Giveaway!!! And all about Julia Usher’s Ultimate Cookies

the book
When author Julia Usher contacted me about a possible giveaway of her new book, Ultimate Cookies, one glimpse and the answer was, “Yes. Please.” Some of you may already have Julia’s first book, Cookie Swap: Creative Treats to Share Throughout the Year. The sequel, Ultimate Cookies, published by Gibbs-Smith and with stunning, colorful photography by Steve Adams, is filled with just as much sweet gorgeousness. Her love of baking, born in childhood sharing the kitchen with her mom and siblings, is evident on every page, but the all-grown-up cookies also revel in the art of baking. “Ultimate” is an apt adjective for the title, because I can’t imagine more exquisitely-crafted, flawless cookies than those in this book.

Ultimate Cookies is the answer for her Cookie Swap fans’ pleas for cookie decorating help, and it’s for those who also feel a “naked sugar cookie calls out to be cloaked with icing and sprinkles.” Julia writes, “Cookie decorating isn’t a frivolity to me. It’s fun, for sure, but it’s also a passion that gives my life a strong sense of meaning.” This book is for those motivated by the same passion and patience to create what is truly edible art.

The introductory chapter is packed with information, including all the tools you’ll need and a thorough description of the techniques with step-by-step photographs, including instructions on how to roll dough, prepare royal icing and parchment paper pastry cones, pipe icing, use different cookie decorating techniques, emboss cookies, and use piping techniques, and it even covers 3-D cookie decorating with modeling media such as fondant and marzipan. You’ll also find recipes for sugar cookies, shortbread, gingerbread, royal icing, macarons, meringues, tuiles, Italian buttercream, ganache, and more.

The more than 40 projects include detailed instructions so you can create your own awe-inspiring cookies. I wish I could include every single photograph from the book in this blog post, because choosing which jaw-dropping cookies to feature was almost impossible. Find hand crafted, cookie jewelry in “Party Girl”; sweet versions of spaghetti and meatballs or eggs and bacon in “Incredible Edibles”; caterpillars, butterflies and snakes in “Where the Wild Things Are”; and cookies for every occasion in “So This Season” and “Yuletide Yummies.”

the giveaway

the giveaway!!!
Leave a comment here
before Monday, October 31, midnight, EST
(yep, that’s Halloween)
One winner will be randomly drawn to win Ultimate Cookies.
Winner has 48 hours to respond after being notified before another winner is drawn.
This contest is worldwide.
Please remember to leave an email address if you don’t have a site connected to your google profile so I can contact you if you win. (If you don’t want to leave your email address publicly, still leave a comment below, but then you may also email me privately with your email address, indicating which comment is yours:

Feel free to share (nicely)! While my blog's photographs and text are protected by copyright, I do allow (and encourage) you to share ONE photograph with credit to "the decorated cookie" and link to this blog post. PLEASE don't reprint any part of the blog post and PLEASE don't post a photo without credit. Thank you!


  1. 864db348-4351-11e0-bbb8-000bcdcb8a73 says

    The book looks like it has awesome cookie designs. Would love to win and expirement!


  2. Janet says

    This looks like a great book for someone like me just learning to decorate cookies beyond plain frosting and sprinkles!

  3. Joey says

    Those are some serious cookies! I'm gathering supplies and watching a ton of tutorial videos all in preparation to embark on my very first iced sugar cookie journey! I KNOW this book will come in handy.

  4. Mercedes says

    I would love to win this book and be able to try some of these wonderful creations! Thanks for the opportunity!

  5. eatdessertfirst says

    These look even more fun than the cookies in the first book. Way to go Julia!!! I'd love to win a copy.

  6. Sgt.Pepper says

    wowwwwwwwwwwww…..che meraviglia….non ho mai visto dei biscotti del genere….magnifici!!!!
    con quelli col pupazzo di neve ho trovato cosa fare a Natale…..partecipo molto volentieri anche dall'italia!!!!
    a presto e grazie per quest'opportunità!

  7. Rita McDonald says

    I would love to get my hands on a copy of this book. The cookies look amazing. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy.

  8. FabShabbyRoses says

    Oh this book looks absolutely awesome! I've love to win and be able to try these to delight my granddaughters! Please sing me up for the draw! Thank you! Carolyn

  9. Trish - Sweetology101 says

    amazing! I love the designs and fun twists on cookie designs you showed here! I hope I win! Have a great week.

  10. Sweetly Favored says

    Wow! I have and love Cookie Swap and would love to win this to add to my collection!! Thanks for the giveaway!

  11. Anilu F says

    This book looks amazing, those projects are gorgeous!, I hope i get lucky :) I love the christmas ornament and the necklaces!

    Greetings from Perú


  12. LiSa says

    I just bought a cookie book, but felt it was oly so/so would love to have a look at this one!! xx happy Halloween!

