Cookies don’t need any embellishment. They are fantastic, fresh out of the oven with a glass of cold milk. But taking a few extra minutes to make decorated cookies ensures that they are not only delicious; they are beautiful little works of art. Edible art – what could be better? Frosting and icing are easy ways to start your decorating efforts, but if you want to up the ante a little more, try “painting” your cookies. It is a fun way to impress friends and family and boost your rep as a kitchen magician.
There are several ways to make edible paint for your cookies. One method is to simply buy luster dust (available online and in some cake-decorating supply stores). Mix the luster dust with a few drops of clear extract or vodka (water doesn’t bond with the dust, so you’ll need an alcohol-based liquid to mix with it).
You can also make your own food paint from baking staples you may already have in your pantry. This recipe, from LoveYourBaby.com, is quick and easy and creates a shiny, glaze-like paint for your cookies.
Here is another variation, courtesy of Cooks.com:
Now what? Now the fun begins! Here are some tips for creating gorgeous treats for the whole family.
The painting we have been talking about so far is done after the cookies have been baked, but you can also paint before. This can make it a great project for kids (as long as they can resist the temptation of cookie dough).
Now, use clean paintbrushes to paint your cookies. After baking, the colors tend to be a little more muted and less shiny, but that could be just the effect you are going for. Note: some bakers recommend that you chill your cookie dough for about an hour before cutting and painting so the surface will be more firm. Chilling helps cookies retain their shape better, which means your painting will not get distorted. It also makes it easier for children (and adults!) to paint.
Decorating cookies with paint is a terrific way to customize your baked goods and delight anyone who eats them. It is a quick and easy way to turn an ordinary cookie into an extraordinary treat.