by Brownielocks and The 3 Bears

In my family it was a tradition to paint our cookies, rather than frost them.  Friends often wondered just how we did it.  In the beginning it began with Christmas cookies, and then Halloween.  As culinary supply stores offered more unique cookie cutters, my imagination crew on what and how to paint cookies.


Fun cookies can be painted year round for any reason.

There are two methods of decorating cookies by painting them:
1.Painting and then baking (matte finish)
2. Painting and letting them dry (high gloss finish)

3. Tip: "The best brush that I have found for cookie painting is model paint brushes. Like for painting models of cars/planes/etc...They are not too expensive, and the hairs are made to stay in so that they won't get on the model cars."
(Sent in to me by email from Julie Stewart)



What you will need!

Some homemade, cooled sugar cookies that are on the stiffer side rather than chewy. 
 Use your favorite recipe or try ours below:

This recipe will make firm sugar cookies that are not too sweet. Because the paint is sweet, you don't want super sugary sugar cookies.

Basic Sugar Cookie Dough

3/4 Cup Butter
1 Cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1 Tsp. Vanilla
2 1/2 Cups Flour
1 Tsp. Baking Powder
1 Tsp Salt (optional)

Mix the Butter, Sugar, Eggs and Vanilla.  Blend in the Flour, Baking Powder and Salt.  Cool the dough in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Roll dough and cut into the shape or images you desire.

Bake cookies at 400F for 6 to 8 Minutes
(Depends on your oven and type of cookie sheet)

Makes oh 2 doz. if you don't eat the dough. ;)

Paint per the instructions below!


Food Coloring in all kinds of colors.  If possible, try to purchase additional colors in a special cooking supply store or catalog such as Black, Purple, etc.  Otherwise you're going to have to mix a lot.

1 dozen eggs or more.
1 can of Evaporated Milk.

Get a set of watercolor brushes (not too expensive) purchased at a Craft Store.  Don't get the really cheap kind however where the bristles fall off, because you'll get that in the cookies and it won't be too appealing to people to see (they'll think it's a bug or hair!)  Oh Gross!!!

Several small cups or bowls for each color you will use.

Paper towels!


Happy, Silly Fun Attitude!


And all day because it takes a while.





  The shinier gloss has often been called Stain Glass Cookies.  In the 60's I re-named them Psychedelic Cookies, although they never contained anything more mind-altering than a massive dose of sugar!

(Note: There is another Stain Glass cookie recipe that uses crushed hard candies on top.
This method does form a glassy, colorful top to the cookies after they are baked..  However, I find them hard to eat, and  my family never made that version.)

I use average round sugar cookies, and paint  several colors on top to appear like a stain glass window as follows:

Stain Glass Cookie Paint Formula

For each Food Color you want to paint, do this:

Mix 1 Tablespoon of Light Corn Syrup with a drop of color.
The more drops the deeper the color.  The less color the lighter it will be. Use a cup or small bowl per each color.

Paint the COOLED baked sugar cookie with a small brush.
Do not put a lot on the brush.
It's best to keep letting it dry and reapplying  than trying to blob a color on all at once.

Let each color you use dry before doing the next one or else it will run. :(

Unfortunately these just don't photo well, but I hope you get the idea?

I don't recommend the Stain Glass Paint for fine cookie painting such as for images.


Cookie Paint dries slowly.  Allow at least one full day, depending on humidity.


The second Cookie Paint is not as shiny but it's faster. 

You paint the cookies
 BEFORE baking them.

Matte Cookie Paint

For each food color you want to paint do this:

To each food color you want ---

Combine 1 Egg Yolk with 1/4 tsp. Evaporated Milk.
(Water can be use but not recommended) to the drops
in separate cups.

Paint your cookies BEFORE baking with all the colors and designs you want.

Baking sets the paint so that once cookies are cooled they are instantly edible.
But they are not as shiny. :(


Don't forget to really wash those brushes clean, especially if you are reusing them for different colors.  

You now not only have some home-baked cookies,
but you have some hand-painted cookies to
give to family and friends also.

Happy Cookie Painting!

And what to put all those cookies in?
Check out our Cookie Bowl page!


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