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Edible Art

As the Makers in our communities are highlighted this month, I am reminded more than ever to not take their work for granted. Last year all of us experienced the reality of loss as many of our favorite small shops, businesses and restaurants did not make it through. There is a tremendous, often unnoticed, value that creative entrepreneurs bring to our life. Unfortunately, it often takes losses to remind us of the value they truly bring. As cultures are remembered throughout history by their art (take a walk around your local art museum to be reminded), our purchases truly are the powerful votes towards keeping that side of our modern culture alive and growing. I am so thankful for these unsung heroes of the creative world and their creations that make our world a better (and more colorful) place. 

As we honor the modern day Makers and Creators around us, I would like to invite you to join me in practicing a form of art yourself. I like to call this project Edible Art! These cookies look stunning but are so simple that my 7-year-old daughter creates them alongside me. Simply use sugar cookies with white royal icing (see recipe below) as a blank “canvas” to create edible artwork. You can use my recipe below, use your own favorite sugar cookie recipe, or make it even easier on yourself by purchasing pre-made cookies from your local baker.  I hope you enjoy being an artist for a day and share your cookie creations with me over at @silvertoothfarmhome.  

Cookie Painting

Sugar Cookie Recipe 

  • 1 cup butter, softened

  • 1 cup white sugar

  • 1 egg

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ½ teaspoon almond extract

  • 3 cups all purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Mix together the first 5 ingredients until smooth. Slowly incorporate flour and baking powder. Roll dough and use cookie cutters to shape. Place shapes on parchment lined cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 6-8 min.  Cool completely before transferring cookies off the cookie sheet.

Royal Icing (fills 18-inch piping bag)

  • 4 cups confectioners sugar

  • 5 tablespoons warm water (plus more as needed)

  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder

  • 2 teaspoons extract (either vanilla or almond)

  • 18-inch piping bag

Beat all ingredients together until icing forms peaks and peaks disappear after counting to 5. Add more water one tablespoon at a time until the right texture is achieved. Place icing into an 18-inch piping bag. Pipe a circle outlining the edges of the cookie and then flood the inside with icing. Let dry completely before adding your edible paint.

Edible Paint

  • Gel Food Coloring

  • 2 teaspoons (per “paint” color) of clear extract such as almond extract OR clear alcohol such as vodka (alcohol is the key as it evaporates quickly, unlike water that will make your cookie soggy)

  • Toothpicks 

  • Edible Black Marker

  • Paint Brushes (new or reserved for cooking only)

Using small paper cups, a paint palette or a deviled egg dish, create your edible color palette! Simply use one toothpick per color to place a small dot of gel food coloring into your dish of choice. Then add extract and stir. Add more gel food coloring until you achieve the depth of color you want. To paint, use a small paint brush to apply the edible paint onto the cookie. Make sure to not overdo the edible paint application or your cookie will become too wet and melt the frosting. You may also use a black edible marker to trace outlines of your design before painting it. Create your own designs or use the simple step-by-step examples of mine. 

Gift Your Edible Art

This Valentine's Day (or any day!) give your edible art to someone you love by placing the cookies inside parchment-lined boxes tied with a bow. Join me over at @silvertoothfarmhome for more gift wrapping ideas like this!