Valentine’s Day Cookie Speech Bubbles

Welcome to my first Valentine post of the year!

use pumpkin cutters for speech bubblesNo, you’re not seeing things. Those are pumpkin cookie cutters. Check this out. Frost ’em and flip ’em.

Speech Bubble Cookies by Melissa JoyStill don’t see it yet? Simply add a message of love.

Valentine Speech Bubble by Melissa Joy Cookies

With a little cookie stamping they become Valentine speech bubbles! Super easy to customize when pairing them with sweet friends, like these…

Valentine's Day Cookies-Birds by Melissa Joy CookiesValentine's Day Hedgehog Cookie by Melissa Joy CookiesValentine's Day speech bubble cookies by Melissa JoyValentine's Day Woodchuck Cookies by Melissa JoyValentine's Day Owl Cookies by Melissa Joy CookiesValentine's Day Speech Bubble Cookie by Melissa Joy

I have amassed a small collection of letter stamps that I use for cookies. It’s easy to do when they end up in the dollar bin at craft stores. Coloring each letter with an Ateco food color marker to stamp these takes a bit of time, but I don’t mind.

Valentine's Day Turtle Cookies by Melissa Joy

Want to make it even easier? These speech bubble messages could be made by simply writing them on with a food doodler, instead of stamping. It would make a sonnet to your Valentine a breeze…and be delicious too!

See how I made the Valentine Owls on my post at: Bake It Up A Notch

This post linked to: Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons

Fuzzy Hoods for Frigid Temps.

After one insane deep freeze here in Wisco {and everywhere else} that kept us cooped up for a few extra days, it seemed the perfect opportunity to make more of these sweeties I started right before Christmas break. The arctic temps are also a great excuse to heat up the oven for a little extra warmth in the house!snow people by melissa joy cookiesMy hoodie friends couldn’t be easier to make either. Here’s a quick picture how-to, if you want to embrace the wintery weather in cookie form. Start with a circle (mine were around 3.5 inches in diameter) and frost a little face.IMG_6063

After that has dried a good bit, add wiggly, silly looking hair line.IMG_6068

Quickly fill in the hair. Using a scribe tool or a toothpick, drag the bangs down to create a bit more for snow people

Let the hair dry for about 20 minutes so you can add the fur hood and sprinkles to make it extra fuzzy.Hoodie Cookie How-To by Melissa JoyNow we are ready for a face! I used a food writer to draw on the eyes and added rosey cheeks with pink petal dust. IMG_6109

I finished them off by piping a nose and red smile. It’s cold, but they look happily cozy!Snow Hoodie by Melissa JoyI love these little guys! Maybe this same design could be done on the top of cupcakes or a round cake? No matter what form, it sure would make a sweet winter treat!

A Year in Cookies – 2013 Review

I enjoyed posting some of my favorite cookie creations of 2013 on Facebook today, so I thought I would share them here on the blog as well. Time moves so quickly… I had forgotten about some and others seem to have been made so long ago. It was fun to revisit all the work that happened!

In January, I made these as a tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. Cookies to celebrate diversity! Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.My favorites for February were the Valentine’s Day Dominoes. These must have been the start of my obsession with games you can eat…Valentine's Day Domino Cookies by Melissa Joy Cookies

Super easy Easter egg cookies for March, along with a little stand for equality.

Rainbow Easter Egg Cookies by Melissa Joy Cookies

The seed packet cookies I made in April will always be one of my all time favorites. There were 23 cookies total that took 4 days to make, using 3 new-to-me decorating techniques and 5 hours to photograph. This is when I realized I have a CCD…Compulsive Cookie Disorder.

Seed Packet Cookies by Melissa Joy CookiesThese May Day Basket cookies for the first of May will rank right up there as one of my favorites of all time too.

May Day Basket Cookies by Melissa Joy Cookies

June brings summer break! I made these lemonade jar cookies for the teachers at school, as well as for a cookie auction to raise money for the tornado victims of Moore, Oklahoma.
lemonade with juicer

Celebrating in July with festive bunting cookies.

Forth of July Bunting Cookies by Melissa Joy Cookies

August road trip! Each map reveals a body of water I live, have lived, or would like to live by.

Road Trip Cookies by Melissa Joy

September in Wisconsin brings the abundance of apple orchards. And in my case, apple cookies. These were created for the gigantic GO BO! Foundation bake sale. One of the great gifts in making cookies is having the ability to share them to do good in the world, even in the smallest of ways.

