Olive Us: Episode 14: Hand Cookies

November 29, 2012

By Gabrielle.

Come make hand cookies! No cookie cutter required.

I loved working on this episode. Making hand cookies was a family tradition when I grew up and I remember it fondly. I loved the feel of the butter knife moving around my fingers, and I loved seeing my very own cookie — that was just my size (with my initials carved in!) —emerging from the oven. And most of all I loved decorating the hand with rings and bracelets made of sprinkles and candy pearls.

If you have a favorite cut-out cookie recipe, it will probably work just fine for these cookies. Or you can find my mother’s recipe here.

Some fun facts about this episode: The Grandma is my mother, Donna. She no longer owns the home I grew up in, but that recipe box? metal rolling pin? Those are the very same I grew up with. Seeing them makes me so nostalgic! And seeing the actual recipe card we used, in my mother’s fantastic hand-writing, is my favorite part.

Enjoy the video. Three cheers for baking with Grandma!

P.S. — For aprons in a pinch, we grabbed dish towels and tied them on with ribbon and twill tape. Easy (and cute!).

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Melissa November 29, 2012 at 9:07 am

My two year old loves this video! He’s asked to watch it about sixteen times. I love the idea of these cookies too; we’re totally going to make some this year. Thanks for sharing!


2 Design Mom November 29, 2012 at 10:05 am

Yay! I never get tired of hearing that the videos are a hit with the little ones. Thanks, Melissa.


3 Rachel November 29, 2012 at 9:35 am

This made me happy Gabby.


4 Design Mom November 29, 2012 at 10:05 am

Good. Miss you guys.


5 Jennifer November 29, 2012 at 9:44 am

Adorable! Definitely making this weekend!!


6 Design Mom November 29, 2012 at 10:06 am

I hope your kids will love it as much as I did when I was a kid.


7 Lara November 29, 2012 at 9:52 am

What a wonderful video! The direction and quality is just so perfect. What kind of equipment do you use?



8 Design Mom November 29, 2012 at 10:07 am

Thank you, Lara! We work with Tiger in a Jar, a husband-wife team based in SLC, for Olive Us videos. They’re so talented! They used Canon DSLR equipment. Their website is tigerinajar.com


9 shadygrove November 29, 2012 at 10:41 am

Oh, this might be my favorite Olive Us yet! So sweet, with your mom in the picture! And I love how the kids’ cookies reflect them so perfectly, too. Darling. Makes me want to bake cookies early!


10 Design Mom November 30, 2012 at 12:30 am

I agree about how the cookies reflect each child. Makes me happy!


11 Tara November 29, 2012 at 11:24 am

Next time we make sugar cookies I’m definitely making hand cookies, it’s such a sweet idea! I think my two year old will love it.


12 Design Mom November 30, 2012 at 12:31 am

Yes! Though it’s sometimes hard for the 2 year old to understand how to keep their hand still for the tracing. We’ve found if we model it first on a big kid or a grownup, then June was more into it. : ) Happy baking!


13 Summer November 29, 2012 at 11:50 am

This choked me up – I’m think it’s a combination of not having grandparents anymore (those recipe cards!!!), not having any pleasant cooking experiences growing up, seeing Betty Blair all grown up, and being a hormonal woman. Hahahahaha! That’s very cute and sweet though! We did get to make cement stepping stones though, that were a ton of fun – we’d dip our hands in and then decorate with whatever we could find (including broken glass, but we were old enough to be careful at that age). I always had rings and painted nails and bracelets!


14 Design Mom November 30, 2012 at 12:33 am

The recipe cards do me in too! I do almost all my baking from internet recipes and books. I was so sad to realize my kids won’t have our favorite recipes in my hand-writing. : (


15 tere November 29, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Lovely tradition, Gaby!! And your beautiful mom is enjoying passing it. This must be a threat to watch for you! I should tape my mom working with my kids one of these days…


16 Design Mom November 30, 2012 at 12:33 am

It makes me want to have my video camera on all. the. time.


17 Starr November 29, 2012 at 1:30 pm

That is ridiculously cute.

I see beauty in the opening shots of your mother’s hands…hands that have worked hard & continue to act with love.


18 Design Mom November 30, 2012 at 12:34 am

It’s true. My mother’s hands have worked hard.


19 Priest March 7, 2014 at 12:02 am

A major source of anger and frustration to insurance QuotesChimp is the seeming unfairness with which companies choose to raise rates or cancel policies if a policyholder makes a claim. You know the scenario: Someone has been with a company for 10 years without a claim and then, bang, they are in an accident. The company pays the benefits and then, pow, it cuts the policyholder loose as a poor risk.


20 Kjersten November 29, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Gabby, I loved, loved, loved this episode! I loved seeing your mom on camera with your kids, passing on a fun tradition with them. This will for sure be a treasured video for you and your kids.


21 Design Mom November 30, 2012 at 12:35 am

I love seeing comments from you, Kjersten! When I see the j, I know it’s you.

I would love to see video of your mother sewing. All my 4-H skills came from your mom!


22 Gina November 29, 2012 at 4:34 pm

I just have to comment today. I love these little videos so much! They inspire me to be a better parent. We are just starting our family (1 six month old, and 1 on the way!) and it’s refreshing to see families and siblings doing fun, constructive, worthwhile activities together that promote bonding, friendship, and love. I love to see families like yours, who are more real life, and less Disney channel. The Blair family is very inspiring! Thank you so much.


23 Design Mom November 30, 2012 at 12:36 am

Oh Gina. Ben Blair just read me your comment aloud while I was making breakfast for the kids. You made our day! Thank you.


24 Jennifer Jordan Burns November 29, 2012 at 7:10 pm

SO happy and wonderful!!! Looking forward to making with my children. Thank you for the inspiration!


25 Design Mom November 30, 2012 at 12:36 am

High-five for hand cookies!


26 Carter Higgins November 29, 2012 at 9:58 pm



27 Design Mom November 30, 2012 at 12:37 am

Thank you, Carter.


28 Jenny also November 30, 2012 at 7:31 am

What fun idea! I love that it’s do simple and personalizable! Play dates haven been getting little wild around her recently. Next time things get crazy I’m busting out the mixing bowls!


29 Whitney December 5, 2012 at 8:20 pm

I will definitely be making these cookies with my kids! What a fun idea! Does your mom mind sharing the recipe?


30 Design Mom December 6, 2012 at 3:16 am

Happy to share! You can find the recipe here:



31 Sadie R March 8, 2013 at 12:18 am

I love Olive’s cardigan!


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