  13. Dan_Sally says

    I would love to just read this book… and dream. Before making some botched attempt at them. Then read again!

  14. Mina Topilina says

    Oohhhh!!!! I´m in!!!!

    I would looooooove to do that!!! Is just amazing!!!!

    I´m sending you an e-mail right away!!!

  15. icemybiscuit says

    Oh my. Not only is it an amazing looking book, but your giveaway is also open worldwide! A giveaway I can enter!! Thank you!

  16. Sweet Ever Afters says

    Oh I love her previous book. I was just picking out things for it this week for halloween! Would love to win the next one.

  17. Stacey says

    Oh wow those cookies are amazing! I will spend so long baking and decorating that I can't even stand well the next day, but I love to bake so it is hard to make myself stop to rest!

  18. I'm a full-time mummy says

    Greetings from Malaysia!

    Thanks for the opportunity! Hope I can win it!

    My email is: imafulltimemummy at gmail dot com

  19. Butter Hearts Sugar says

    Oh my gosh every single one of those cookies is amazing, the amount of detail in each one blows my mind. It looks like a beautiful book.

  20. Jane Lasky Travel says

    I would love to own your cookies because I always burn mine whenever I try to make 'em. This way I can show the photos and simply brag about how clever I was to have created them…oh, right, I didn't! :/

  21. Tazzie says

    Such beautiful cookies, I can only dream of being able to make such wonderful works of art. I'd love to be included in the draw – thank you so much for the opportunity!

  22. OLGUIS says

    hope I can win I love this kind of books they look great.
    I start practicing making cookies so this book would be perfect for me.

  23. karenb says

    Beautiful and creative!!! I would LOVE that book!!! The decorated cookies in the gift boxes are incredible!!!

    Anyone interested in purchasing brand new Kopykake K1000 Projector- has it for $339 + ship. Use coupon code: monkeybargains for 5% saving. Final Price with ship: $341.00!!
    Includes 5 year warranty. This is the cheapest price around for this projector!!

    I ordered mine yesterday and can't wait to get it!!!

    Winning that book would certainly come in handy!!!

  24. says

    I do have the first book and it is definitely something I flip through as a "dream" book. I am still trying to perfect control over the piping, writing and detailed decorating….but I have always wanted to create the cookie Christmas tree land featured in the first book. Pick me, pick me!

  25. Sugary Flower says

    Wow, that looks beautiful! I'd loooove to try some of those 3D cookies!
    And thank you, thank you for making the contest worldwide! :)

  26. MARGARET says

    Those peacock cookies are so adorable and way too funny! This looks like it'd be a fun book to try. Thanks for the chance! :)

  27. Sareberry says

    Those are amazing! I wish I had seen those peacock cookies a year ago when my sister was getting married, she'd go crazy! Love!

  28. Shelly says

    Just recently found your site, as a novice cookie decorator I have been pouring over it, gathering tips and ideas. I would love to win this beautiful book and learn even more.

  29. Μαρία Sweet Art says

    I make cookies with sugarpaste but these cookies are very very beautiful!!!!

    I would love to win this cookbook
    many kisses
    Maria Sweet Art

  30. Carrie - Carrie's Creations says

    I have been admiring the book ever since I heard about it! Thank you for hosting this giveaway and I hope I win!

  31. Jill says

    what beautiful cookies…I can't wait to try my hand at a few of them.
    thanks for the chance..

  32. Kellycreations says

    I was just looking into getting this book. I would love to win a copy, keeping my fingers crossed. Good luck everyone :)

  33. Rose-Marie says

    A feast for the eyes as well as for the tummy!! Yummy!!! I have been trashing all the stores in vain searhing in vain for cookie decorating books. Hit paydirt, right here!!!

  34. Diane Mc says

    Fabulous book and what amazing cookies! I love creativity, and your cookies are beautiful.
    I may need to step up my work. LOL.

    Congratulations on a lovely book!

  35. Becky Jo says

    Every last cookie is a word of art. I just started making cookies and can only dream that one day I can make masterpieces like these.

  36. Lovely Traits says

    I have been interested in decorating cookies for ages, but have only just started.. Before I'd reached the hands-on stage, I collected such books.. Want more!

  37. MonkeeLuvR says

    Love all the bright colorfull cookies! Esp the monsters with googly eyes! Would most def love to have the talent that you have, winning the book may help ; )

  38. KarenR says

    I would love to win this book….I have looked at it online and think it would be great to have. Thanks for the opportunity. Just read your last blog entry…hope things get better soon. Will keep you in my prayers.Karen

  39. Leslie says

    I'm a cookie decorating novice. Love your blog and your work. Would love to win, but if I don't, I'm still going to get this book and yours when it comes out!

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