Painted Cookies

One of my favorite Christmas memories growing up was having my aunt and cousins over. We would exchange presents, sometimes play in the snow, and always make Christmas treats. Of those treats, I thought the most amazing were the painted cookies.

Granted, these were not my favorite Christmas treats as far as taste (that would be mint bars…or chocolate covered cherries…or Russian tea cookies…or…), but they were a blast to make. Usually frosting, while delicious, was too messy, and sprinkles too uncontrollable. But painting cookies? Totally manageable works of art. Also, they are really easy to do.

Typically we used the Betty Crocker Classic Sugar Cookie Recipe, which is easy to work with. Now I adapt this recipe using about 2 cups of Namaste Perfect Flour Blend instead of all-purpose flour. Simply mix, chill, roll and cut out the cookies as directed. Then comes the fun part!

First, go around the house and collect enough small paintbrushes (you know, like the ones that came with your watercolors) for your paints. Clean them up well.

Scrubbed up and ready to go

Next, whisk 1 or 2 egg yolks with a wee bit of water (1/4 to 1/2 tsp.), and portion out into one container per color. Decide on your paint colors – while some natural dyes could work great here, I always use the basic grocery store kind.

2 yolks for 4 colors, 1 batch of dough and 6 kids. Perfect amount of paint!

Add a drop or two of food coloring to each container and mix up with a paint brush. Now you are ready to create some edible art!

Unlike frosting, which can quickly become a sticky, frustrating mess, painting cookies is relatively simple, with fun results. Since the shiny paint goes on so nicely, those who have difficulty with other decorating techniques may find this much easier to do. Plus, sprinkles can still be vigorously used at the end!

Almost done…

When decorating is done, bake and cool as directed. It is fun to see how the cookies transform from raw to baked…kind of like the transformation of unfinished and finished clay. The recipe we use poofs up and creates a bumpy stained glass effect.

Finished product, including a mini gingerbread turned Minion

So, change up your regular holiday duties and paint yourself some pretty cookies. Maybe it will inspire creativity from someone. Or, perhaps a new holiday tradition will be created. Either way, egg paints are a whole lot easier to clean up than frosting…speaking from experience.

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