Painted Rolled Sugar Cookies

painted sugar cookies

This recipe will reward you with very decorative sugar cookies arranged in an unusual tableau. Sushi rice, which looks like snow, or whimsical red-hot candies are poured in a deep layer in a shallow container and are used to prop the cookies upright. In this way you can arrange women, men, kids, reindeers, trees, houses and what-have-you in the bowl, standing up, instead of laying flat on a plate. They look quite animated in their vertical stature. Their decoration comes from dissolved powdered food coloring. Powdered colors are dissolved in a bit of alcohol to a paint consistency, and then you literally paint your cookies. They not only look much more elegant than frosting-decorated cookies, but they are easier to make! Even pre-schoolers know how to wield a paintbrush, so get the kids involved.

painted sugar cookies

Painted Rolled Sugar Cookies
Makes: Makes about 60, 2-to-3-inch cookies
  • 1 batch Sugar Cookies (link), cut into shapes of your choice, baked and cooled
  • Assorted powdered food coloring
  • Small dishes or containers for each color chosen
  • Vodka or almond extract
  • Small artist’s paintbrushes
  • Glasses of water
  • Clean towel
  • 8 cups sushi rice or red-hot candies
  • Wide, shallow clear container
  1. For the Painting: Place about 1 teaspoon of powder in a small bowl; place each color in an individual bowl. Use a brush to stir in drops of vodka or extract until a paint consistency is reached. Refer to the photo for inspiration, painting hair, eyes, clothing, etc., going for a realistic or fantasy look, as desired. Use glasses of water and a clean towel to clean brushes between using various colors. Allow paint to dry for about 15 minutes or until dry to the touch. Store at room temperature for up to 1 week in an airtight container in single layers separated by parchment paper.
  2. For Display: Pour rice or candy in a bowl and arrange the cookies vertically, allowing the rice or candy to provide support. Depending on your choice of cutters, you could create a tableau using the whole depth of the bowl. For instance, larger trees or a house might be in the background, people and small animals in the foreground.

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