Saturday, September 12, 2020

Mountain Lake Cookies

Mountain Lake Cookies

During the Labor Day holiday weekend, I baked Mountain Lake Cookies. Many people enjoyed the last days of summer at the beach or had a family BBQ in their backyard. I played it safe, stayed home, and baked. Now that the fall season is approaching and the weather is cooling down, I am so happy because it means pumpkin spice everything for me until Thanksgiving, and a lot more baking as I do not bake much during the summer months. These cookies remind me of a time pre-COVID-19 visiting family in Northern California. With the current state of affairs, this is a summer of what could have been in cookie form. It was a sad summer with no travel, but I am alive and am thankful for that.

Mountain Lake Cookies

Many of the shapes are new cookie cutters I purchased a few weeks ago. For this cookie project, I used the following cutters: Bigfoot-Sasquatch, bear, fish, tree, narrow biscuit rectangle shape for marshmallows on a stick, rectangle for sleeping bag, leaf, three peaked mountain, s'mores, log cabin, camper, campfire, pinecone, tent, flower for a sun, and a canoe I shaped from a banana. I really enjoyed baking and decorating these cookies. The coffee latte sugar cookie recipe is new and I have been working on it for awhile. The cookies have a perfect balance of coffee flavor and tastes just like a latte. The cookie is chewy and tender. It is fabulous! Goodbye summer and welcome fall.   

Mountain Lake Cookies

Coffee Latte Sugar Cookie Ingredients
5 cups All Purpose Flour (I use King Arthur)

1 1/2 cups Vanilla Sugar

1 teaspoon Coarse Salt

2 cups (4 sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened

1 tablespoon Milk or Cream 

2 Large Eggs

2 teaspoons Freshly Brewed Coffee, room temperature (I use Bustelo Espresso Coffee)

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Pure Coffee Extract (I use Nielsen Massey)

Cute cabin

Whisk together the flour and salt; set aside.

Cream the butter and vanilla sugar in a hand held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment on low; 1-2 minutes. Do not overmix.

Scrape the sides of bowl with a spatula and mix for 10 seconds.

Add the eggs one at a time, and mix until incorporated. 

Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix for 5 seconds.

Add the milk or cream, cooled coffee, and coffee extract, and mix on low until incorporated; about 20-25 seconds.

Mountain Lake Cookies
Turn off the mixer. Slowly add the flour mixture, and cover the mixer with a kitchen towel, and then turn the mixer on low speed and incorporate.

The dough is ready when it begins to clump around the paddle attachment.

Roll the dough into a disk shape, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours or in the freezer for 30-45 minutes, or overnight.

Take half of the dough leaving unused dough covered with plastic wrap in the fridge until ready to use.

Heat oven to 350°F.

Mountain Lake Cookies

Use two sheets of parchment paper with dough in between, and roll the dough with a rolling pin until desired thickness is reached.

Take the cutters and make shapes and repeat until you use up all the dough.

Place onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, and put in the freezer for 20 minutes. The cookies hold their shape when you do this.

How about a S'mores?

Bake 12-15 minutes or until the edges have slightly browned. My cookies baked in 15 minutes. Since oven temperatures vary check the cookies at the 12 minute mark. 

Wait 5 minutes before transferring cookies on wire racks to complete cooling.

Decorate once the cookies have cooled completely.

My banana canoe

Royal Icing
8 Egg Whites

8 teaspoons Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed

12 cups Powdered/Confectioners' Sugar, sifted

1 tablespoon Coffee Extract

1-4 tablespoons Room Temperature Water, as needed

You sleep in the tent; I got a camper! ;)

In a large bowl, sift the powdered sugar; set aside.

Separate the yolks and add the egg whites in a bowl.

In a bowl, whisk together the egg whites and lemon juice.

Transfer to a stand or hand held mixer with the paddle attachment, and mix on high for 1-2 minutes.


Add the coffee extract and mix for 5-10 seconds.

With the mixer off add the sifted powdered sugar and cover the mixer with a kitchen towel, and turn the mixer to low speed and beat until smooth. This step is better than adding the powdered sugar little by little and making a mess everywhere. 

The consistency of this recipe is thick and great for borders and detail work.

If you need a both a border and flood-like consistency keep reading below.

Marshmallows on a stick

If you only need flood consistency icing, add 1/2 teaspoon of water and mix for 5-10 seconds, and repeat until you reach the right consistency. Be careful that your icing does not become too runny or you may have to start over.

I found the best way to make royal icing is to separate the icing in plastic containers with lids according to the different colors I need. I save the containers when I order a pint of soup from Chinese takeout. These containers are great for icing. You can also use Tupperware or Pyrex.


Keep the containers or Tupperware/Pyrex covered until you are ready to color because royal icing hardens fast.

I use Wilton Super White, Juniper Green; Chefmaster Lemon Yellow, Sunset Orange, Leaf Green, Buckeye Brown; and AmeriColor Super Red, Super Black Gel Paste Food Color.

Rustic looking Pinecone

I always save a little extra white royal icing in a container in case the color I mix is too dark. If this happens, I just add a little white royal icing, stir to combine, and it fixes the problem. 

Use 1-2 drops at a time until you reach the desired color. Colors darken over time so be careful not to add too much color.


Once you have the colors completed in each container, take the amount you need of the border icing consistency and place into icing bottles or tipless bags.

Then with the remainder of the icing, use a spritz bottle with room temperature water to make flood consistency icing. Just spritz one or two times in the container and stir together with a small spatula or knife. A little water goes a long way. This part takes some practice. Then transfer the flood icing into icing bottles or tipless bags.

Coffee Latte Dough

I find doing it this way is easiest as you end up with the same color for both the border and flood consistency.

Decorate your cookies. I use candy eyes for Bigfoot, the bear and trout, and edible Wilton Brown Color Dust for the cabin. To make a thin paste of the color dust, take about a 1 teaspoon and add about 1/8 teaspoon of lemon or vanilla extract or vodka, and mix together. Apply with a thin pastry brush over a dry icing layer.

Nielsen Massey Pure Coffee Extract

Do a border and then fill it immediately. If you are adding layers let the first layer dry completely. 

I use a cookie stick to reach edges, and the tip to pop any air bubbles. 

I use a rotating fan to help dry the icing, and then I cover the cookies overnight by placing them in baking sheets and covering them with aluminum foil.

Royal Icing colors I used

Please keep in mind if you are baking and it is humid, you may need more time for the cookies to dry.

For the trout cookie, I was inspired by the design from Flour Box Bakery:


-Sophia/Two Frys