Our multimedia designer Sarah McCay personalizes her holiday cookies with illustrations of Adelphi ready for winter: the Science Building, Levermore Hall and the Panther Express in the snow—even our bunnies and President Christine Riordan’s beloved dog, Georgia.

Put your own personal spin on your holiday cookies by following Sarah’s recipe and decorating tips—watch the video of Sarah in action. Then share your designs on social media and tag us.

All of us at Adelphi University wish you a festive and wonderful holiday season.

Sugar Cookie Recipe

Yield: Makes about 30–35 cookies, but it will also depend on the size of the cookie cutter and how thick you make your cookies.

  • 2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • seeds from 1 vanilla bean (or 3 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder (Omit this if you don’t want your cookies to spread.)
  • 1 tsp salt


  1. Cream the butter and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer on low to medium speed. Mix until thoroughly incorporated, about one minute. 
  2. Overmixing the butter and sugar in this step will cause too much air to be incorporated into the dough. If you’d like a light and fluffy cookie, that’s ideal, but the dough will spread more during baking—not ideal if you’d like the cookie to hold its shape.
  3. Add eggs slowly and mix. Scrape down the bowl with your spatula at least once and mix again.
  4. Add vanilla extract. Stir briefly.
  5. Sift your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) together.
  6. Add all of the flour mixture to the bowl. Place a large tea towel or two small tea towels between the edge of the bowl and the electric mixer so that the flour won’t escape. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds. Remove the tea towels and observe the dough mixing; when it clumps around the paddle attachment,  it’s ready.
  7. Roll the dough out between 2 large pieces of parchment paper. Place on a baking sheet and into the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour.
  8. Roll out the dough further if you need to, and cut out cookie shapes. Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Reroll scraps and repeat.
  9. Preheat your oven to 350°F 
  10. Bake cookies for 8-12 minutes or until the edges become golden brown. The baking time will depend on the size of your cookie.
  11. Let cookies cool to room temperature and decorate!

Royal Icing Recipe


  • 6 oz (1/3 cup) warm water
  • 5 tbs meringue powder
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2.25 lbs (1 kg) powdered icing sugar


  1. Add water and meringue powder to mixing bowl and hand whisk for 30 seconds.
    Add cream of tartar and hand whisk for 30 seconds.
  2. Add all the icing sugar and mix slowly for 10 minutes.
  3. Tint with food coloring. Put damp towel over bowl to prevent drying.
  4. Tip: If your meringue powder had no vanilla, add a teaspoon of clear vanilla extract.


For further information, please contact:

Todd Wilson
Strategic Communications Director 
p – 516.237.8634
e –

Phone Number
More Info
Levermore Hall, 205
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