Cookie Swap: Holly Cookies from Bellaire B+B

Located in a picturesque northern Michigan small town, the Bellaire B+B combines comfortable lodging and delicious breakfast featuring local sourcing. Try this cookie recipe from Owner and Innkeeper Holly Wilson for a great treat to start holiday mornings with! (P.S. These festive cookies are great additions to your next cookie swap! See our tip 5 tips here!)

Gramma Estel’s Holly Cookies

“It’s a pretty easy recipe, butter cookies, powdered sugar glaze and raspberry jam.  But I think, the love that goes into decorating them is what makes them taste so delicious.” – Holly Wilson


  • 2/3 cup unsalted softened butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • raspberry jam (no seeds)
  • extra flour for rolling


  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Red Hots or other cinnamon candies
  • Green food coloring
  • Paintbrush


Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicon mat.

Cream butter and sugar until light, then add egg and continue to beat until well incorporated.  Then add vanilla. In a separate bowl, sift the dry ingredients together. Once butter mixture is well combined, start adding dry ingredients slowly until completely incorporated.

Liberally flour your work surface as this is an extremely sticky dough. You can refrigerate it for a bit but since it’s mostly butter, it will get too hard and you’ll have to let it soften to roll out. Roll your dough until its about 1/8 in. thick.  Cut into desired shapes.  Pull together scraps and repeat.

Bake for 6-8 min.  Cookies should not brown.

Sandwich the cookies together with raspberry jam. 

When making icing, slowly drizzle milk into sugar until you achieve a thick glaze. Glaze cookies, while icing is still wet, press red hots into top.  Once icing has completely hardened, you can paint your holly leaves on.

Store in airtight container until it’s time to leave them out for Santa.  They will keep for 5-7 days and still taste delicious.

See our other Cookie Swap recipes!