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Create Pinterest-Worthy Painted Cookies in Minutes

image source: sheri silver | babble
image source: sheri silver | babble

Though I consider myself a confident and experienced baker, nothing squashes all that confidence faster than the prospect of decorating those baked goods. Yes I can frost. And drizzle. And even pipe a simple rosette. But I take a hard pass when it comes to those wow-inducing Painted Cookies that seem to flood my Pinterest feed at every turn. You too? Let me show you my secret weapon for creating easy, charming Painted Cookies.  It is even simple enough for your littlest helpers to execute!

All you need is some food coloring and a few simple tools — and your imagination — to create all three variations. You’ll need to start with a batch of baked and cooled sugar or shortbread cookies. You can make them from scratch or use a tube of store-bought dough. Whip up a batch of royal icing, ice your cookies, and let them dry for 24 hours. Then get painting!

Sponged Cookies

Supplies

  • Assorted food coloring*
  • 2 small dishes (one for food coloring, one for water)
  • 1 small, clean sponge, pouncer brush, or crumpled paper towel
  • 1 folded paper towel, for blotting

*For the most vibrant hues use gel or paste food color, as opposed to liquid — which can dilute the royal icing.

Directions

  1. Place a dab of food coloring in a small tray or dish and fill the other with water. Dip your sponge in a bit of water and then food coloring.
  2. Test the shade on your folded paper towel. Then begin sponging the cookies.

    Image Source: Sheri Silver
    Image Source: Sheri Silver
  3. Repeat with additional colors; let dry for 24 hours.

    Image Source: Sheri Silver
    Image Source: Sheri Silver

Striped Cookies

Supplies

  • Assorted food coloring
  • 1 small dish
  • Flavored extract*
  • 1 clean paintbrush
  • 1 folded paper towel, for blotting

*I like to use lemon; you can use any flavor that you like. Extracts will not dilute the royal icing.

Directions

  1. Place a small dab of food coloring into your dish — add a few drops of extract and stir. Test the color on your paper towel and add more extract or food coloring until the desired shade is reached. Paint stripes on the cookies.

    painted sugar cookies
    Image Source: Sheri Silver
  2. Clean your brush and dish and repeat step 1 with additional colors as desired. Let dry for 24 hours.

    painted sugar cookies
    Image Source: Sheri Silver

Splatter Cookies

Supplies

  • Assorted food coloring*
  • Edible pearl or luster dust (available at most craft stores)
  • 1 small dish
  • Flavored extract**
  • 1 clean paintbrush or toothbrush
  • 1 folded paper towel, for blotting
  • Newspaper or plastic, to protect your work surface

*For the most vibrant hues use gel or paste food coloring, as opposed to liquid — which can also dilute the royal icing.
**
I like to use lemon; you can use any flavor that you like. Extracts will not dilute the royal icing.

Directions

  1. Place a small dab of food coloring/pearl dust into your dish. Add a few drops of extract and stir. Test the color on your paper towel, and add more extract or food coloring until the desired shade is reached. Dip your brush or toothbrush into the dish and flick it onto the cookies.

    painted sugar cookies
    Image Source: Sheri Silver
  2. Clean your brush and dish, and repeat step 1 with additional colors/pearl dust, as desired. Let dry for 24 hours.

    painted sugar cookies
    Image Source: Sheri Silver

Royal Icing

Makes: enough to frost 3-4 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1 pound confectioner’s sugar

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on low speed until ingredients are moistened. Increase speed to high for 2-3 minutes. If icing is too stiff to spread add a few drops of water at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
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