{DIY} My Christmas Cookies & Fixer Upper Kitchen

My winning Christmas cookie  styled in Country Home magazine

It’s time to bake the Christmas cookies, 

and after sharing my parents’ Swedish home,

I am now sharing the not-so-secret RECIPE

for my special  Swedish Spritz-like

sugar cookies with buttercream icing.



It’s our family’s favorite cookie and especially

loved by our eldest son, Luke, so we call them

Luke’s Christmas Love Cookies

but they are also known as

Swedish Christmas Cookies

because my Swede peeps say they

are so reminiscent of Spritz.

Can I tell you one of the sweetest moments of my life

like EVER?

Little Luke, perfect and precious in his platinum blonde

two-and-a-half year old body calls my name…


I look up.

“Yes, babe, what are you up to?”



There will never be enough x’s and o’s or good words

for me to adequately express how my heart simply


when I recall that little voice and sacred moment.

And I’m so happy to share it with you intimately

right now

because, friends, today was a tough day.

I know you know them.

I think tomorrow will feel better, don’t ya think?

I think this because I am getting older and know

some things about love and sorrow.

Like how they can mingle and at times make you feel

as though you’re just not strong enough to bear

what it is you must bear.

But love is real, babe.

It’s stronger than hate.

Stronger than cancer.

Stronger than death.

So when I type these words from my little corner

of the heartland in the USA and share images

inspiring me at any given moment,

please know that I am also exhaling my love

on all the letters because I truly care.

You are just so perfectly made to be loved.

If you have a moment and believe in such things,

I’d be so grateful if you whispered a little prayer for me.



Baking these buttercream frosted, buttery cookies

is a holiday tradition I have enjoyed with my kids,

for almost 25 years…

and they even won a contest

in this lovely magazine:


When I submitted my entry and cookie recipe,

I explained that as my boys grew into teenagers

it became a little tricky to find bonding

activities, yet cooking and baking in the kitchen

is something you’re never too young or too old

to enjoy together.


Keep reading to get the recipe for these

yummy Christmas cookies, and take a

peek at some shots of my kitchen at

the fixer upper in its pared down glory

before we add some festive greenery

and accents.

Remember how the kitchen looked when we began?


We didn’t have to trash the cabinetry, it simply

relocated to a basement workshop.


If you missed my post where I shared a bazillion images

of a simple and thrifty tablescape, find it here.


The quartz countertop color is Minuet by LG Hausys Viatera.


It looks daringly spare here, but believe me,
in such a small kitchen (for me, it’s small),
it gets colorful pretty dang quick with
food and personalities.


Can I ask a favor?
If you don’t already follow HELLO LOVELY on instagram,
@hellolovelystudio would you consider joining me there? Swell.

I share glimpses of everyday life at the Chicagoland fixer upper
like when the new front door arrived yesterday morning:

Rustic plank exterior wood door with speakeasy by Pacific Entries.

and the forthcoming Arizona cottage makeover
as well as random Hello Lovely adventures.


Now about those delicious cookies…here’s the thing.
You need to plan ahead since the dough needs to chill.
It needs 3 hours or overnight so
you get to chill while it’s chillin’.

And as chillin’ goes, I say
how about playing Christmas music,
cozying up with a warm drink,
and perusing lovely on the interwebs
with an emphasis on ones featuring
peaceful living…hmmmm.


Ignore me. I’m an unapologetic shameless woman
who loves da pinning you do so well.
You’re going to have a hard time
not eating this raw dough even though
you know the salmonella yadda yadda
and how you’d like to get back into
those skinny jeans.
Just warning you.

Swedish Christmas Cookies
Luke’s Christmas Love Cookies

Prep: 50 minutes

Chill: 2 hours

Bake: 7 minutes/batch

Oven: 375°

1 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cream of tartar

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. almond extract

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 7-oz. jar marshmallow cream

3/4 cup butter, cut up and softened

3/4 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup powdered sugar

Colored sprinkles

1. In a large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer on medium to high speed, beat 1 cup butter for 30 seconds. Add 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and almond extract. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Divide in half. Cover and chill for 2 to 3 hours or until easy to handle.

2. On a lightly floured surface roll half of dough at a time until slightly less than 1/4 inch thick. Cut dough using a 2 1/2-inch star-shape cutter. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

3. Bake in 375° oven 7 to 8 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Transfer to wire racks; cool.

4. In large mixing bowl beat marshmallow cream, gradually adding 3/4 cup softened butter. Beat in 3/4 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Spread or pipe atop cookies. Sprinkle with colored sprinkles. Makes 6 1/2 dozen cookies.

TO STORE : Store in a single layer in refrigerator until frosting sets, about 1 hour. Store in a single layer in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 3 days. For longer storage, freeze uniced cookies.

Per cookie: 73 cal., 4 g fat (3 g sat. fat), 14 mg chol., 49 mg sodium, 8 g carbo., 0 g dietary fiber, 1 g protein.


Friends, thank you for letting me be me on this blog.

I’m mostly a mysteriously creative mess just muddling through,
and I find myself so soft and tender this holiday season
in a very very real state of wide awake wonder.

It’s not childlike or a sugary sweet nostalgia,
but a very grownup sort of awe and
contemplative cosmic consciousness.
…and so I share a sugary cookie recipe? That’s classic.

In spite of the paradox, with all my heart, I send
peace to you right where you are.




  1. December 8, 2016 / 12:17 pm

    Reading your post this morning was a perfect way to start my day! Thank you, can't wait to bake those yummy looking cookies. Peace to you lovely lady!

    • December 8, 2016 / 5:52 pm

      merci, bonbonbon, your name is a wonderful way to start any day! xo

  2. December 8, 2016 / 3:50 pm

    What a lovely post! And Michelle, I have said a prayer for you this morning, asking our Lord to wrap His Loving Arms around you and give you peace and comfort.

    • December 8, 2016 / 5:53 pm

      thank you so much, sandy. what a kind world it is. xox

  3. December 8, 2016 / 5:07 pm

    Sending you lots of luv!! After a couple months away, I'm slowly returning to blogland. Your kitchen looks so beautiful, dear friend. And those cookies – yum! Congrats on the feature 🙂 xoxox

    • December 8, 2016 / 5:54 pm

      thank you for the luvin, loi. i felt as though i had won the lottery when i was notified i was a recipe winner…i mean where do you go from there? hahahaha. xox

  4. December 9, 2016 / 5:28 am

    Sending you warmth and comfort of heart, mind and spirit.
    With gratitude and thanks for a lovely internet space, indeed,

    • December 15, 2016 / 2:37 am

      thank you for all the warmth, michelle. i'm so grateful. xox

  5. December 9, 2016 / 4:29 pm

    OH dear… I am so behind on visiting you! Your cookie recipe looks amazing! I love marshmallow and, with that almond extract they are sure to be a hit for the season. Enjoy your Friday! xox

    • December 15, 2016 / 2:38 am

      it's not your fault, i'm a blog machine in overambitious mode! you can sub amaretto for the almond extract! xox

  6. December 10, 2016 / 11:35 pm

    This cookie recipe looks super yummy. Thanks for sharing!

    • December 15, 2016 / 2:39 am

      wait til you taste them, charlene! xox

  7. December 13, 2016 / 7:12 pm

    Super looks and good looking cookies! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

    • December 15, 2016 / 2:39 am

      thanks for hosting the party! merry christsmas, friend. xox

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