Hand Painted Cookies

I first made this recipe when my (now grown) son was a young boy, I loved to see his eyes light up when he arrived home from school to see them displayed on racks on the kitchen table.

They are fun to create; it's a chance to let your creativity flow, and everyone seems to love them. They are completely edible, here are some I made earlier this spring.

These are just simple sugar cookies, dipped in Royal Icing, allowed to dry then painted with a water-color paint brush and ordinary liquid food colors.

I don't plan, I just paint whatever comes into my mind at the time at the time, usually with a seasonal theme.

Here' is the sugar cookie recipe that I use for these ~ from an old Sunset Magazine:

Favorite Cut-Out Sugar Cookie
Makes about 45 2 1/2-inch cookies
I roll the dough thicker; thus the dough produces fewer cookies


1 cup (1/2 lb.) butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour


1. In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla. Stir or beat in flour until well blended.

2. Divide dough in half. Flatten each portion into a 1-inch-thick disk. On a lightly floured board, with a floured rolling pin, roll dough, a portion at a time, to 1/8 inch thick.

3. With floured cookie cutters, cut dough into shapes (if dough is too soft to handle, freeze briefly until firm).

4. With a wide spatula or your fingers, transfer cookies to buttered or cooking parchment-lined 12- by 15-inch baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Gather scraps, pat into a ball, and repeat rolling and cutting.

5. Bake cookies in a 300° (F) oven until golden, about 15 minutes; switch pan positions halfway through baking.

6. With a wide spatula, transfer cookies to racks to cool. If hot cookies start to break, slide a thin spatula under them to release; let stand on sheets to firm up, about 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

Recipe from "Sunset" Magazine

* These are best made a bit thicker, not thinner & are easier to grasp to dip in the icing that way.

Honestly, sometimes I like my blotting towel more than my painting! It's like that feeling you get when you dump all the Easter egg coloring dye colors in the sink.


  1. These are amazing looking! You are so talented!

  2. Thank you Aggie, what very nice comments.

    Those cookies are really fun to make. If you try them, I hope you have fun with them, too.

    Thank you for visiting my blog, you are welcome to stop by anytime!

  3. I am STILL grateful you taught us these!
    The scent always lingers on the hand that offers a rose:)

  4. So happy to find these here :-) I was inspired to do some of my own as you know! And will do many more in the future. Thank you so much for sharing your talent and creativity. They are tiny works of art.


  5. these have and will always be my most favortie cookies of yours...

  6. Well, I am humbled. I felt as if there was a windchime in my head looking at the cookies.

  7. WOW, those were beautiful, too pretty to eat!

  8. These are stunning. I love this idea. My husband and I are hoping to have an all "home made Christmas" if we can convince the rest of my family to agree, and these would be perfect!

    I found your blog thru foodgawker a number of times. You have great recipes and drool-inducing photos.


    I know what I'm making my mom for mother's day.

    I need to start now if I plan to be able to paint something beyond a stick person.

    : )

  10. Thank you Kathleen!

    Oh, you'll do fine, I love that there are no "rules" when it comes to painting. :)

    I'm sure your mom will be thrilled. Handmade gifts from the heart are treasures. xo~m.

  11. Mari, I'm a newbie to your wonderful site - seems like I'm a few "years" behind your first entry - but I'll try to catch up! Question re your artistic painted cookies - where is your favorite place/site to buy the various shaped cookie cutters? Especially the bird houses and the bees.

    I'm so thankful I found your blog - blessed are we for your gifts. I just completed the Wilton 4 Course cake decorating classes and to make these cookies would be the Grand Finale of baking and decorating to me.

    Judy Beatty
    Houston, Texas

  12. Hello :)
    I recently made some cookies for my sisters birthday, and painted the icing with food colouring... I used pre-made icing from a roll (I don't know what royal icing is I'm afraid!) but that was nearly 4 days ago and the colouring is still not completely dry :(
    Do you know if it's the icing I used (not absorbant enough etc.) or the food colouring?
    Any help would be very much apprciated!
    Thank you, and lovely cookies by the way!
    Chloe :)

  13. Hello Chloe, Thank you for your kind comments!

    Oh, that is unfortunate about the paint not drying. Probably the rolled icing (fondant?) is the cause of the problem.

    Royal icing is very easy to make (there are also mixes available to which you just add water.) To make your own you might try a "google" search to find a recipe for it. Here is one:

    I hope this helps!

  14. Wow, thank you for getting back to me so quickly... I'll definitely try it, it's bound to work better than when I tried it last time, as I just thought of it on a whim and didn't really know anything about it!

    Thanks again,


  15. Absolutely gorgeous Mari!!!
    Thank you for sharing!


  16. AWESOME! Whenever I try to do pretty stuff, I feel like I try for Martha Stewart and end up with a fourth grader...and not even Martha as a fourth grader. Dipping cookies came into my life and is WONDERFUL. My MIL used to paint her Christmas cookies and we weren't sure if painting on top of icing would work, thus my falling over your GORGEOUS little pretties. You should sell those in a local coffee shop! Thanks so much for the info.


Thank you for your comments, friends ~ they make my day!

A Sampling of my food . . .


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