I have to admit that sprinkles are still one of my favorite ways to decorate sugar cookies and butter cookies, but there are so many other ways to decorate them that I can’t just stick to the same old sprinkles every time I bake. Frostings and glazes are great to work with. It is even more fun to paint cookies.
Cookie paint can be made with egg yolks and food coloring. Simply mix the two together to create the color you want and brush it on to an unbaked cookie. The egg yolk glaze bakes up to be incredibly shiny and vibrantly colored in the oven. The only downside – and I only say this because some butter cookies are not terribly sweet to begin with – is that unlike sprinkles, the egg yolk paint isn’t sweet and doesn’t add any kind of flavor to the cookie. That said, it’s a plus if your cookies don’t need any extra sugar on top!
In the Christmas spirit, I make a rainbow of colors and painted this batch of Soft Cutout Christmas Cookies to look like ornaments. A round cookie cutter was ideal for creating the ornament shapes, and the colors were so bright that I could keep the designs simple. I put these on display near the Christmas Tree as we ate them.
Shiny Ornament Cookies
1 batch of Soft Cutout Christmas Cookie Dough, chilled
4 egg yolks
red, yellow, green and blue food coloring
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Working with 1 piece of chilled dough at a time, roll out to 1/4-inch thick on a lightly floured surface and use a lightly floured 2-inch cookie cutters to make desired shapes (any size can be used). Transfer cookies to a parchment lined baking sheet. Reroll remaing dough, chilling for a few minutes if it becomes too warm to handle easily. Repeat with second piece of dough.
Place each egg yolk in a small bowl. Add a few drops of food coloring to each yolk and stir well to create desired shades. Add more coloring if necessary.
Using a small paintbrush, dip into the egg yolk colors and paint designs directly on the cookies.
When the cookies are painted, they can be baked.
Bake for about 10 minutes until the edges are slightly firm to the touch but cookies are not browned (The bottom of the cookies will be light brown). Larger cookies may take slightly more time.
Cool completely on a wire rack
Makes about 4 dozen cookies.