We made dozens and dozens of sugar cookies, frosted white, for our class that cold winter day. Just before six, moms started filing into our store with kids in tow for a class, “How to Paint Cookies.”
We had four or five cookies for each child to paint. They painted them with food colors and brushes just like with watercolors.
There was one bright little girl, maybe six years old, in a beautiful white coat with nylon shell and a hood with a fringed ruff. Soon she was deeply engaged in painting cookies. And soon, the whole front of her coat was covered in pink and blue and purple–mostly pink.
A couple weeks later, I saw her mom in the store.
“How did that food color work on your daughter’s coat?”
“It came right out.”
Interesting. So that’s another reason to paint with food colors.
You can paint cookies to make wonderful decorations for Christmas or holidays. It’s simple using food colorings. And since they are painted with edible paint, you can eat those creations that you don’t keep.
Bake your sugar cookies or other flat, smooth cookies according to the recipe or mix directions. The surface will be porous; you can’t paint directly on it. So you will need to cover the surface with a hard shelled frosting, usually a frosting with meringue powder added to create a smooth, firm surface.
On the frosted surface, bright colors and crisp lines are painted using undiluted liquid food coloring or a barely diluted color gel. If you are using liquids, dip the tip of the paint brush right in the food coloring bottle. If you are using gel colors, mix a little gel with a few drops water to reach the right consistency. Since gels are nine times more concentrated, they work much than the water based colors. Simple water color brushes work well. They’re inexpensive, you can buy them in different widths, and they clean up with hot water.
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