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Teenage Baker Has Knack for Decorating Cookies
Sunday, November 14, 2021


Ryan Bennett is a 15-year-old sophomore at Wood River High School who has already forged a thriving business—that of decorating cookies for any occasion.

She will make an appearance in Marie’s Kitchen in today’s video to show how to decorate cookies for the holidays.

Bennett started baking cookies alongside her mother at the age of 5. She took them up another notch  four years ago when she decided decorated sugar cookies would make great Christmas presents. Sheltering at home during the COVID pandemic only provided more incentive to perfect her craft.

She has created a long line of cookies, including pumpkins, hearts, graduation flowers, soccer balls, basketballs and cookies asking “Will You Be My Bridesmaid?” She showcases her craft at

“I’m a perfectionist. If it’s not perfect, I’m not happy. And when that happens, Mom calls me a sour baker,” she explained.

Of course, her two older brothers certainly don’t mind when something turns out less than perfect.  After all, they get to eat the rejects.


1 cup butter, unsalted

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

1 teaspoon almond emulsion

3 cups flour

1.5 teaspoon baking powder.

Mix butter and sugar in a mixer for a couple minutes. Add egg, vanilla bean paste, almond emulsion and mix. Mix flour with baking powder and add to the other mix a spoonful at a time.

Form dough into a ball and set on press ‘n seal wrap or parchment paper. Cover with press ‘n seal wrap or paper, and roll out a quarter-inch thick. Cut out with cookie cutter. Bake 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes until cookies have puffed up and are slightly brown on the edges.


2 pounds powdered sugar

1/3 cup meringue powder

2/3 cup water

½ teaspoon almond extract

2 tablespoons corn syrup

Mix meringue powder with water and almond extract for 45 seconds. Add sugar and mix a few minutes longer. Add corn syrup and mix a tidbit longer until you get a slow drip from the icing.

Color with food coloring of your choice. Put icing in piping bags, outline edges of cookie, then fill in. Let dry for a minimum of two hours—overnight’s even better. Add additional touches, such as gold powder if desired after the firs layer of icing has dried.



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