Elmer’s Glue Cookies (What NOT to Bake for the Holidays)

This weekend, my little neck of the woods was hit with a gorgeous snowfall – about eight inches worth.

Staying cozy inside for the most part as the temperatures dropped today, I decided to bake some cookies. (My batch from Jenni’s Cookies was gone so what is a girl to do?)

I was deciding between spritz and cut-out sugar cookies. I ended up going with the sugar cookies because I had yet to use my cookie cutters that I’d received for Christmas last year. I researched a recipe on some reputable food blogs and went with an easy recipe for Buttermilk Sugar Cookies. (Side note: this recipe had no reviews/ratings. I learned my lesson!) I actually had buttermilk in the fridge so I thought, “It’s meant to be!” Plus, buttermilk usually adds that je ne sais quoi to cooking and baking.

I really don’t know how these things could have turned out so badly. As you can see from the photos below, they came together nicely, rolled out fine, the shapes were oh-so-cute, and they even smelled good whilst baking.

And yet…

It’s almost as if my subconscious needed to prove my point that “not anybody can bake a sugar cookie and frost it.”

The results were SO BLAH! Essentially, I had just wasted a number of ingredients from my pantry – namely the flour – which is now completely gone. One of my favorite things in the world is taking a warm cookie from the cookie tray or cooling rack and tasting it right away, with its warmth hitting my tummy and giving me a hug on the inside.

So when I bit into the first cookie, I thought, “Oh, these definitely need icing.” There simply wasn’t enough sugar to make these taste good and the vanilla I’d added to the batch was non-existent. Come to think of it, this recipe was one of the only ones that didn’t call for almond or lemon extract (some of the distinct tastes of Christmas in cookies). But I had taken a leap of faith. Bad move on my part.

I checked the icing recipe, which is literally powdered sugar and milk (and food coloring, which I did not have), stirred it up, stared at it quizzically, then drizzled it over the finished cookies.

To say the finished product was underwhelming is an outrageous understatement. I grimaced.

Then I frosted a fresh cookie and handed it to my friend who is staying the weekend with us. He ate it just fine and actually thought it tasted quite good. Or so he said.

I returned to the kitchen to try another one. Nada. I went to the last batch and pulled an unfrosted one from the tray. If I had been 9, I would have spit it out.

I became quite agitated and called out to my friend, “These look and taste like Elmer’s Glue cookies!” He laughed. But it is all too true.

This, friends, is NOT the way to make sugar cookies with “icing” that is made from powdered sugar, milk, and nothing else. Make sure your cookies have ratings and reviews. Question any lack of extract. If it’s too easy, be suspicious. Anything worth doing is going to take some time.

Sigh. At least they looked pretty. And they will look lovely sitting in my trash can.

Epilogue: my dear, sweet man came home, went to the kitchen, tried a frosted cookie and called out, “Tastes like Christmas!” I still think they suck.


  1. Hey now! I liked them even without the goo!

  2. Thank you for calling it goo and not the other words it looks like. (Also, the goo tastes like poo.)

  3. coachingjoy says:

    Well, Edison tried a thousand different ways NOT to create a light bulb, but was undeterred. And now, voila! Solar powered homes, even… and still no one knows exactly how electricity works. It just does. So, one batch down. 999 to go! A valiant effort – and love those cookie cutters!

  4. Thanks! I got ’em from a special lady 🙂

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