Recipes from the Lab

Baking with Love and a Sprinkle of Joy

Experiment with these recipes or try your own—and remember to sprinkle generously with Joy!


Eggnog Chaser
Warm Spiced Apple Cider
Ginger Cranberry Mocktail


Enjoy this sweet Spotify playlist to listen to while baking and sugaring your cookies.

Grandma’s Sour Cream Sugar Cookies


  • 2 cups sugar               
  • 2 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 cup sour cream        
  • 6-7 cups of flour
  • 2 eggs                     
  • 1 cup butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. 
  2. In a large bowl cream butter and sugar, then beat in eggs. Next, add baking soda and sour cream. 
  3. Add in flour 1 cup at a time. 
  4. Roll dough out over the floured surface.  
  5. Cut with heart shaped cookie cutters and place on a greased cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Cookies are done when slightly brown.


  • ¼ cup vegetable shortening       
  • ¼ cup margarine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoon milk


  1. Cream butter, shortening, and vanilla.
  2. Add powdered sugar till thick consistency, add milk (may add more milk).
  3. Beat on high.
  4. Add sprinkles or sanding sugar to top of the frosting.


Gluten-Free Shortbread Cookies


  • 1 cup unsalted butter (butter must be softened, but not melty). For dairy-free use Smart Balance butter.
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon pure almond extract (optional)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 ½ cups gluten-free all-purpose (such as Cup 4 Cup or Bob’s RedMill 1:1 which contain the needed xanthan gum)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free all-purpose flour, for rolling
  • Colored sanding sugar or your favorite Gluten-free cookie icing


  1. In a large bowl cream the butter, brown sugar, and sugar together with a mixer.
  2. Beat in the egg, pure vanilla, and pure almond extract
  3. In a medium bowl add the gluten-free flour and baking powder and stir to blend ingredients.
  4. Slowly pour flour mixture into the batter and mix until fully combined. The cookie dough will be like soft playdough.
  5. Cover cookie dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375°.
  7. Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Sprinkle a tablespoon of gluten-free flour on top of parchment paper. Roll one of the dough balls onto parchment paper, about ¼″ thickness. While you are cutting out the first set of sugar cookies, place the second dough ball in the refrigerator. Cut the cookies out using a cookie cutter and place the shapes carefully on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Roll out the second dough ball and repeat the steps from above so you will have two cookie sheets of cutouts.
  8. Sprinkle with sanding sugar
  9. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges are very lightly browned. If you like your cookies a little crispy, bake for the full 12 minutes. Please watch your cookies because all ovens are different.
  10. If you plan to frost your cookies, allow them to cool completely first. Enjoy!

* Adapted from

Soft and Chewy Sugar Cookie


  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sugar (additional for rolling)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  2. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
  3. Cream the butter and sugars together in a large mixer bowl on medium speed until light in color and fluffy. You should be able to see the change in color happen and know it’s ready.
  4. Add the egg and mix until well combined.
  5. Add the vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
  6. Add the dry ingredients and mix until the dough is well combined. It will be thick and shouldn’t be sticky. Do not over mix. Once it’s well combined, use a rubber spatula to help it come together to form a more cohesive ball.
  7. Create 1 1/2 tablespoon sized balls of cookie dough. Gently roll into a ball, then roll each ball in the additional sugar to coat. Set the balls on the baking sheet.
  8. Bake cookies with love for 7-8 minutes. The cookies will spread and the centers will look soft, but should look done. Remove just before the edges begin to turn golden. Don’t over bake. The cookies will be a little puffy when you take them out of the oven but will fall a bit as they cool.
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on baking sheets for 4 to 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Lemon Sugar Cookies


  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of one large lemon, finely grated or minced
  • 4 tbsp fresh lemon juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using a mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and very fluffy.
  4. Beat in egg, vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest.
  5. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients.
  6. Roll rounded big scoop of dough into balls, and roll in sugar. 
  7. Flatten and cut with heart shaped cookie cutter
  8. Place on lined cookie sheets about 1-½” apart.
  9. Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly browned.
  10. Let stand on a cookie sheet for two-minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.
Eggnog Chaser


  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Ground cinnamon , for topping
  • Rum or Brandy if desired


  1. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a medium bowl until light and creamy.
  2. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the cream, milk, nutmeg and salt. Stir often until mixture reaches a bare simmer. 
  3. Add a big spoonful of the hot milk to the egg mixture, whisking vigorously. Repeat, adding a big spoonful at a time, to temper the eggs. 
  4. Once most of the hot milk has been added to the eggs, pour the mixture back into the saucepan on the stove. 
  5. Whisk constantly for just a few minutes, until the mixture is just slightly thickened (or until it reaches about 160 degrees F on a thermometer). It will thicken more as it cools.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
  7. Pour the eggnog into a pitcher or other container and cover with plastic wrap. 
  8. Stir in rum or brandy (optional).
  9. Refrigerate until chilled. It will thicken as it cools. If you want a thinner, completely smooth consistency, you can add the entire mixture to a blender with 1 or 2 tablespoons of milk and blend until smooth.
  10. Serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon, and fresh whipped cream, if desired.
  11. Store homemade eggnog in the fridge for up to one week.

* From Tastes Better from Scratch. Please note: It’s also lovely to simply buy your favorite Eggnog from the store and sweeten it up with nutmeg, cinnamon and your other favorite spices.

Warm Spiced (Spiked) Apple Cider


  • Unfiltered Apple Cider
  • Mulling Spices
  • Spiced Rum (for spiked version) Such as Captain Morgan or Don Q Spiced
  • Fresh Grated Orange Peel to taste
  • Fresh Sliced Oranges for Garnish
  • Cinnamon Sticks for Garnish


  1. Heat the apple cider on over medium high heat on the stove
  2. Place mulling spices in a spice ball, cheesecloth bag, or tea infuser and drop in the heating cider
  3. Add the grated orange peel, stir
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce  heat, cover, and simmer for 30 min or longer (can be kept warm in a crock pot)
  5. Ladle hot cider into mugs
  6. Add a shot of Spiced Rum for spiked version
  7. Garnish with slice of fresh orange and cinnamon stick


Sparking Ginger Cranberry Mocktail

INGREDIENTS (makes 4 drinks)

  • 8 oz. unsweetened cranberry juice
  • 16 oz. ginger beer
  • Fresh cranberries, for garnish


  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest


  1. On a small plate, combine the sugar with the orange zest. Stir them together until combined, and set aside.
  2. Slice an orange with a sharp knife, and cut into a wedge.
  3. Run the wedge around the rim of your glass. Make sure the entire rim is damp, as the orange sugar won’t stick if it’s not.
  4. Dip the rim into the orange sugar on the plate, moving the glass until all parts are coated.
  5. Using a jigger or a liquid measuring cup, measure out 2 ounces of cranberry juice and pour into the glass.
  6. Pour 4 ounces of ginger beer on top of the cranberry juice, and stir.
  7. Garnish with fresh cranberries, and enjoy immediately!