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Cookies and Curls

11-year old Sophie bakes up treats on her website, Recipe Meets Curls

Sophie Middleton has always been drawn to cooking. 

When she was only two years old, she woke up before her parents one morning, went downstairs to the kitchen, pulled out the toaster and attempted to make toast. Because she had the drive to cook but perhaps not the skills yet, she ended up burning the toast and waking her parents, who smelled the smoke downstairs. 

“I was trying to make breakfast for everyone,” Sophie concedes. 

Now 11, Sophie is still cooking for her family — but has gained plenty of skills and knowledge since she was a toddler. She now has a website and YouTube channel, Recipe Meets Curls, where she shares recipes for baked goods from her own kitchen.

When she was only 8, Sophie launched the website with the help of her parents and cousin, building the website and even registering an LLC. There, she shares recipes at least twice a month, in between her busy school and dancing schedule. A recent favorite is the dessert popcorn she made for Halloween.

Sophie has big aspirations for her skills in the kitchen. She’s a natural behind the camera, with plenty of personality, and hopes to someday be on the kids' reality cooking competition show Kids Baking Championship on Food Network. She’s on her way, for sure, with three appearances on the local network KCTV5 where she’s shared her recipes. 

This holiday season, Sophie shares a few of her favorite cookie recipes with us to bake in our own kitchens. Bonus points if you share them with your little brothers, too.

Spritz Holiday Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp almond extract

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 

Special equipment needed: Cookie press, electric mixer


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

  2. Cream butter, salt, and sugar together in a stand mixer or with an electric whisk. Add the egg, almond extract, and vanilla until combined, then scrape down the bowl.

  3. If adding dye to the dough you will want to mix the food coloring in now, then add the flour and mix until combined.

  4. Fill your cookie press and choose a pattern then press cookies onto an ungreased baking sheet. No liner is needed. Tip: if you do not have a cookie press, you can use a piping bag to shape your cookies

  5. You can decorate with sprinkles before or after baking. Bake at 350F for about 7-8 minutes or until the bottoms are just golden. Watch closely so as not to overbake. 

Snow Ball Cookies

Similar to: Polvorones or Mexican Wedding cookies, Southern pecan cookies and Russian tea cookies 


1 cup unsalted butter softened

1 ½ cup powdered sugar, divided

¼ teaspoon salt

1½ teaspoons vanilla extract or any extract flavoring you enjoy

1¾ cups all-purpose flour

1 cup finely chopped pecans or your choice of nut

Special equipment needed: Electric mixer


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line one-two baking sheets with parchment paper. 

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter, ½ cup powdered sugar, and salt on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla until just combined. Tip: if you do not have a standing mixer, use a hand-held mixer for similar results 

  3. With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour, beating until well combined — be patient. Beat in the pecans until combined. Scoop the dough by tablespoonfuls and roll into balls between your palms. Place 1 inch apart on the baking sheets. You may consider gloves for rolling. This can get a bit messy!

  4. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the tops are set and the bottoms are golden brown. Let the cookies cool on the pans for 5 minutes.

  5. Pour the remaining 1 cup of powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Working 2-3 cookies at a time, roll the warm cookies in the sugar, shaking off excess. Place a wire rack, and cool completely for about 30 minutes. Reroll cooled cookies in confectioners’ sugar again. Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Tip: You may dust the powdered sugar on with a sifter if you choose not to roll them.