The Bakers Behind the Holiday Cookies Special Issue

Amber Spiegel Amber Spiegel | Sweet Ambs 
Many artists use broad canvases, vast brick walls, or, say, an entire chapel ceiling to paint their masterpieces. Amber Spiegel, however, chooses to express her artistic vision on the tiny sweet space of a sugar cookie, with royal icing for paint and icing tips for brushes. Over 1 million Instagram followers tune in to watch her mini videos, a Zen look at the process behind her “cookie-scapes,” featuring star-strewn galaxies, delicate Victorian eyelet lace, and gold luster-dusted and sugar pearl-encrusted crowns. Sharing her decorating wisdom through Craftsy web tutorials and her blog, SweetAmbs, Amber has captured the imagination of home bakers everywhere. She shares some of her top tricks to create miniature masterpieces like embroidered ornaments and sparkling snowflakes that will dazzle both cookie and art connoisseurs alike. 

Shiran Dickman Shiran Dickman | Pretty. Simple. Sweet
From computer programmer to online cake seller, there was a bit of career-hopping for Shiran Dickman before she landed on baking blogger. Always on the search for the right passion to keep her happily burning the midnight oil, Shiran found the illusive joy in her playful desserts-centric blog, Pretty. Simple. Sweet. Each post waxes poetic about her sugar obsession and offers recipes that make use of her (and probably your) favorite flavors, from her Biscoff Cheesecake to a Nutella layer cake to no fewer than three banana bread recipes. But as a self-confessed chocoholic, many of her recipes are devoted to chocolate. Shiran shares four of her favorite chocolate-filled cookies, with classic turtles, rugelach, and biscotti all receiving the cocoa treatment.

Lisa Tutman-OglesbyLisa Tutman-Oglesby | Celebrate Creativity
Part Martha, part MacGyver, Lisa Tutman-Oglesby has the restless creative energy that spins baking mishaps into golden opportunities. After 20 years as a reporter and anchor, Lisa started her blog, Celebrate Creativity, as a tribute to her DIY approach to life, whether offering hacks on gardening and home décor or baking delightful edible gifts. Her journalism experience certainly influences her “news-you-can-use” blogging approach, all while keeping it light, bright, and approachable. Here, Lisa serves up her best showstopping holiday treats, from elegant gingerbread ornaments to jaunty 3-D reindeer cookies, with plenty of inspiration to spare.

Maryanne CabreraMaryanne Cabrera | The Little Epicurean
Maryanne Cabrera is here to prove that good things, including bloggers, come in small packages. After learning the tools of the trade at the Culinary Institute of America and The French Pastry School, Maryanne channeled her passion and expertise into a blog, The Little Epicurean. A reference to her short stature and love of exploration and flavor, The Little Epicurean is Maryanne’s outlet for the recipes inspired by her sweet, savory, and, occasionally, boozy cravings. For the holidays, Maryanne is dishing up everything from pistachio- and cranberry-packed Loaded Holiday Cookies to Cuban-inspired Guava Cream Cheese Cookies.

Phillip Fryman Phillip Fryman | Southern Fatty
Cancer research biologist by day, dry-humored food blogger by night. You could say Phillip Fryman is living a very rich double life. When this Nashville native isn’t working, cheering on the Predators hockey team, or drinking copious amounts of coffee, he’s the personality and culinary mind behind Southern FATTY. Since starting the blog in 2014, Phillip has honed his signature blend of Southern charm, brilliant science, and whimsical humor into one sweet business. Here, Phillip shares classic recipes with modern adaptations, like his Brandy Snaps with Brandy Honey Whipped Cream, Cookies and Cream Macarons, Oatmeal Cranberry Cream Pie Cookies, and Browned Butter Molasses Cookies. Baking his recipes offers holiday treats that recall past memories and create precious new ones.

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