This is the fun way to decorate cookies. If you’re an artist you can do incredible work. If you’re a non-artist like me, you can still make cookies like those at the right. The detail work on the snowman was dabbed on with a toothpick.

The kids love this. One December we taught a class for kids and their parents. I remember one little girl in a white parka. When she was through, it was mostly pink. I saw the mom in the store a couple weeks later. “It all came out,” she said. Amazing!

What I really remember was a mom that painted a masterpiece. She painted a moonlight mountain scene, moonlight filtering through the trees in wonderful detail. Alas, we didn’t get a picture.

It’s fun to hang these on the Christmas tree. You can paint cookies to make wonderful decorations for Christmas or any holiday. 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.  Using simple water color brushes works 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.

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.


Author Biography

Dennis Weaver has burnt food from Point Barrow, Alaska, to Miami, Florida. He is the founder of The Prepared Pantry in Rigby, Idaho and the author of How to Bake: The Art and Science of Baking available as an Ebook or as a Kindle book on Amazon.

He loves to help people bake and shares his vast collection of cooking and baking knowledge on his blog as well as in his Ebooks and Magazines.

Dennis lives in Rigby, Idaho, with his wife, Merri Ann. They have five wonderful children.

To learn more about The Prepared Pantry, visit our website at