Cookie Swap - It's Pretty Sweet Cookie Book Cover Buy it! Cookie Book Cover Buy it!

"This really is the ULTIMATE cookie book. Whimsical, elegant, colorful, and creative!! What more could you ask for? You will not be disappointed.”

Colette Peters

Celebrity Cake Decorator; Owner, Colette's Cakes


Feb 09, 2016 9:21am

Julia Usher baking in her home kitchen
Noshes and Notions

Climbing Cookies :: Photo by Steve Adams

A Cookie Coming-Out:
Cookies Debut as the Life of the Party!

Ka-ching! Ka-ching! Not familiar with that sound? Well then, you’re as lucky as a kid in a candy shop, because most of us can recognize the sound of the cash register tallying up party damages from miles away.

There’s no denying: Throwing a party can burn a hole clear through your pocketbook by the time you add up the food and drink, not to mention the invitations, flowers, favors, and countless other party accoutrements. That’s why I’m always seeking ways for my party sweets, particularly cookies, to double as party décor. Cookies have a relatively long shelf life compared to cakes, so they’re ideal for dressing up and displaying beforehand, sampling throughout the party, and then handing out as keepsakes as guests leave.

Skeptical that a cookie can be eye candy, food, and favor all at the same time? Don’t be. Let me show you how I’ve taken cookies out of the box (and off their traditional plates) and made them the life of many a party . . .

» More


3-D Cookie Cake :: Cookies and Photo by Julia M Usher

New 3-D Cookie Course:

As many of you know, 3-D cookies are kind of my thing, so - perhaps needless to say - I was super excited when I was invited by eduK, Brazil’s largest e-learning site, to teach a three-day course all about them. I received the invitation late last year, and have been designing and decorating the projects for this course for the better part of the last two months! I’m pleased to announce that they are nearly done, and I am just four days away from boarding a plane to Brazil where I will videotape the course.

The course will be live-streamed from 2 pm to 5 pm (São Paulo, Brazil time), July 27 - 29, for FREE; it will be re-run once again, for free, one hour after the first live-streaming is over. After both free viewing periods have concluded, the course will only be available for purchase. (Though if you sign-up for the paid course before the live-streaming is over, you can get it at a steep discount.)

The course will be taught in English and translated simultaneously into both Portuguese and Spanish, which means that almost anyone anywhere should be able to enjoy it.

During these three days, I will demonstrate six new 3-D cookie projects (see my preview video below), all tied together with the common thread of a wedding theme. I’ll also cover close to 20 decorating and assembly techniques!

» More


Love Fest :: Photo by Steve Adams

An Affair of the Heart:
Valentine's Day Party and Gift Ideas That Won't Box You In

We all have that certain someone for whom a box of chocolates doesn’t seem quite enough . . . that person who’s been there, done that, and seen it all! Am I right? . . . OK, now that we’ve settled that point, let’s get down to business. What on earth do you get that jaded someone? Is there any gift that will register as truly special?

I say: spread the love this Valentine’s Day in a uniquely sweet way (and I mean “sweet” in the most literal sense). When I’ve got the time, I like to throw a full-fledged dessert party, like the one shown here (top photo) from Cookie Swap, and to stock it generously with chocolate goodies and other aphrodisiacs. (Hey, it’s Valentine’s Day; you’ve got to have chocolate somewhere!) But, if time is scarce, even small treats can touch the heart when they’re handcrafted with passion and care.

» More


Chat with Julia News From Julia's Kitchen
  • Julia just finished filming a 3-D cookie decorating course for Brazil’s largest e-learning site, eduK. Click here to purchase the course in English, or here for Spanish. If you speak Portuguese, stay tuned; that link is coming soon! Julia M Usher, Recipes for a Sweet Life, EduK class, 3-D cookies
  • See Julia’s exciting lineup of 2015 cookie events - Israel, Brazil, Greece, and more!
  • Woo hoo! Listen to Julia’s recent NPR interview, and read about her Best Cookier of 2013 Award. Julia M Usher, Best Cookie Decorator, Best Cookie Decorator of 2013, Award, Cake Masters Awards
  • Explore the world of cookie decorating! Join Cookie Connection, Julia’s free cookie community. Then grab a badge! Julia M Usher, Cookie Connection, online cookie decorating community
  • Hone your decorating skills with Julia’s app!