Santa’s New Sweets
Sydnie Summerford, founder of Cookies by Sydnie, on custom Christmas treats, tradition and more
How long have you professionally baked sugar cookies?
I am heading into my sixth year in February as a home bakery making sugar cookies. Six years ago, I took a nine-month maternity leave from my job as an orthodontic assistant and I always planned to go back, but I was needing my mother-in-law to take care of my brand new daughter.
Then, as a new mom at home, cabin fever began to set in. I picked it up as a sort of side gig when a friend told me to make a Facebook page for it. I called her crazy, but I did it and, almost overnight, it became a business. Now, with two little ones at home, I get to run the mom gig and a full-time cookie business. In fact, the first sugar cookies I made were for a friend’s Christmas party.
Are there essentials to making the perfect Christmas cookie?
There’s not much to making the perfect Christmas cookie. I would say invest in a handful of staple cookie cutters that you could use year after year, but still change up the designs; things like Christmas trees, stockings and a Santa hat. Another thing to always hold onto is a good, old-fashioned family recipe you can pass down over the years, as well as a good rolling pin. Oh, and sprinkles. Everyone loves and always wants the sprinkles.
When it comes to leaving cookies for Santa, what does your family leave out?
I think because my business is sugar cookies, we actually make the monster cookies or even a classic chocolate chip and leave it out for Santa. The girls have already had their hand in decorating sugar cookies, so we like to mix it up around that time, so we always do chocolate chip cookies.
Any advice for first-timers?
Practice. Practice. Practice.
My first set of cookies, I can’t even believe that people paid money for them, but they did. Practice makes perfect and it’s what I’ve used to perfect what I do every year. I’ve put in plenty of hours of teaching, training myself. Like any new skill or art, it takes practice and research.
Follow Sydnie Summerford on Instagram (@cookiesbysydnie) for more information about holiday treats and tricks.