Christmas Card Cookie Project: Polar Bear Love and a Sugar Cookie Igloo

by Jennifer on November 27, 2012

in Christmas Desserts, Sugar Cookies, Winter Desserts

I’m obsessed with pretty paper. Beautiful cards, wrapping paper, packaging – I have to have it. I bought double-sided satin ribbon and kraft paper last year to wrap holiday gifts and spent a little bit more than I would have liked on some Martha Stewart cookie boxes. Seriously, I can’t help myself. I’m a bit of an anti-shopper, meaning I can’t just go and buy something that I haven’t considered purchasing for a while. Except pretty paper. I’ll whip out the credit card in a jiffy for that!

So, when I was invited by the sweet and talented Haniela to participate in a cookie project based on holiday cards, I was beyond excited. Combining my love for stationary and cookies? Be still my paper-lovin’ heart!

I tackled the holiday card sections of Hallmark, Target, Barnes and Noble, and more. I laughed, I cried (I’m an easy crier), I loved them all. But, there was a certain card that I couldn’t get out of mind…

A couple years ago, I discovered Robert Sabuda’s holiday cards. You may have heard of him as the author of several gorgeous pop-up books, like this one. But, his cards, oh man, his cards are to die for:

I decided to take inspiration from a card my husband and I sent to friends and family several years ago. It was beautiful, modern, and whimsical. Only problem? I can’t snag a photo to show you! You can’t buy them from retailers anymore, though I did find an Ebay listing for one, so you can go there and see the original. Isn’t it cute?

Instead of sweet-faced Eskimos, I used polar bears…


No reason…other than the fact that they are super adorable. I hand-cut them, but you could easily use a candy corn cutter with an extra piece of dough for the head. Here are the steps:

  • Start with hand-cut cookies.
  • Outline and flood with white icing – allow to dry
  • Add a little drop of pink icing for the noses
  • Add ear detail using stiff white icing and a #2 tip
  • Pipe the pink and blue scarves using stiff icing and a basketweave tip (46, 47, or 48, depending on the size of your cookie and desired scarf thickness)
  • Add a dollop of white icing for the tail, immediately sprinkle with sparkling sugar
  • Draw on facial details with a black food writer

I couldn’t stop at just polar bears though…

I had to make them a proper home…a sugar cookie igloo, complete with an evergreen tree and fish! The tree was made using stiff green icing and a grass tip, inspired by LilaLoa. The fish were simple, iced minis with attached round sprinkles for scales.

I made the igloo by cutting “bricks” out of sugar cookie dough with a pizza cutter (12 “bricks” to one row, 3 rows, plus top round piece and 3 pieces for entrance). Then, I iced them on a wire rack with a very thin flood icing. After they dried, I assembled them with very stiff, uncolored icing. What you can’t see is the can of pineapple inside, holding up the top piece!  Assembly was going fine until I started on the third row…then it got a little dicey! Luckily, the can worked perfectly and no one is the wiser. Except I just told you…

Now, please go and see all of the other amazing creations for this project! I was absolutely blown away by the creativity and skill of my fellow cookiers! How I was included in this amazing group, I’ll never know…

1.Stephanie, Ellie’ s Bites Decorated Cookies

2. Anne, Flour Box Bakery

3. Georganne, LilaLoa

4. Lorraine, Lorraine’s Cookies

5. Kim, The Partiologist

6. Pam, Cookie Crazie

7.Cathy, Cathy’s Cookies

8. Mariëlle, De Koekenbakkers

9.  Nadia, My Little Bakery

10. Liz, Arty Mc Goo

11. Callye, Sweet Sugarbelle

12. Marlyn, Montreal Confections

13. Lisa, The Bearfoot Baker

14. Meaghan, The Decorated Cookie

15. Paula, Vanilla Bean Baker

16. Miriam & Estíbaliz, Message in a Cookie

17. Ali, Ali Bee’s Bakeshop

18. Myriam, Chapix Cookies

19. Jennifer, Not Your Momma’s Cookie

20. Jill, Funky Cookie Studio

21. Maryann, Cookie Artisan

22. Hani, Haniela’s

Leave a Comment

{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Hani(Haniela's) November 27, 2012 at 8:55 am

Your igloo really blew my mind, you really went beyond traditional decorating. And I love how you presented your cookies. That is the cutest shape for bear cookies. I love it.


2 Jennifer November 27, 2012 at 9:00 am

Thanks so much, Hani! :) I’ve had so much fun this morning looking at everyone’s fabulous cookies!


3 meaghan (the decorated cookie) November 27, 2012 at 9:01 am

The kissing polar bears were enough to get me, but the FISH under the TREE????!? Are you kidding me?? Freakin’ brilliant.


4 Jennifer November 27, 2012 at 11:38 am

Awww – thank you, Meaghan! It means so much coming from you :) I was honored to be a part of this awesome project!!


5 CookieCraziePam November 27, 2012 at 9:20 am

Super fun set, Jennifer. Love all the parts. 3D…’s awesome. :) It was an honor to do this project with you. :) Merry Christmas! ♥


6 Jennifer November 27, 2012 at 11:38 am

You are too sweet, Pam – I’m so glad you like them :)


7 Miriam G. (1/2 Mensaje en una galleta) November 27, 2012 at 9:39 am

This is beyond cute!! Love these bears, so tender…
Kisses from Spain


8 Jennifer November 27, 2012 at 11:37 am

Thank you, thank you! :)


9 Ali Bee's Bake Shop November 27, 2012 at 9:58 am

very cute! Love the kissing bears! Happy Holidays!


