Happy National Cookie Day!

Happy National Cookie Day!

Happy National Cookie Day! Today, I am celebrating one of my favorite Christmas traditions, baking cookies!

Baking at the age 7, in my mom’s kitchen with my sisters, cousins and neighbors. We baked cookies for Christmas and every holiday throughout the year. This is the exact cookie recipe that we baked. It is a tried and true delicious Holiday cookie recipe. I guarantee you will love it!

Happy National Cookie Day – Best Cookie Baking Tips:

  • The day before, make the dough, wrap in wax paper and chill overnight.
  • Use room temperature unsalted butter.
  • Before sifting, measure the all-purpose flour.
  • Sift the all-purpose flour four times.
  • Lightly floured Silicone baking mats are the best surface for rolling out the cookie dough.
  • Before rolling out, lightly flour the cookie dough’s surface. Prevents sticking to the rolling pin!
  • Use one cookie cutter per batch. The cookies will bake evenly.
  • After cutting out the shapes, leave the cookies on the silicone baking mat and remove the cookie dough between the cookies.
  • Gather the dough, gently knead it and roll it out for another batch. Once for re-rolling the dough, maybe twice because it becomes dry when too much flour is worked into it.
  • Slide the silicone baking mat onto a cookie sheet.
  • Preheat oven to 350Fº.
  • Set a timer for each batch of cookies – 10 minutes. Check and reset the timer for 1 or 2 minutes. Watch carefully! 
  • Underbaked cookies are the secret to softness. However, decorated cookies need to be cooked long enough to hold their shape!
  • The look of doneness is very light brown around the edges. Be careful not to over bake!
  • When the cookies are done. Place them on wire cooling racks to cool. After about 10 minutes, remove and place directly on the wire racks.

Best Cookie Recipe’s Secret Ingredients:

  • Three tablespoons whole milk makes the cookies moist.
  • Lemon zest gives a citrus flavor to the cookies. 
  • The acid in the cream of tartar reacts with the liquids in the cookie dough to produce carbon-dioxide gas bubbles, which break apart the gluten in the flour and lift the cookie dough.
  • The perfect ratio of butter to shortening! Butter provides flavor! A bit of shortening makes the cookies taller and more tender. 

Happy National Cookie Day – Special Equipment:

The Cookie Hotline:

  • If for any reason the recipe is unclear or you are disappointed with your cookies, please DM or email your question. I will get back with you asap! I’m on Instagram – MyTexasKitchen_ or susanapple@me.com.Decorative Sugar Cookies

Decorative Holiday Cookies

Best flavor, most tender and fun to decorate!

Adapted from Cook's Tour, Junior League cookbook of Shreveport, Louisiana.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chill overnight. 2 hours


  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. cream of tartar
  • 1 cup room temperature unsalted butter (2 sticks)
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 T. whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1 t. lemon juice
  • 1 zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 t. salt

Royal Icing: 5 cups confectioners' sugar, 4 egg whites and 1 t. cream of tartar


  1. Measure the flour. Sift the flour, baking soda and cream of tartar four times; set aside.

  2. Cream the butter, shortening, sugar, milk, egg, vanilla, lemon juice, lemon zest and salt.

  3. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the creamed ingredients.

  4. Shape into a disk, wrap in wax paper and chill. Best chilled overnight.

  5. Preheat oven to 350F®

  6. Roll out on a lightly floured silicone baking mat. Cut into shapes. Remove the cookie dough between cookies.

  7. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes, until lightly brown.

  8. Cool on wire racks.

  9. Decorate with icing:

    1. Outline each cookie with the thicker Royal icing.

    2. Fill in with the thinner icing.

    3. With a chop stick, smooth out the icing to fill in all surfaces of the cookie.

    4. Set aside to dry overnight.

Royal Icing: Beat the ingredients. Add the food coloring. Add the #3 tip to a cake-decorating bag, fill with the thicker icing to outline the cookies. Add a #5 tip to a cake-decorating bag, fill with the thinner royal icing.



Common And Popular Candies

Common And Popular Candies

After researching and decorating gingerbread houses for 25 years, I have compiled a list of the most common and popular candies which can be used to decorate gingerbread houses.

