I have such a fun post for you today. Last week I shared some tips for keeping your holiday cookie decorating pretty and easy, and today I’m going to show you a really FUN way to decorate cookies.
I’m excited to be working with my friends at McCormick this holiday season to share some great tips for your holiday and Christmas cookie making, baking and decorating.
Did you know that you can PAINT your cookies? My friends at McCormick have the most fabulous technique called Flavor Painting. By combining McCormick’s Vanilla or Lemon Extracts, with McCormick Food Coloring, you can make Flavor Paints, a fragrant mix of vanilla or lemon extract and food color . Look how bright and vibrant the colors are! You can even get a true red, which we all know can be a challenge with frosting.
Guys, this is SO cool. And it’s really easy. McCormick has put together specific formulas to create your colors. I worked with their Holiday Flavor Paints color palette, which includes Winter Sky, Holly Berry, Rosy Cheeks, Coal, Evergreen, Candle Light Yellow and Tinsel. I was really excited to see how bright and intense the colors are.
You start by making your sugar cookies (recipe at the bottom of post). After letting them cool, you dip them into melted frosting, which dries into a perfect surface to paint on.
After all of your cookies have been dipped into frosting and given time to dry, you are ready to paint! By following the recipes McCormick has created for different colors, you will have a gorgeous variety of Flavor Paints.
Here is how to create these beautiful Holiday Flavor Paints:
Winter Sky: 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Lemon Extract and 2 drops McCormick® Blue Food Color
Holly Berry: 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract and 1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Red Food Color
Rosy Cheeks: 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract and 5 drops McCormick® Red Food Color
Coal: 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract and 1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Black Food Color
Evergreen: 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Lemon Extract and 1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Green Food Color
Candle Light Yellow: 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Lemon Extract and 1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Yellow Food Color
Tinsel: 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract and 1 drop McCormick® Black Food Color
Holiday Cookie Tip: 1/4 tsp = 25 drops.
I had some small disposable containers that I picked up at my local grocery store that worked perfectly. I picked up an inexpensive pack of paintbrushes at the store, probably better than using the ones my kids have painted their craft projects with.
And then it’s time to paint! My creative 11 year old daughter absolutely loved this, and has already put in her request to Flavor Paint again with her friends. I love how intense the colors are – I wasn’t quite expecting them to pop the way they do. So pretty!
I already have ideas for Flavor Painting for Valentine’s Day!
The results are so fun, and produce a really unique look on cookies.
I adore the snowman cookie my daughter painted!
Holiday Cookie Tip: Try Flavor Painting for a fun and unique way to decorate your holiday cookies.
Holiday Cookie Tip: Make a quick and easy glaze for cookies by warming canned white frosting in the microwave.
Holiday Cookie Tip: Follow McCormick’s guide for mixing the perfect Flavor Paint colors.
Holiday Cookies With Flavor Paint
- 2 1/3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon McCormick® Cinnamon Ground
- 1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Nutmeg Ground
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 cup 2 sticks butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
- 2 containers 16 each ounces white frosting
McCormick Food Coloring and Vanilla and Lemon Extracts
- 1. Mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in medium bowl. Set aside. Beat sugar and butter in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; mix well. Gradually stir in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Refrigerate 2 hours or until firm.
- 2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Roll dough on generously floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out shapes with holiday cookie cutters. Place on ungreased baking sheets.
- 3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets 1 minute. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.
- 4. Spoon 1 container of the frosting into medium microwavable bowl. Microwave on HIGH 20 to 30 seconds, stirring every 10 seconds. (Frosting should be a pourable consistency.) Dip tops of cookies into frosting. Microwave remaining container of frosting as needed. Place frosted cookies on wire rack set over foil-covered baking sheet. (The baking sheet will catch drips.) Let stand 10 minutes or until frosting is dried. Different frostings can have different drying times, and some may take longer.
- 5. Prepare desired colors of Holiday Flavor Paints. Using small clean paint brushes, paint designs on cookies.
