lemon cream meringues

I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t like lemon curd. You, in turn, might choose not to trust anyone who makes bold, sweeping, and questionably necessary proclamations, but if I were to pick a completely superfluous soapbox to stand on…

I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t like lemon curd. You, in turn, might choose not to trust anyone who makes bold, sweeping, and questionably necessary proclamations, but if I were to pick a completely superfluous soapbox to stand on, it’s currently this. Everyone loves lemon curd. The only thing better than lemon curd is lemon curd against a pillowy meringue and a plume of softly whipped cream. These three flavors together are the basis of so many desserts, including a chaotic one I call a Lemon Meringue Pie Smash in my second cookbook. It was while working on this recipe that I got my go-to lemon curd down to a simple formula that never fails, and also came to appreciate the culinary harmony of a dessert that doesn’t leave us with leftover stray egg whites or yolks.

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5 Pro Tips for Your Best Sugar Cookies Yet

Bake It Up a Notch is a column by Resident Baking BFF Erin Jeanne McDowell. Each month, she’ll help take our baking game to the next level, teaching us all the need-to-know tips and techniques and showing us all the mistakes we might make along the way…

Bake It Up a Notch is a column by Resident Baking BFF Erin Jeanne McDowell. Each month, she'll help take our baking game to the next level, teaching us all the need-to-know tips and techniques and showing us all the mistakes we might make along the way.


Baking and decorating sugar cookies is often associated with wintertime holidays, but in my family, this is a springtime tradition. My mom would usually whip up cookies and pastel-colored icing as a fun way to welcome some bright colors into our kitchen as the seasons changed outside. The truth is, baking sugar cookies is a wonderful baking project for any time of year: perfect for a solo weekend meditation, or for a group activity where you can enlist the help of family and friends.

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sweetheart sablés

Every so often, I try to do responsible things like Plan Ahead to reap the rewards that should come with it like A Calm and Unfrazzled Week and I fail almost 100% of the time in the service of Something More Fun I Just Thought Of. Crispy salad…

Every so often, I try to do responsible things like Plan Ahead to reap the rewards that should come with it like A Calm and Unfrazzled Week and I fail almost 100% of the time in the service of Something More Fun I Just Thought Of. Crispy salad? Castle breakfast? Sorry, guys, you’ve been jettisoned for some really adorable cookies I impulsively made last week. I am nothing if not predictable.

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Let’s Stop Confusing Macaroons & Macarons

I’m just going to get straight to the point: coconut macaroons (two o’s) and French macarons (one o) are not the same cookie. Sure, they’re both meringue-based, gluten-free, and sweet as a candy store, but that’s about where the similarities end. To st…

I’m just going to get straight to the point: coconut macaroons (two o’s) and French macarons (one o) are not the same cookie. Sure, they’re both meringue-based, gluten-free, and sweet as a candy store, but that’s about where the similarities end. To start, we need to talk basics: French macarons (pronounced MACK-uh-rons) are essentially the chicest sandwich cookies in the schoolyard. Two thin meringue cookies no wider than an inch or two are layered with a ganache, buttercream, or jam filling. Macaroons (pronounced mack-uh-REWNS), on the other hand, are made with flaked coconut, whipped egg whites, sugar, and vanilla extract.

According to The Atlantic, French macarons aren’t exactly who they say they are. “The cookies were born in Italy, but made their way to France in the 1530s—by way of, some scholars believe, Catherine de’ Medici,” wrote staff writer Megan Garber in 2014. “They wouldn't become widespread outside of court, however, until 1792, when two Benedictine nuns, seeking asylum during the French Revolution, supported themselves by baking and selling treats made of ground almonds, egg whites, and sugar. The ad hoc pastry chefs came to be known as ‘the macaron sisters.’”

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How to Store Royal Icing in Between Batches

It’s the most wonderful time of the year—royal icing season! Royal icing is a thick icing that dries hard and has the shine of a model’s hair in a Pantene commercial. It’s made using powdered sugar, meringue powder or dried egg whites, which not only s…

It’s the most wonderful time of the year—royal icing season! Royal icing is a thick icing that dries hard and has the shine of a model’s hair in a Pantene commercial. It’s made using powdered sugar, meringue powder or dried egg whites, which not only stabilizes the icing, but allows it to have a glossy finish. Royal icing season rolls in with the tide of every major holiday, when home bakers suddenly bring out every festive cookie cutter they own to cut stars for Hanukkah, bells and trees for Christmas, eggs for Easter, and pumpkins for Halloween.

Royal icing is the key to making beautiful, intricately decorated sugar cookies. But we can’t have it all, right? Despite its beauty, royal icing can be extremely temperamental and finicky, which is why it’s so important to whip it up well and store it properly when not in use.

