Decorate Cookies with Food Coloring Pens

Image by Amazon.com

Image by Amazon.com

Why have plain, boring cookies?  The most fun of baked goods, cookies beg for an infusion of excitement. Give them sprinkles, play with luster dust, experiment with royal icing and fondant.  There is no end to the imaginative treats you can create.  Food coloring pens allow you to add small details and write on cookies with ease.  Whether you want to create an elaborate picture or just write a message to your kids or loved ones, you will find these to be a must-have for your next baking day and for some deliciously decorated sugar cookies.

The Magic of Food Coloring Pens

Food coloring, or edible, pens look just like regular markers or pens. The difference is, of course, they are used on food and are perfectly safe to eat.  They do not change the taste of your cookie – but they certainly do change its appearance.  You might find these in well-stocked supermarkets or stores with cake and cookie decorating sections, but you can scoop some up easily online.  Some popular brands include Foodoodlers and Americolor. They typically cost from $10 to $15 but they can be used for multiple batches so it is a great investment for your kitchen.

Look for a nice, fine tip and a variety of colors that you like.

These are terrific when you are looking for a fun (and tasty) craft to do with your children, but they’re equally enjoyable when you are making treats for yourself or as gifts.  You never outgrow the appreciation of a good cookie!

Image by oskay on FlickrHow to Use Food Coloring Pens

As with any baking activity, there is more than one way to use food coloring pens. Perhaps the best is to use with royal icing.  You can whip up a batch of this at home quickly (just make sure you have meringue powder in stock).  When your cookies have cooled, flood them with royal icing.  White works best because the colors will show up with great contrast, but you can also tint your icing if you want.  If you do, make sure that it is light enough to allow the coloring pens to show up.

Let the icing dry overnight! It seems like a long time, but you really want to make sure it is dry and hard before starting.  And don’t cheat: a few hours is not enough time.  The next day, when you’re ready to create, simply start writing or drawing.  Press lightly so you don’t poke a hole in the surface of the icing.  Like a fountain pen, coloring pens take a little use before they flow smoothly, so be patient and keep a paper towel handy to blot the tips as you decorate your cookies.

You can also use your food coloring pens with fondant, gum paste, and on plain sugar cookies (but for this last, the color will not be as bright or bold).  If you’re feeling bored, you can also decorate other foods, like marshmallows or even cheese!

Draw or write as you normally would; it may take some practice to get used to the surface and get your color flowing, but practice makes perfect – and your family will love eating your first attempts.

When you use food coloring pens, there is no end to what you can create.

Here are some ideas:

  • Make customized Valentine's Day cookies for your children, for their classes, or even for your friends and family.  You can write each child’s name on it for a special, memorable, and delicious treat.
  • Use cookie cutters to make zoo animal cookies and then decorate with stripes, spots, eyes, and other details.
  • Write a message to the recipient.  This can be a great way to leave an encouraging note for your child or a mini-love letter to your honey.
  • If you are having a Super Bowl party or watching a big game, make cookies in the shape of shirts and draw on the numbers and names of your favorite players.  You could also do this if your child is on a sports team.
  • Add embellishments to gingerbread men or gingerbread houses.
  • Make edible ornaments.

Once you’ve used food coloring pens, you’ll wonder how you ever decorated cookies without them!