Common And Popular Candies:

  • Peppermints, a classic Christmas candy, are popular candies for gingerbread houses.Common And Popular Candies
  • Twizzlers® Twist are perfect borders for roofs, cobblestone paths and anything that needs an outline.Twizzlers® Twist
  • Gumdrops add so much color.Gum Drops
  • Spearmint Leaves make great bushes.Spearmint Leaves
  • Frosted Mini Wheats are perfect for snowy roof tops!Frosted Mini Wheats®
  • Fruit Loops are great for roof top decorations too.Kellogg's® Fruit Loops®
  • Haribo® Sour Streamers look great on roof tops! Haribo® Sour Streamers
  • Necco® Candy Wafers, an American candy classic since 1847, are perfect roof toppers and cobblestone paths.Necco® Candy Wafers
  • Nerds® Candy is perfect for cobblestone paths too.Nerds® Candy
  • JUJUBES® make colorful cobblestone paths too.JUJUBES®
  • Tootsie® Rolls are good for logs.Tootsie® Rolls
  • Snyder’s of Hanover, America’s Pretzel Bakery since 1909, Mini Pretzels turned upside down make charming fences.Snyder's of Hanover® Mini Pretzels
  • Haribo® Frogs are cute floating on the lollipop ponds! If you live in Dallas, Texas, Kuby’s carries Haribo® Gummi Frogs!Haribo® Frogs
  • Chocolate Santas, big and small, are a great addition to gingerbread houses.Chocolate Santas
  • Lindt® Chocolate Snowmen are loved by all.Common And Popular Candies
  • Mini Gingerbread Girls add a festive touch! They are available at Cake Carousel.Mini Gingerbread Girls
  • Save the best for last . . . Edible Glitter, available at Cake Carousel in Richardson, Texas, sprinkled on top of gingerbread houses gives a sparkle! Cake Carousel also carries the mini candy wreaths and gingerbread girls. You might give them a call to check availability before heading to their store.Edible Glitter
  • Happy Decorating!!!
Candy Mailboxes For Gingerbread Houses

Candy Mailboxes For Gingerbread Houses

Every gingerbread house needs a candy mailbox!

Six Steps To Make Candy Mailboxes For Gingerbread Houses:

  1. Make one batch of Royal Icing.Royal Icing
  2. Trim the end of a 12″ disposable pastry bag.  Add a Wilton® #5 pastry tip. Fill halfway with Royal icing. *Optional: Tie a rubber band around the end of the pastry bag.Trim the end of a disposable pastry bag.
  3. With a dough cutter or sharp knife, cut a large, 2.25 oz Tootsie Roll® into thirds or use the smaller, thick Tootsie Rolls® for the mailbox tops.Tootsie Roll®
  4. Cut Trident® cinnamon gum into “mailbox flag” shapes. Or Satin Ice® red fondant into “mailbox flag” shapes. Attach the red flags to the mailboxes with a small dot of Royal icing(not show in photo). Set aside to dry for an hour or more.Candy red flags
  5. Apply a dot of royal Icing onto a Peppermint Starlight® mint candy. Place another peppermint on it. Repeat until four peppermints are stacked. *It’s a good idea to stack two peppermints at a time; set aside to dry. Once the icing is dry, stack the four peppermints together. Otherwise, the peppermints will slide as they are drying, creating a leaning mailbox!
  6. Final step, place the top of the mailbox on top of the stacked peppermints. Set aside to dry overnight.Candy Mailboxes For Gingerbread Houses

Candy mailboxes for gingerbread houses are a creative, unique confection for you gingerbread houses!



How To Build A Gingerbread House

How To Build A Gingerbread House

Everyone is ready for some holiday cheer! How to build a gingerbread house with a store-bought gingerbread house kit.

*Kits are available at most craft stores and grocery stores.

How To Build A Gingerbread House – Most Important Tip!

  • For a sturdy gingerbread house discard the icing in the kit and make the Royal Icing.