Apple Cookies By Melissa Joy Cookies

October made it okay to play with your food with Tic-Tac-Toe

Halloween Tic Tac Toe Cookies by Melissa Joy

I love getting my kids involved in my work, and this cookie gratitude wreath for November did the trick.

Thanksgiving Cookies for Kids by Melissa Joy

December gets crazy as far as cookies go. These Santa Gnomes cookies are EASY to do and a twist on the traditional jolly old elf.

Christmas Santa Gnomes by Melissa Joy

Many people ask how I come up with cookie ideas, and after looking back on this year’s work, I find myself pondering the same question. It is most definitely shaped by my surroundings and experiences. This artistic ride is occasionally easy, nerve-racking, sometimes frustrating and liberating. It requires tenacity, balance and the ability to let go. Creativity is soul bearing and limitless. We just have to have the courage to embrace it.

Happy 2014, friends. May the new year bring you sweet joy and endless inspiration to create beautiful things.

It’s-still-Christmas-Break Holiday Cookie Craft


As much as I wanted to get this post finished before Christmas, I just couldn’t get to it. The cookies for the project were made and decorated, pictures hastily snapped, but a complete manifestation never occurred. I’ll blame it on the last minute 10 dozen sugar cookies I decided to bake and frost, and my resolve to make these meringues {that turned out adorable and delicious, by the way. Thank you Martha Stewart} and caused blog post delay. Therefore, I hear by declare this project to be worthy of some after-the-actual-holiday entertainment with your children, if you can get them away from their shiny new toys for a few minutes. And if you aren’t completely sick of having a deluge of sweets around your house. Who could possibly be sick of sweets?!

Christmas Tree Cookie Boxes by Melissa JoyAgain, a shout out to Martha, because the idea for this started when I first saw a sweet, tree shaped gift box in her magazine this month.  I thought it would be perfect to try to cookie and get the kids involved to boot.Christmas Tree Cookies for Kids by Melissa Joy

We started with basic tree shaped cookies that we decorated festive like. A note on it’s actual shape-if it has a trunk, I suggest you cut it off so the base of your tree is straight on the bottom. I think they would be much easier to assemble in the next step…


Once the decoration was dry, I used icing to “glue” the cookies together in a pyramid shape, starting with two. After those had set, I added the third side. You could add more details with sprinkles or frosting to hide the seams a bit. More sugar is always better when kids are concerned.

Christmas Tree Cookie Boxes by Melissa Joy Cookies

My original plan was for the cookie boxes to have 4 sides, but I ended up doing three. Partly because I couldn’t get my boys to participate very willingly in my project this time around and they would only commit to a few cookies each. The other being that the tree trunk made them wobbly during assembly, causing frustration, and there should be no frustration when it comes to cookies.


Regardless of quantity, they sure did a great job! I think they make a fun centerpiece on the dining room table to enjoy for a least a few more weeks. I’m never in a rush to take the Christmas decor down anyway.

‘Twas the week before Christmas…

I was going to take the week before Christmas off from baking so I could get those last gifts bought and wrapped, watch some holiday movies and prepare for the upcoming days of merriment with our families. Well, I kinda dished out a whole lot of cookies last minute to those so deserving-like the entire elementary school staff and several charitable causes-and it turns out I don’t have many left for my own gatherings. And Santa. We NEED cookies for Santa!

OV Milk Cookies by Melissa Joy

These cookies I created for my husband’s coworkers and Organic Valley. Every year I try to come up with a dairy or farm theme for them, and this year was the good old fashioned milk bottle. I also added in a smaller version of my Santa gnomes that I did in a post here. With this guy there was no cutting and pasting of dough shapes and that made things much more efficient. The closer it gets to Christmas day, the easier, the better!

Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen Reindeer Cookies by Melissa JoyComet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen Reindeer Cookies by Melissa Joy

How much do I love this cookie cutter?! I couldn’t wait until next season to make these famous reindeer, so I threw this design into the mix at the last minute and sort of created them as I went along. They will be fun for my family!

Card Mouse by Melissa Joy Cookies

I’d also like to share an incredible cookie project I was a part of this month. My friend Rebecca of The Cookie Architect had the fantastic notion to create a gingerbread house of cards. She sent “cards” to a bunch of Cookiers, each to make a holiday or winter design on, and then ship them back to her so she could assemble one gigantic masterpiece. Mr. Mouse was my contribution, but the final product was THIS!

