dye-free glaze

Valentine’s day is such a fun holiday, a reason to celebrate love. My family always made a big deal about Valentine’s day, with my dad preparing a special dinner for my mom, sister and I, as well as beautiful flower arrangements and cards. My mom always gave my sister and me a fun festive gift and we always wore red or pink.

These days, I still love to celebrate the Valentine’s day season, and though I made these lemon cookies with strawberry glaze Valentine’s day in mind, they can really be enjoyed any time of year. I love the speckles in the glaze from the freeze-dried strawberry powder and the overall “pink frosting flavored” vibe. The lemon cookies pair so well with the delicious strawberry glaze.


for the cookies

  • 2 ¾ cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

for the glaze

  • 1 ½ cups confectioners sugar
  • 4-5 tablespoons milk
  • 3 teaspoons freeze-dried strawberry powder (I made my own by grinding up freeze-dried strawberries)

cookie steps

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer with the paddle, beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the lemon zest and beat in for another 2 minutes. Add the egg and almond extract and beat until combined. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix on low until the dough is evenly combined.

Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour. 

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to ⅓ of an inch thick. Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out cookies. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the cookies just slightly start to turn golden. They will seem soft but will solidify more as they cool. Let cookies cool completely before glazing.

glaze steps

Combine confectioners sugar, milk, and strawberry powder in a medium-sized bowl. Stir vigorously to evenly incorporate.

Dip each cookie in the glaze and let any excess drip off the side. Let dry on a wire cooling rack until the glaze hardens. 

I will take any excuse to bake with different flours/meals but corn is an all-time favorite of mine. These golden bell cornmeal cookies always get me feeling festive as the song “silver bells” starts playing in my head when I think of them.

I have been making this dough for cornmeal cookies for a while and used to roll it into balls, flatten them, and drizzle them with honey and flaky salt (you can totally try this too!). Then I decided to try the dough with cut-outs and it turns out, it works equally as well! Behold, the golden bells.


for the dough

  • ¾ cup butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 ¼ cups flour
  • 1 ¼ cups cornmeal

Pinch of salt

for the glaze and decoration

cookie dough steps

In a small bowl, mix together the flour, cornmeal, and salt. Set aside.

Beat the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or using a hand mixer until creamy. Add in the egg and vanilla and continue mixing. Slowly add in the dry ingredients until the dough has formed. Everything should be evenly combined.

Shape the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1-2 hours until firm. Refrigerating the dough will make it easier to roll out.

Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the dough into quarters and roll out one of the quarters, you will need extra flour. Use a bell-shaped cookie cutter to cut out bells (you can really do whatever shape you’d like!) and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Bake for 7-9 minutes until edges start to crisp and turn golden. Allow to cool completely.

glaze steps

Place all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and whisk to combine. Dip the tops of the cooled cookies in glaze, flip over, and allow to set for about 3 minutes before covering in sprinkles.

I like to place the cookies on a cooling rack over a cookie sheet because it allows for easy clean-up! Letting the glaze set prevents the sprinkles from sinking into it. Cover with sprinkles and let harden completely.

The rain from last night continued into the morning and has now turned into a clean powder that is coating everything in sight. A cozy, snowy day like this is perfect for one thing: baking. Today, coconut flour cut-out cookies.

These cookies will literally melt in your mouth thanks to the coconut flour. They are entirely wheat and gluten-free and even my boyfriend, who strongly dislikes coconut, is a fan. The naturally-colored glaze allows you to enjoy all the glory of Christmas cookie decorating without the harm of artificial additives. Coconut flour cut-out cookies are a semi-virtuous way to celebrate any holiday!

Makes about 2 dozen 2-inch cookies


for the cookies

  • ¼ cup (½ stick) butter 
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • pinch of kosher salt

for the glaze

  • 1 cup confectioners sugar, divided
  • 3 teaspoons corn syrup, divided
  • ¼ cup kale, roughly chopped
  • 4 tablespoons water, divided
  • ¼ cup raspberries (or mixed berries)
  • ¼ cup sugar

cookie dough steps

In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside. 

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or using a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and almond extract.

Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients mixing on low until evenly combined.

Form the dough into a ball and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 325°f. Roll out dough and cut with cutters. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes.

Allow to cool completely.

glaze steps

make the red food coloring: 

In a saucepan, heat the raspberries, sugar, and 2 tablespoons of water over high heat until they begin to bubble. Simmer, mixing and mashing until the berries start to break down, about 5 minutes. Strain through a mesh sieve.

make the green food coloring: 

In a saucepan, heat the kale and remaining 2 tablespoons of water over high heat for about 3 minutes. Place the mixture in a blender and puree until smooth then strain through a mesh sieve.

In a small bowl, combine ½ cup confectioners sugar and 1½ teaspoons of corn syrup with 1½ teaspoons of berry liquid. Mix to combine. In another small bowl, combine the remaining ½ cup of confectioners sugar and 1½ teaspoons corn syrup with 1½ teaspoons green kale liquid. Mix to combine.

Dip the tops of the cookies into the glaze and flip over so they are resting on their bottom sides to let the excess glaze drip off the sides. 

Place on cooling rack until glaze hardens.

With all of the endless horrors going on in the world right now, I, per usual, have channeled the stress and nervous energy I am feeling into cooking and baking. For me, it is quite meditative and relaxing and most importantly, creative. Now more than ever, it is so crucial to find creative outlets and forms of expression to offload and expel anxiety, negativity, pain. Cooking and baking are also pretty physical activities, and for me, it is essential that I exercise and move, especially as the weather is cooling down and it feels uncomfortable to go outside.

To me, these ginger molasses stars are a winter wonderland in cookie form. The layers of warm and cozy spices create a super complex and nuanced flavor which evenly spreads throughout every bite. Toasting the pecans releases more of the buttery pecan flavor which complements the maple glaze well.

Feel free to experiment with your extracts here. I personally love maple, but vanilla, almond, chocolate, rum, etc could all work beautifully.

With these cookies, the thicker you roll out the dough, the chewier the ginger molasses stars will be.


Makes about 2 dozen cookies


for the cookies

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon finely ground pepper
  • ½ cup (1 stick or 1/4 pound) unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • ½ cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup unsulfured molasses

for the glaze and topping

  • 2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 2-3 tablespoons half and half or milk
  • 2 teaspoons maple extract
  • ½ cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped

Cookie dough steps

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, salt and pepper and set aside.

Beat the butter and brown sugar using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment or hand mixer until fluffy. Add in egg and molasses and beat until combined.

Slowly beat in the flour mixture until dough is evenly combined. Don’t overbeat.

Divide the dough into two and wrap separately in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours

Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out dough on a floured surface to about ⅓ of an inch thick and cut into star shapes. Bake for 10-12 minutes. They will be soft when you remove them from the oven but will solidify and become chewy once they cool.

Glaze and topping steps

Place confectioners sugar, corn syrup, half and half, and maple extract in a bowl. Whisk to thoroughly combine. Dip tops of stars into glaze, allowing the excess to drip off the sides. 

Sprinkle with pecans and place on cooling rack until glaze dries and hardens.