Seven Steps For Building:

  1. Make one recipe of Royal Icing. Be sure to beat the Royal Icing until it is very thick. This assures the gingerbread house will be sturdy. Trim 1/2″ off the end of a Wilton® disposable pastry bag. Fill it half way with Royal icing. Set aside.Gingerbread house - royal icing
  2. Arrange the gingerbread house pieces on a 14″ round cake board.Gingerbread house pieces
  3. Pipe the Royal icing onto the cake board(the dimensions of the gingerbread house).  Pipe the Royal icing onto the edges of the front and back pieces of the gingerbread house.Arrange the pieces
  4. Stand the gingerbread house’s back piece and one side piece.back & side pieces
  5. Stand the gingerbread house’s front piece and the other side piece. Set aside to dry for a couple of hours or overnight.add front and other side
  6. Add one gingerbread house roof piece.Add half of roof
  7. Add the other gingerbread house roof piece. Set aside to dry overnight. add other half of roofYour gingerbread house is ready to decorate. Happy decorating!
Royal Icing For Gingerbread Houses

Royal Icing For Gingerbread Houses

Royal Icing for gingerbread houses is the essential component for building gingerbread houses and confections.

This Royal Icing Recipe is for building gingerbread houses and all of the handmade confections. Simply beat the icing a little longer for building the gingerbread houses and making the holiday trees. 

When making the red doors and custom door mats, simply beat the Royal Icing less. The consistency will be thick and pourable.

Royal Icing for gingerbread housesEquipment:

Essential Ingredient:


  1. One Royal Icing recipe per gingerbread house should be plenty.
  2. Of course, it’s always a good idea to have a little extra Royal Icing!
  3. For extra Royal Icing – The ratio – 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, 1 egg white and 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar – Mix this in any quantity you prefer. 
  4. Between uses, cover the Royal Icing with saran wrap or a bowl with a lid because it dries quickly.
  5. Multiple batches of icing may be made – no need to wash out the bowl between batches. Saves time!
  6. No need to sift the confectioner’s sugar!

    Royal Icing

    Here's the magic recipe for gingerbread houses and confections. Make it and use it right away for the consistency and success for decorating your gingerbread house!

    Prep Time 15 minutes


    • 1 2-pound bag confectioners' sugar
    • 6 egg whites
    • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar


    1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a wire attachment, add the sugar, egg whites, and cream of tartar.

    2. For building gingerbread houses, beat until thick and creamy.

    3. For the red doors and custom door mats, beat until the icing is a thick pourable consistency.

    4. To make icicles:

      To be sure that you have enough Royal Icing, fill a 12" cake-decorating bag 1/2 full of Royal icing prior to decorating your gingerbread house. This way, the Royal icing will be reserved for the best part - icicles!

Red Candy Doors For Gingerbread Houses

Red Candy Doors For Gingerbread Houses

A red door means “welcome” in an old early American tradition. Weary travelers by horse and buggy would know that a home with a red front door was a welcoming place to rest. A red candy door on a gingerbread house carries on this friendly tradition!

Red candy doors are another fun confection to custom make for gingerbread houses. They are easy to make!

*Make ahead – the red royal icing needs plenty of time for drying(a day before and up to a couple of weeks before the gingerbread house decorating.)

Ingredients:Hershey's ®

Special Equipment and Supplies:

Directions for Red Candy Doors:

  1. Make 1 recipe of Royal icing. Combine the ingredients for a couple of minutes. The consistency should be a pourable consistency, similar to a thick syrup. Tint it with Super Red food coloring. Pour into a wide-rimmed bowl.Red bowl of Royal icing
  2. Carefully break Hershey® candy bars into four pieces.Break candy bars into four pieces.
  3. With a dough cutter, carefully trim about 3/4″ off each end of the candy bar pieces.Trim candy bar with a pastry cutter.
  4. Dip candy bar pieces in the icing. Place on wire racks set over wax paper to catch the drips.Dip candy bar into royal icing.
  5. Carefully place the candy wreaths on the doors.Place candy wreath on red door.
  6. Set aside to dry overnight. When the doors are dry, gently lift away from the wire rack with a metal spatula.Gently loosen red door with a metal spatula.