10 Jennifer November 27, 2012 at 11:37 am

Thanks so much, Ali!


11 Marlyn November 27, 2012 at 10:06 am

What a sweet set of cookies, adorable. Marlyn


12 Jennifer November 27, 2012 at 11:36 am

Awww – thank you, Marlyn! Your videos are so awesome, by the way :)


13 Carrie's Creations November 27, 2012 at 10:51 am

i LOVE it!! the igloo is absolutely awesome! The fish are perfect, and the polar bears are just adorable. Nicely done!


14 Jennifer November 27, 2012 at 11:36 am

Thank you, Carrie! :)


15 Janine - November 27, 2012 at 11:19 am

Aawww…. so sweet! I love the way the evergreen tree turned out too!


16 Jennifer November 29, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Thanks, Janine! Sorry it took me so long to approve your comment – Akismet said this was spam! Silly plugin :)


17 Michelle @ MakeMeCake.Me November 27, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Such cute smoochers!! I love ‘em! Also, your set-up is awesome!


18 Jennifer November 27, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Thank you, Michelle! :)


19 Mike @ Semi Sweet November 27, 2012 at 12:45 pm

CUTE!! Those polar bears are so “cool.” I love Robert Sabuda books. I have his Night Before Christmas pop-up book that I leave out on my coffee table during this time of year. Everyone that comes over loves to flip through his book.


20 Jennifer November 27, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Thanks, Mike! I got that book for my nieces a couple years ago – it is so beautiful!


21 Maryann - Cookie Artisan November 27, 2012 at 1:55 pm

LOVE your cookie card! What an honor it was to work with you on Hani’s most fabulous project! Happy Holidays!


22 Jennifer November 27, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Thank you, Maryann! I remember stumbling upon your work on Flickr around the time I started blogging – your work is exquisite!!


23 The Bearfoot Baker November 27, 2012 at 2:21 pm

You know how much I LOVE bears!!! This is AWESOME!! The sweet bears nose to nose and that tree with the fish complete with their own igloo!! LOVE this and love you! Merry Christmas my friend!!


24 Jennifer November 27, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Awww – thank you, Lisa!! :) You always brighten my day!


25 Elizabeth@ Food Ramblings November 27, 2012 at 3:56 pm

the polar bears are super cute!


26 Jennifer November 27, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Thanks, Elizabeth! :)


27 Liz @ Arty McGoo November 27, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Awwwwww! They are the sweetest! I love your interpretation of that card and you photographed it perfectly. I am dying over those little fish and hey! who doesn’t have a can of pineapple holding their roof up? :D Beautiful job!


28 Jennifer November 27, 2012 at 6:33 pm

Awww – thank you, Liz!! I’m feeling a lot of cookie love today…the best kind of love!! :)


29 The Partiologist November 27, 2012 at 5:15 pm

What adorable cookies – love that you did the igloo for the sweet little bears! Every detail is amazing!


30 Jennifer November 27, 2012 at 6:06 pm

Thank you, Kim!


31 Sue November 27, 2012 at 6:19 pm

Over-the-top adorable! These are the cutest polar bears ever and I LOVE the igloo! I THOUGHT of making one, but you DID! :) Your little fishes are an added bonus, along with the tree!


32 Jennifer November 27, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Thanks so much, Sue!


33 SweetSugarbelle November 27, 2012 at 6:24 pm

I have a fondness of polar bears…and easy criers…and girls who’d build an igloo out of cookies! This whole cookie scene is absolutely amazing! Great work, J!


34 Jennifer November 27, 2012 at 7:15 pm

Thanks, Callye! All of my emotions go to crying.

Happy? Crying.
Angry? Crying.
Excited? Crying.
Even just a little sad? Crying.

Game shows do me in…I always get sniffly when people win! Like, I imagine how much better their lives are going to be with that money/car/outdoor Jacuzzi.


35 Jill FCS November 27, 2012 at 8:18 pm

Oh, gosh, such a wonderfully fun set, I could just squeal! From the igloo to the polar bears to the teeny-tiny fish, nothing could be cuter.


36 Jennifer November 27, 2012 at 10:27 pm

Thanks so much, Jill! :)


37 Amy November 27, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Amazing as always! I’ve never seen such ornate cards before!


38 Jennifer November 27, 2012 at 10:27 pm

Thanks, Amy :) I broke my “no fluffy, cute animals” rule for these…but they’re worth it :)


39 Paula November 27, 2012 at 9:18 pm

I am in love with this scene! From the adorable kissing polar bears to the igloo right down to that sweet little catch of fish. What a creative mind you have and what a wonderful talent. That you cut out the polar bears by hand and they matched up nose to nose is awesome. So many of the decorators could use the photographs of their projects for their real Christmas cards and yours would be such a delightful for anyone to receive in the mail.
So glad that I met you through this project :)


40 Jennifer November 28, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Oh, Paula, could you be any sweeter? I’m so glad I’ve met you through this project too :) I’ll be keeping in touch for sure!


41 Melissa {Simply Sweets by Honeybee} November 28, 2012 at 12:33 am

Beautiful! The polar bears make me smile.


42 Jennifer November 28, 2012 at 7:39 am

Thanks, Melissa!


43 Georganne November 29, 2012 at 12:08 am

I love that you used a can to finish your igloo…. and that you told us about it! :)


44 Jennifer November 29, 2012 at 6:58 am

Just keeping it real :)


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