Gingerbread House of Cards

Everyone’s contributions are so amazing! I highly recommend you see how it all came together on her Facebook page here or on a post about it here

Santa's Reindeer by Melissa Joy

I really thought I was holiday cookied out, but after a few days “off” I am actually looking forward to frosting the 10 dozen or so I baked today. What can I say? I’m a girl possessed by flour, butter and sugar. And really, I know that the smiles that come along with sharing them makes the extra effort totally worth it.

Holiday Tic-Tac-Toe Cookies

Cookie Christmas Tic Tac Toe Board by Melissa Joy Cookies

Well, you knew it was coming…

Christmas Tic Tac Toe Cookies by Melissa Joy Cookies

I’ve had a wee addiction with cookie Tic-Tac-Toe since I crafted a Halloween version this past October. There are just so many possibilities by varying the themes! I made this Fall one too and now my youngest sort of expects one to come out of the oven with each season. It is my aim to please.

Christmas Cookie Tic-Tac-Toe by Melissa Joy Cookies

The Tic-Tac-Toe board is HUGE and measures 6 inches square. It’s should to be big enough for the size of the playing pieces, so double check with those you plan to use. I cut out the board using a ruler (OCD) and my scalloped pastry cutter. EASY!

As much as the minis are tedious to frost, they sure are cute once finished, especially with a little face. They are also quite addicting to eat, so it’s a good thing you have to pace yourself when playing. No cookie pieces means no more Tic-Tac-Toe game.

Christmas Tic Tac Toe Cookies by Melissa JoyAt least make sure you get a few good rounds in before you devour them all. I guess the reward, whether win or loss, will be just as sweet!

Christmas Cookie Frenzy

snowflakes by melissa joy cookies

The mixer and oven have been going non-stop over here because I just can’t execute the Christmas creations out of my brain fast enough. My youngest suggested that I take a break from cookies for a while because the holiday season was supposed to be fun…gosh, did I look that frazzled?! I tried to explain that I ENJOY the cookie part of December, it’s just the other stuff that gets in the way. Like making dinner and cleaning and shopping and sending Christmas cards (yeah, that last one may not happen this year). This is why I told you I put my Christmas tree up before thanksgiving. The decorations go out early or they might not go up at all!

Bruce the Spruce Christmas Tree by Melissa Joy

Because I should be paying my bills right now instead of blogging, here’s a brief low down on what’s been made lately in Melissa Joy Land.

Christmas Camper Cookie by Melissa JoyThis festive camper was made for the Christmas Countdown Challenge over at Cookie Connection. It don’t think it will be chosen, but it sure was fun to make! You should go check out the entries…they are incredible!

Joy and Bird Wreaths by Melissa JoyI still loved my birdie in wreaths from last year, but changed it up a bit and added some JOY to a few. Melissa Joy, if you will.

retro reindeer by melissa joyThis cookie cutter I just had to buy. Such a great retro vibe to it and for some reason, it reminds me of my childhood. I want to make a whole reindeer set of these, but that may have to wait until next year.

Pastel Snowflakes by melissa joy cookies Grammy Green Christmas CandiesMixed up the standard holiday colors with this set I made for my mom. She LOVES that lime green color, which we now forever call “Grammy Green”.

Sweet Snow Bird by Melissa Joy CookiesMy sweet snow bird. I love this cookie cutter! I have made a version of him for Valentine’s Day and Easter and will perhaps challenge myself to make him for every holiday throughout the year. I’m a total bird nerd.

snowflakes with bird cookieWell, that’s what I’ve got ready to share for tonight. There are a couple more posts in the works once I have the time, but for now, I really gotta get at the junk piled up on my desk.

Hope your kitchens are happily busy and your place more organized than mine.


Reindeer Cookies

Santa Cookies by melissa joy cookiesSeriously, so many cookies this Christmas season, so little time. My brain is buzzing with ideas so fast that it’s making me a little crazy. There is so much inspiration out there, people! I ask myself why I didn’t start making some of this stuff sooner! I guess it’s hard for me to really get into the spirit of the holiday until after Thanksgiving happens….even though I will admit to putting up my Christmas tree the week before that. I LOVE my tree.

