Let’s be honest. Cookie decorating doesn’t come naturally to many of us and Pinterest isn’t helping. Those plump, happy snowmen and intricately decorated stockings are enough to make a person throw down the icing bag in defeat.
Kristen Johnson-Slate of Sugar Spruce Baking Co. is here to help. She is holding two Holiday Cookie Decorating Workshops at Perfect Dish in east Vancouver. She also offers private cookie decorating parties ($50 per student, minimum of four students).
Johnson-Slate’s cookies on social media are exquisite, but she doesn’t expect her students to be perfect. She focuses all her knowledge, talent and energy on creating a fun experience. Each student gets a baking tray with everything needed for the class. After everyone settles into their seats, she leads them through the decorating process. She starts with borders and flooding, a technique for covering cookies with runny icing. Then she moves onto details. Students can be as young as 5 years old, but all children must be accompanied by an adult.
Everyone takes home their cookies along with recipes, tips for frosting, a list of places to buy high-quality and special ingredients, and a cookie cutter. Sugar Spruce Baking also offers cute merchandise like comfy hoodies and cute aprons, as well as jars of decadent sauces like salted caramel and peppermint chocolate. She also has copies of her gorgeous cookie cookbook, “Just Add Milk: Extraordinary Cookies for the Everyday Baker.” The book includes recipes from three generations of Johnson-Slate’s family.
If you don’t go to the workshop but want to get a taste of these cookies (or pass them off as your own), Sugar Spruce Baking sells boxed cookie samplers that include a dozen drop cookies in flavors such as salted caramel and chocolate chunk, hot cocoa and ginger molasses.