Seasonal pastry delights

Rachel Boyer, 30, pastry chef at Woodstock Cafe and Shoppes, adds red icing to a cookie to make a peppermint design. Rich Cooley/Daily

WOODSTOCK — If you’ve ever eaten any of the delicious desserts at the Woodstock Cafe and Shoppes, chances are they were the handiwork of Rachel Boyer.

Boyer, 30, of Toms Brook, serves as the cafe’s pastry chef, whipping up cookies, cakes, pies and any other savory sweets.

After graduating from Central High School, Boyer attended culinary school in Waterford, Ireland. She also has experience working as a nanny and private chef in New York.

Boyer has worked at the cafe as its pastry chef for about a year and a half.

She said 90 percent of everything she makes is from scratch.

Boyer typically makes about two or three dozen cookies a week, but she’ll see her output increase as demand ramps up this month for the holidays.

The chef is about to enter her busiest time of the year, where she’ll be swamped by orders and special events.

“Last year, this whole board was full of orders,” she said, pointing to a wall next to her station. “The closer it gets to Christmas, the more I get flooded with orders for things.”

Soon she’ll need an extra helper to prevent from being overwhelmed.

“I think I’ve had dreams where I have too many orders and I’m running out of time,” she said.

Boyer also teaches baking classes at the cafe. She said she plans to schedule another class after the holiday blitz ends, in February or March.

She said her favorite cookies are raspberry macarons.

And what about Santa Claus, the jolliest cookie eater of them all?

“He’s pretty traditional,” Boyer said. “He’d probably go for chocolate chip, I’d think.”

The Woodstock Cafe and Shoppes is located at 117 S. Main St. Phone: 540-459-8888.

Recipe for Rachel Boyer’s sugar cookies:

2/3 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon milk
2 cups all-purpose flour


  1. In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until fluffy, one minute. Add baking powder and salt and mix, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.
  2. Beat in egg, milk and vanilla until combined. Add flour and mix until combined.
  3. Wrap dough into a disc shape in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about two hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to a 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch thickness. Use cookie cutters of choice to cut dough shapes.
  5. Bake 7 to 10 minutes until very lightly browned, and cool. Frost.

Recipe for powdered sugar icing:

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla, almond extract or any flavor
3 to 4 teaspoons milk


  • In a small bowl, stir together powdered sugar, vanilla or almond extract and enough milk to make the icing piping or drizzle consistency.


Boyer said one tip for bakers is if they can smell the cookies, it usually means they’re done.

“It’s like an old-timey thing my grandmother used to tell me,” she said, “and it seems to work.”

Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rcornell@nvdaily.com