Tag Archives: sugar cookies

Lagniappe: Mountain Goats and Debbie’s Sugar Cookies


To refresh your memory, lagniappe (LAN-yap) is a Creole term meaning something a little extra, sort of like a “baker’s dozen.” It’s a word we heard often during our Louisiana years. We like to think of our “Lagniappe” posts as little digital extras we add to our regular bi-weekly posts.


[Note: Andy is taking the reins for today’s Lagniappe blog].

Appropriately enough, this post was inspired by a little something extra I received recently following a ride with a group of fellow cyclists who call themselves the Mountain Goats (or just “Goats” for short). For me the route had been particularly challenging and by the time we got back to our vehicles I was tuckered out and ready to head home. While stowing my bike in the back of my car, Debbie, one of the “Goats,” was going from vehicle to vehicle offering festively decorated cookies that she had baked. Just seeing these colorful, sweet gems brightened me up. And biting into one was heavenly – the perfect picker-upper after a long ride.

As soon as I took that bite I knew that I had to convince Debbie to share the secret of her cookies for BigLittleMeals. What could be more appropriate for a pre-Easter edition, or for that matter, any pre-festive-occasion edition? She was kind enough to agree, so I asked her to write a little something about herself and how she creates her amazing cookies.

A little something by Debbie about Debbie:

Debbie is an amateur baker, cookie aficionado, and semi-retired educator (who keeps teaching because she needs the dough. Who knew powdered sugar was so expensive?) Other than attending her first-and-only decorating class and watching countless Youtube videos, Debbie is a self-taught baker who learns through trial and error (and eating her mistakes. Yay, yummy mistakes). When not baking, Debbie can often be found cycling with her Mountain Goat friends, climbing hills around Sonoma County.

[Editors note: Debbie was too modest to mention that among her accomplishments she was the 1993 Amateur World Champion (Triathlon Short Course) and the 1994 US Amateur Triathlete of the Year. She went on to compete professionally as a triathlete. This was all prior to her becoming a world class cookie maker.]

Here’s the scoop on her cookies:

Below are Debbie’s preferred recipes for sugar cookies and for their icing. You need to go no further than the straightforward cookie recipe to produce a batch of cookies that would please anyone. But it’s the icing and decorating part that gives them that special pizzaz and – well, just makes everyone who sees them happy. That part is a bit less straightforward, but Debbie offers some helpful tips for the uninitiated.

Debbie’s decorating tips

As I have learned from many, many mistakes, successful cookie decorating depends on icing consistency. Icing consistency is really important! If the icing is too runny, it will run off the cookie. Too stiff and it will not dry flat. For newcomers to decorating, there are a number of youtube videos that explain how to make icing the proper consistency. You can check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAfBRU3WK_0

You also need practice! My first attempts at decorating were not-so-pretty…[actually, they were just so sad!]. However, like most things, decorating cookies gets easier and better with practice.

There are also so many resources online, you can become a self-taught decorator in no time! Pinterest is a wonderful resource for decorating ideas and images. 
This royal icing recipe [below] comes courtesy of Sugared Sentiments and is available at: https://sugaredsentiments.com/soft-royal-icing-recipe/

Essential tools include icing bags, couplers, icing tips, a scribe (or toothpick!) and, of course, food color. Gel dyes are more effective than liquid dyes.

Happy holiday – or any day that provides an excuse to make these happy cookies.

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