No Thanks
Keep In Touch With

Sign up and we'll send inspiration straight to you.

Martha Stewart takes your privacy seriously. To learn more, please read our Privacy Policy.


Afternoon Tea Set

Pack a pretty mug with tea bags and homemade sweets. To make simple sugar cookies special, imprint an initial on each one with an alphabet cutter before baking. Show them off in cellophane tied with baker's twine and nestled in matching tissue




  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Gel-paste food coloring in pink and green
  • Sanding sugar, for sprinkling


  1. Step 1

    Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl; set aside. Put butter and granulated sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix until combined. Divide dough in half. Shape both pieces into disks.Wrap disks in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.

  2. Step 2

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove 1 disk from refrigerator; let stand at room temperature until slightly soft, 5 to 10 minutes. Roll out dough on a piece of lightly floured parchment to a 1/8-inch thickness, dusting with flour as needed. Cut out shapes with 2-by-1 1/2-inch fluted oval cutter. Lightly press 1-inch alphabet cutter into dough; do not cut all the way through. Re-roll scraps, and cut. (If dough becomes too soft, refrigerate 10 minutes.) Repeat with remaining dough. Space 1 1/2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with sanding sugar.

  3. Step 3

    Bake, rotating halfway through, until edges are golden, 16 to 18 minutes. Transfer to wire racks; let cool completely. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 1 week.

Martha Stewart Kids, Volume 20 2005



Reviews (6)

  • AndrewCampbell 23 Dec, 2013

    Nice simple ideas for gifts at Christmas time or even for birthdays, and they are extra special as they are home-made. If anyone has a Granny, mum, auntie or elderly neighbour, forget buying jewellery they might like something like this. Great! Now I know what to do for my gran’s birthday coming up this January!

  • coups23 15 Sep, 2009

    The recipe never mentions when or why the food colouring is used! Help!

  • no1maga 17 Oct, 2008

    Gel paste food coloring won't thin the batter down, and is safe.

  • no1maga 17 Oct, 2008

    Gel paste food coloring won't thin the batter down, and is safe.

  • Niso 14 Aug, 2008

    Wilton makes gel-paste food coloring. They sell them at I have gotten them at Jo-Ann Fabrics and I think they are sold at grocery stores, too.

  • janbear 12 Aug, 2008

    Gel-paste food coloring?????