- Holiday Flavor Paints:
- Winter Sky: 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Lemon Extract and 2 drops McCormick® Blue Food Color
- Holly Berry: 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract and 1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Red Food Color
- Rosy Cheeks: 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract and 5 drops McCormick® Red Food Color
- Coal: 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract and 1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Black Food Color
- Evergreen: 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Lemon Extract and 1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Green Food Color
- Candle Light Yellow: 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Lemon Extract and 1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Yellow Food Color
- Tinsel: 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract and 1 drop McCormick® Black Food Color
Nutrition information is estimated as a courtesy. If using for medical purposes, please verify information using your own nutritional calculator. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Make sure to check out my previous post full of great tips for your holiday cookie making, baking and decorating!
I hope these tips will help make your holiday cookie decorating easier! Stay tuned for more tips in the coming weeks, and follow along on Instagram where I am sharing my tips (and some behind the scenes cookie making) at LoveFromTheOven #smartcookietips.
Disclaimer: As a holiday baking expert for McCormick, I am compensated for my posts. All text and opinions are however mine and mine alone!
Raenette Ellison says
The person that wanted purple could try to mix red and blue coloring. More blue would make it darker. Would have to experiment to get the color they want.
Thank you so much for this idea! I did these last year for our family annual Christmas Cookie Bake and the nieces, nephews and grandchildren loved to make them!! They are asking to do cookie painting again!!! One challenge we had last year is making a good purple paint. Do you have a recipe for purple. (especially for the girl painters!!)
Deb, I’m so glad your family enjoyed it, it is a really fun twist on decorating cookies! Hmm, I’m not sure on the purple. Maybe look for an actual purple food coloring (probably Amazon or a store like Michaels or Hobby Lobby) and use that with the lemon extract? If it’s not dark enough maybe try adding just a drop of the vanilla extract as well. And let me know how it works!
Andrea Garrelts says
Couldn’t you make purple with red and blue food coloring?
You sure can!
cc west says
Hi, I was looking forthe recipe for the icing for these – can yo tell m what you mean by
“2 containers (16 each ounces) white frosting” ???
This method does not use a homemade icing recipe is uses canned frosting. You could try it with a homemade icing, but I’ve only tested it with store bought, canned/container frosting, as that’s how McCormick developed their method.
Marjorie Taylor says
Can I make my own butter cream icing and thin it down enough to dip the cookies in it. I’m making them for a care givers meal at church and have the cookies baked and in the freezer. Hope to hear from you soon. Thanking you advance!
Marjorie, I’m not sure that a buttercream will dry as firm as you’d need for this. If you want to make your own you might need to make more of a royal icing, but I’ve only tried it this way so I can’t say how another method would turn out.
Hi, I want to say thank you for this recipe. We are so excited to paint our cookies. I also wanted to let you know that everytime I open this recipe, it locks up my computer and internet. I don’t have this problem with any other site. I’m not sure if it’s the ads or high traffic, but this has now happened to be several times over the past week and only when going to this recipe. Thought you might want to know.
Well that’s not good! Thanks for letting me know. The traffic this time of year can sometimes cause issues.
Do you use clear extracts or is the brown vanilla extract ok and will the colors still show nicely?
Gina, you want to use the standard vanilla extract (brown) and then mix according to the color charts. McCormick came up with the colors based on the regular vanilla extra and lemon extract, so if you stick with those and follow the combos, you should have a great result!
Just wondering if it is possible to paint the cookies without using the melted frosting as a base? I have diabetics in the family and frosting would just add too much sugar but wonder if the cookie would soak up the color too much without the frosting barrier.
Catherine, I really have no idea, sorry. I think not having the frosting is going to lead to a very different effect, maybe more of a tie dye type of look. The frosting dries to a smooth, hard finish (and is white), so it’s certainly going to be different than going straight onto a cookie.
Once the frosting dries & the cookies painted do these need to be kept in a single layer or can they be layered without ruining the finished product?
Tricia, they actually dry pretty solid, so as long as you give them a few hours to completely dry, they should be fine to stack.
Judy Koen says
Want to try this, does the color just soak right into the icing?
I haven’t noticed that it does. 🙂
we are SO doing this! this could be a party theme – paint your cookies. adults will have fun too ( me me me)
These are adorable! Do they end up too flavorful?