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Need one of Julia’s foolproof recipes? Some stunning cookie decorating ideas? Or a quick fix on Julia’s latest news and events? Well then, you’re in the right place! Here, you can stay up-to-the-minute current on everything that’s happening in Julia’s kitchen and studio – and in that always-churning mind of hers! IMPORTANT: Julia is still formatting blog entries prior to 2021 to conform to the new site layout. Please don’t be surprised if some back entries look a little wacky, and please be patient as she edits them over time.
Julia M. Usher

How to Stencil Cookies with Royal Icing

Limited video release from my Ultimate Cookies Decorating Series on DVD! Because of the large quantity of requests I’ve received for basic cookie stenciling tips, I’ve released Lesson 10 (basic cookie stenciling) from my DVD series to YouTube for the world to

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Julia M. Usher

Rhubarb-Ginger Compote

Vacation is for keeping it simple with easy and versatile dishes – especially when you spend your work week decorating lavish treats as I do. After a strictly enforced four-day hiatus from cooking during a recent holiday in Maine, I

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Julia M. Usher

How to Contour Cookie Dough

Wondering how to create curvaceous pieces of cookie dough, like the half-circles used to create my cookie baskets in my Contoured Cookie Baskets video? Well, you’re in luck! In this video, I show you all the ins and outs of shaping

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Julia M. Usher

Dual-Mode Stenciling

What the heck is dual-mode stenciling, you ask?! (So sorry – it’s the former engineer in me who loves to make up pseudo-scientific names to explain cookie decorating techniques!) Anywho . . . it’s a term I coined (I think)

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Julia M. Usher

Sour Cream-Rhubarb Streusel Coffee Cake

Yum! Here’s my Rhubarb-Ginger Compote all souped up in a sour cream streusel coffee cake! (Betcha can’t say that three times fast.) Enjoy it warm from the oven; cooled to room temp and cut into big, satisfying slabs; or reheated with

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Julia M. Usher

Cutout Cookie Gingerbread

High on spice yet relatively delicate in texture, this dough is perfect for 2-D cookies and small-scale 3-D construction projects. It also spreads less than my Signature Sugar Cookie Dough, making it more suitable for tight-fitting angular constructions

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Julia M. Usher

Largely Undoctored Crab Salad

When seafood goes straight from the water to your local market – as it does on my island home-away-from-home in Stonington, Maine – resist the temptation to dress it up with fancy sauces or dips or lots of mayo and other gunk. Instead, let its essence of summer sing out loud and clear

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Julia M. Usher

Semisweet Modeling Chocolate

Recently I’ve heard some trepidation about modeling chocolate expressed within my circles on the internet. But, truly, there’s nothing to fear about this quick and easy two-ingredient recipe. Plus, it’s really tasty, much tastier than

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Julia M. Usher

White Modeling Chocolate

Hey, have you mastered semisweet modeling chocolate yet? If so, it’s time to advance to the white chocolate version. As yummy as the semisweet recipe is, it has its limitations – like it’s impossible to tint! So when I’m in need of a really tasty modeling medium and the flexibility to add color, I turn to

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Julia M. Usher

3-D Contoured Basket Cookies

Lovely for Easter, May Day, or Mother’s Day, these baskets are made from contoured cookie dough covered with frosting sheets. Simply swap out what’s tucked inside to adapt them to a particular holiday! To see the video version of this tutorial, click here.

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Julia M. Usher

My Favorite Italian Buttercream

Super creamy and not cloyingly sweet (like its American counterpart), my Italian Buttercream lets flavor shine over sugar, and is the best icing I’ve found for smoothly icing cakes. It’s also my go-to icing whenever I want

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Julia M. Usher

Holiday Party Crackers

If you hadn’t already gathered, I have a sweet spot for 3-D cookies that resemble things you never thought they could be – like these holiday cookie crackers filled with candies and special messages. I originally designed them for party

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Julia M. Usher

Nana’s Gingerbread Cake

Because I often spend the bulk of my work week decorating reaaally detailed cookies, I like to unwind when it comes to other baking, especially during the jam-packed holidays. This season, I did a quick version of my Nana’s Gingerbread Cake,

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Julia M. Usher

Clementine Cocktail

How did you ring in the New Year? I did it with hubby and a colorful clementine cocktail! The candied citrus rounds not only add a festive note (I love how they sparkle in the right light), but they can also do double-duty in other dishes. In the past, I’ve

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Julia M. Usher

Color Me Christmas

You might be dreaming of a white Christmas, but I prefer the traditional red and green – for decorating, that is! These colors cheer up even the dreariest of winter days; they’re naturally found in nature, which often means cheaper,

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