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.

Here’s how to do it:

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.  Use simple water color brushes work well. They are inexpensive, you can buy them in different widths, and they clean up with hot water.

Easy Meringue Frosting

You will need a meringue frosting to create a base upon which to paint.

meringue powder is made with powdered egg whites (plus starches and flavors). Reconstituted egg whites dry hard leaving a shell on the frosting. You can purchase meringue powder at baking supply stores or on our site. (Click here for meringue powder.)

3 tablespoons meringue powder for icing
1/4 cup water
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, more or less

Stir the meringue powder and water together until smooth. Add enough of the powdered sugar to obtain the desired consistency for spreading. Completely cover any leftovers.

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