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How to Store Sugar Cookies, Frosted or Unfrosted

You’ve baked the dough, chilled it, rolled it and cut it into the shapes of stars and trees. You’ve baked a batch and then another, decorated each cookie carefully with piping bags filled with royal icing, eaten a few (and then a few more), and now it’…

You’ve baked the dough, chilled it, rolled it and cut it into the shapes of stars and trees. You’ve baked a batch and then another, decorated each cookie carefully with piping bags filled with royal icing, eaten a few (and then a few more), and now it’s time to store them. But what’s the best way to do that without ruining the icing and decorated sugar on frosted sugar cookies?

How to Store Sugar Cookies

Once your sugar cookie recipe is fully baked and decorated, properly store them “in a tin or an airtight container, once they're cool,” says Food52 community member Brette W. ChefJune agrees with this method to help the cookies stay fresh and recommends “[separating] the rows with waxed paper to ensure they don't stick to the ones above and below.” (You can also use parchment if that’s what you have!)

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checkerboard cookies

Because I excel at timing, I decided long after most normal people had long wrapped up their holiday cookie baking last December to make the checkerboard cookies, Sara, who works with me behind the scenes, has been steadily requesting for abou…

Because I excel at timing, I decided long after most normal people had long wrapped up their holiday cookie baking last December to make the checkerboard cookies, Sara, who works with me behind the scenes, has been steadily requesting for about a decade. It’s just… I was a skeptic. I imagined checkerboard cookies would be a hideous amount of work for something that looked cute but probably didn’t taste like much, the dark portions chocolate in color, not flavor.

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11 Common Cookie Mistakes We’ll Never Make Again

From now through the end of December, there will be more cookies baked than any other time of the year. Okay, I don’t actually have the stats to back it up, but it makes sense right? From Emma Laperruque’s Latke Cookies to Dorie Greenspan’s World Peace…

From now through the end of December, there will be more cookies baked than any other time of the year. Okay, I don’t actually have the stats to back it up, but it makes sense right? From Emma Laperruque’s Latke Cookies to Dorie Greenspan’s World Peace Cookies to basic sugar cookies, Russian Tea Cakes, gingerbread boys and girls, and shortbread, there are so many—and I mean so many—cookie recipes to bake. But in the midst of the holiday hullabaloo, there are bound to be a few errors too. I turned to five pro bakers to find out what the most common cookie mistakes among home bakers are.

1. Not Reading the Recipe

Are you thinking to yourself, “duh?” I know. I thought the same thing. But Sarah Kieffer, baking blogger and author of the recently published, 100 Cookies: The Baking Book for Every Kitchen, says that more bakers than you’d think (including the pros!) quickly skim a recipe—or don’t read it at all. “Cookies often seem like something simple or easy to bake, and often it is assumed that cookie recipe directions are all similar in nature. An example is what I myself did the other day—I glanced over the recipe, threw the butter in the stand mixer bowl and started mixing, only to then realize I was supposed to brown the butter, let it come to room temperature, and then mix it,” says Kieffer.

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13 Holiday Classics Turned Into Cookies

If you look forward to winter holiday desserts all year long, you’re not alone. I have sudden cravings for a cold glass of coquito in April, and sometimes think about a croquembouche festooned with drips of caramel in July. Now that it’s finally Decem…

If you look forward to winter holiday desserts all year long, you’re not alone. I have sudden cravings for a cold glass of coquito in April, and sometimes think about a croquembouche festooned with drips of caramel in July. Now that it’s finally December, it’s time to dig into all those great seasonal goodies. But this year, we have a bit of a twist: Cookies Meet Classics, a baker’s dozen of your favorite holiday sweets as cookies.

We called up some of our favorite bakers, creators, recipe developers, and cookbook authors to shrink a banquet table of winter treats into a mailable cookie box. In other words, we cookie-fied the classics. That means that you can have the flavors of mulled wine in a two-bite snack, and a perfectly portioned Yule Log for one. These treats are ideal for sharing and dropping off at doorsteps, or just making into a festive platter for yourself. And if you have to dig out the recipes again in June, well, I’m not about to tattle on you.

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Latke Cookies Are a Hanukkah Miracle

A Big Little Recipe has the smallest-possible ingredient list and big everything else: flavor, creativity, wow factor. That means five ingredients or fewer—not including water, salt, black pepper, and certain fats (like oil and butter), since we’re gue…

A Big Little Recipe has the smallest-possible ingredient list and big everything else: flavor, creativity, wow factor. That means five ingredients or fewer—not including water, salt, black pepper, and certain fats (like oil and butter), since we're guessing you have those covered. Inspired by the column, the Big Little Recipes cookbook is available now. Like, right now.


Though latkes are inseparable from all the Hanukkahs of my life, the word itself is barely older than my grandmother. "Latke" nudged its way into the English language in 1927, thousands of years after the rededication of the Second Temple of Jerusalem.

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