit and juice. Using the back of a spoon or rubber spatula, press the fruit into the sides and bottom of sieve…Reserving all the delicious and vibrant liquid… Add a teaspoon at a time to powdered sugar and milk.

juice added

Drizzle over cooled cookies – let set – store once icing has dried.

12.cookies with icing

Eat them up. Give them away. Or do both.

13.eaten cookie



I came across this quote by Oren Arnold, while reading Simply Sage, and realized it was just what I was looking for…With so much focus on consuming during this holiday season, I thought why not remind myself (and others) of what this time of year (and life) is truly about. Love, forgiveness, understanding, patience and compassion – towards others yes, but also, ourselves.

“To your enemy, forgiveness. 

To an opponent, patience. 

To a friend, your heart.

To a customer, service. 

To all, charity.

To every child, a good example.

To yourself, respect.”

Oren Arnold

the beach 

New Zealand

I had the great pleasure of traveling around this incredibly beautiful country for four months. Michael and I drove everywhere, North Island, South Island – everywhere! We bought a small 3 cylinder car (we barely made it up some hills!) within 10 days of our arrival in Auckland through a weekly, local car market. The market is a fabulous resource for travelers. Sellers bring their cars and buyers come to buy. It made sense for us to buy vs. rent as we were going to be there for months and we didn’t want to be restricted by a rental agreement…plus, we thought we could possibly even make a little money back when we needed to sell it – and we did. Our car for four months ended up costing us $100 (not including fuel) – we sold it for $100 less than what we paid and we sold it a week before we were flying out. Perfect!

We camped, hiked, stayed in hostels, witnessed amazing sunsets, drank delicious wines, enjoyed incredible beaches and waterfalls, and met some incredibly beautiful people…I was always amazed by what people didn’t ask – the common question of, ‘what do you do?’ was rarely the first query upon meeting someone; it seemed like such a contrast to our American lifestyle…here in the states we are consumed by what people ‘do’. Oftentimes when introduced to someone (here in the states) it seems the question of ‘what do you do’ is the first thing asked. Granted, what we ‘do’ in terms of paid work is a viable question and can lead to some interesting conversations, it doesn’t necessarily reflect who we are. ‘Work’ doesn’t necessarily equate money either – so many things we do throughout our daily life is work… perhaps the way to answer the inevitable question of ‘what do you do?’ – is to answer with what it is you enjoy to do – the ‘work’ you enjoy – garden, bike, run, cook, write, paint – whatever it is that brings you the greatest joy in life vs. what it is you get paid to do – and if what you get paid to do is actually the thing you love doing, then by all means share that too – it is so incredibly inspiring to meet people who do what they love and get paid for it!

As Nelson Mandela said –

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same, We are all meant to shine.”

Do what it is you love…

What do you love?