By Kate Quesada

With the holidays approaching and many occasions calling for sweet treats, these local entrepreneurs take cookie making to the next level creating custom works of art that taste great too.

The Butter Tree

FishHawk resident Erin Cowan owns and operates The Butter Tree, specializing in custom decorated sugar cookies for any occasion from birthday parties to weddings and showers. Cowan, a former lawyer who practiced in New York City before moving to Florida, started the business to keep busy while staying home with her children.

“I got started after randomly coming across a blog post about decorated sugar cookies in 2001,” said Cowan. “I have no professional training and am self-taught from trial and error.”

The Butter Tree offers vanilla or almond sugar cookies with royal icing. Each cookie is custom, hand created and takes several days to make as Cowan works from scratch, baking, coloring the icing and then decorating and drying each cookie. She asks for at least three or four days advance notice for orders.

For more information, visit The Butter Tree on Facebook, or call (646) 522-8952.

The Sugared Owl

In addition to making decorated sugar cookies, Kerry Williams of The Sugared Owl, also offers Make and Take classes, where residents can learn to work with Royal Icing and pick up the techniques used to make their own delicious works of art. Williams, a FishHawk residents has been decorating cookies for four years and offers vanilla/orange, vanilla/almond, peanut butter and chocolate sugar cookies for the holidays. All cookies are decoded with a “Franken-frosting,” which is a mixture of Royal Icing and glaze.

“Customers contact me for any theme they would like and we work to come up with the designs they want,” said Williams.

The Sugared Owl began offering cookie classes, which have been hosted in Cool Beans coffee shop in FishHawk and Kraftology in Brandon, a year ago.

“You gather some friends and come decorate your own dozen cookies,” said Williams. “We work on several together and decorate each cookie in sections. Everyone leaves with beautifully decorated cookies they made themselves.”

The group is limited to 10 people and classes range from one-and-a-half to two hours. In addition to regular adult classes, Williams also offers kids’ classes at Cool Beans and has a “Cookies for Santa” class planned this month.

Search The Sugared Owl on Facebook, for more information, or contact Williams by emailing at

2 Little Sweets

When FishHawk resident Paula Escobar’s youngest daughter turned one four years ago, she decided to make cookies for the party. They were such a success that she decided to turn her hobby into a business and 2 Little Sweets was born.

“After months of practicing at night while my girls slept, so I wouldn’t be chasing them and baking, I began posting my creations on social media,” said Escobar. “Friends and neighbors began showing interest in the cookies and asked if I would sell them.

Escobar’s cookies are custom orders to any design, color or size.
“It is a labor of love,” she said, noting that each cookie is hand decorated and freshly baked. “It is a consuming and long process with cookie dough, icing, mixing, baking, decorating and packing.”
2 Little Sweets requests a minimum order of a dozen cookies, but can make any number higher than 12.

“All the decorated cookies are custom and because they are custom, you won’t find my cookies to look, taste or feel like the cookies you would find at the supermarket,” said Escobar, who especially enjoys when her customers send her pictures of them enjoying her products.

For more information, contact Escobar at or visit 2 Little Sweets on Facebook.

Chequita Burgess of C&C Cookie

Factory started making cookies five years ago for her friends, family, teachers, coaches and neighbors, but her delicious works of art were such a success that she started selling them last year. C&C Cookie Factory is a registered Florida Cottage Bakery operating out of Burgess’ home.

“My signature product is my vanilla almond cookies, since they seem to be the preferred flavor,” said Burgess who also offers chocolate, chocolate coffee, peanut butter, pumpkin spice and pumpkin heath.
For more information or to order, search C&C Cookie Factory on Facebook.

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Kate Quesada
Assignment Editor Kate Quesada started working at the Osprey Observer in 2004 after graduating from the University of South Florida with a masters degree in Mass Communications. Since then, she has held various positions at the paper and has been working as the assignment editor since January 2020. She lives in Lithia with her husband Mike and sons Dylan and Max and stays active in the community on school PTA boards and volunteering with local organizations.