The University of Iowa

Virtual Holiday Baking Event

Image to promote virtual baking event

International Programs hosted a (virtual) Holiday Baking event on December 19, 2020. This special event was intended to encourage interaction between international students and scholars, domestic students, community members, as well as UI staff and faculty.

Professional baking instructor Becky Schmooke of Becky’s Mindful Kitchen guided participants in baking classic sugar cookies (recipe is available below). 

Free baking kits were made available to event participants who were able to pick them up on campus. The baking kits included: dry ingredients, a small container of icing, and a small container of sprinkles. 



Prep: 45-60 minutes plus chilling, cooling and decorating
Bake: 12-15 minutes per batch; Makes about 4 dozen

  • "Wet" ingredients:
    • 10 T. (140 g) butter, softened to spreading consistency
    • 2 tsp. (10 ml) vanilla extract
    • 1 large egg at room temperature
    • 2 T. (30 ml) milk
  • "Dry" ingredients:
    • 2 C. (310 g) all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour)
    • 1 tsp. (4 g) baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp. (2.8 g) salt
    • 3/4 C. (90 g) powdered sugar

To make:

  1. In a separate bowl mix well together all dry ingredients.
  2. In a larger bowl, cream the butter with a fork or hand mixer. If using hand mixer, stop it to add vanilla and egg. Blend into the butter, until creamy (could appear a bit curdled). Next, using wooden spoon or spatula, begin adding the dry ingredients in small batches, taking turns with milk additions. Blend until dough is smooth in texture, do not over work. Should the dough appear dry, may add tiny bit more milk.
  3. Cut dough in half, shape into 2 discs. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate 30-60 minutes. Or put in freezer for up to 15-20 minutes. Dough should be just firm for rolling.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).
  5. Take one disc of dough, unwrap and roll out gently with a floured rolling pin on a lightly floured surface, about 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick. Cut out with a cookie cutter of your choice. Save any trimmings, refrigerate, then re-roll for more cookies. Place cut outs on a non-greased baking tray, about 1 in (2.5 cm) apart. Dough will rise slightly during baking but not spread out.
  6. Bake 12-15 minutes until light golden on edges. Put baking tray on a cooling rack to set, then remove cookies from tray to cool completely.
  7. Decorate cooled cookies with icing and sprinkles when ready to eat. Store undecorated cookies in a covered container.