Mrs. Claus Cookie by Melissa JoyOne of those “must try” cookies was a version of Mrs. Claus. She has become quite a popular design amongst the cookie community this year. The first one I saw was posted by Sugared Hearts Bakery on her Facebook page. It was one of those moments that you slap your head and say, “Of course! Why didn’t I think of that?!”. Lots of peeps started making them and I knew I wanted to give Mrs. Claus a shot as well. She turned out okay, but now I think she more resembles Old Mother Hubbard.

Chirstmas Cookies by Melissa Joy Cookies

I thought it’d be fun to add a reindeer as well to this collection. I hadn’t made one of those guys before and in keeping with the size of the others, dug around my cookie cutter pile to find a shape to would work with my sketch. So this is what I finally found…


A wreath! Flip it around and start…

IMG_5659 IMG_5660 IMG_5662 IMG_5663 IMG_5666 IMG_5667

I tried to keep it simple, like the Mister and Missus, though Rudolf maybe could use a little embellishment somewhere. I’ll let you know if I add something!

Reindeer Cookies by Melissa Joy Cookies
There are more Melissa Joy goodies to share when I get a chance and I can’t wait to see what everyone else will come up with over the next few weeks.

Santa and Mrs. Claus Cookies by melissa joy

Happy baking, friends!

Christmas Tree Cookie Platter

Let’s continue with the simple Christmas cookie designs, shall we? This cookie platter can feed a crowd {or a couple very sugar craving holiday goers} and have a wow-factor by arranging them just right.

Christmas Tree Cookies by Melissa Joy

There are only three simple cookie shapes here that I’m sure even the most occasional baker has in the back of the cupboard.

Tree shape?

How-To Christmas Tree Platter by Melissa Joy



How-To Christmas Tree Platter by Melissa Joy


Glitz for the top?

How-To Christmas Tree Platter by Melissa Joy


All together the platter was made with 30 cookies: 25 trees, 4 ornaments and 1 star. Of course you should make extras in case you want a fuller tree, or like to munch as you bake. Someone has to taste test, right? And none of them needs to be painstakingly decorated. I used only five colors and made this gingerbread dough by Sweetopia. Oh my heck, it’s soooo good!

Christmas Tree Cookie Platter by Melissa Joy Cookies

I think I’ll try this project with the kids. By putting their own spin on the individual cookies, it will be great to see how it all comes together once they are piled up. With all the baking I have planned from now until Christmas Eve, it will be nice to have some helpers for a change.

Christmas Tree Cookies by Melissa Joy

Santa Gnome Cookies

Santa Gnome Cookies by Melissa Joy

Coming off of the labor intensive gingerbread village I shared with you in my last post, these guys were a breeze to make! After some persuasion from a cookie friend {you know who you are}, here is a brief tutorial on how to create these rustic gnomes, all Santa-esque, in time for Christmas.

Santa Cookies by Melissa Joy Cookies

I first found a photo in holiday catalog similar to this design and made a quick sketch. Since it was influenced by an image, I didn’t have a cookie cutter exactly like it but knew I had some general shapes that would fit the bill.

how to by melissa joy cookies

I wanted a long, pointy hat and a fuller beard so I used these two and did a little cuttin’ and pastin’.

trim-how to by melissa joy cookies

how to by melissa joy cookies     how to by melissa joy cookies

Notice I sort of shaped the dough a little longer and smoother to get the look I had envisioned. It’s all good, because they bake together nicely.

Now let’s get to the icing! First the white beard with sanding sugar and then the red hat. I did leave a small space between the two on purpose. The colors would bleed if they touched when wet, so I choose to leave a space to shorten the wait time. You do have to allow the top and bottom dry a wee bit before you pipe the nose though…

how to by melissa joy cookieshow to by melissa joy cookieshow to by melissa joy cookies

It’s best to hold off until the next day to add the patterns to your hat with a food coloring marker. You could always pipe the details on, but I liked the ease and freedom of the Doodler. how to by melissa joy cookies

And that is how I made my Santa Gnomes!

Santa Gnome Cookie by Melissa Joy

I wanted a woodsy, folk art feeling with these cookies and I really loved the result. The patterns for my hats were inspired by my crazy talented brother-in-law who is an incredible artist. His drawings are made up of wonderful characters influenced by his surroundings in Maine. I cannot wait to brag him up once his Etsy shop is running. The kid is amazing!

Santa Gnomes Cookies by Melissa JoyAnother holiday post completed and a few more for you when I get the chance…wonder if I could do the 12 cookie blogs of Christmas?

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