Learn the easy cookie decorating technique that uses less sugar and makes decorating holiday treats with kids fun!
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Cookie decorating with kids is a fun holiday tradition that can get a little icky when you are a parent.
I find myself constantly repeating, “don’t put your hands in your mouth” as delicious icing and sweet sprinkles are licked from little fingers and edges of spatulas.
By the end of the afternoon there is usually more sugar in my kids than on the cookies and I am more than a little hesitant to hand out the “may have been licked” treats to friends and neighbors.
I get it, cookie decorations are just too tasty to resist!
Easy Cookie Decorating with Kids
When I was a kid my mother helped us decorate cookies with evaporated milk. It’s an easy decorating technique that uses less sugar than standard icing (evaporated milk is unsweetened milk) PLUS the ingredients are much less tempting to little helpers so…
There will be less finger licking!
But painting cookies is just as fun as decorating with icing and it makes sugar cookies that are soft and tasty. It's a win-win!
What You'll Need
Here's what you need to decorate cookies with kids:
- Parchment Paper: For rolling dough and lining baking sheets.
- Cookie Cutters: Use simple shapes that are easy for kids to paint.
- Cookie Dough: The sugar cookie recipe below makes about four dozen cookies.
- Evaporated Milk: Full fat and low fat milk both work. Do not buy sweetened condensed milk.
- Food Coloring: Use natural food coloring that is better for kids.
- Washable Paint Brushes: Make sure the paint brushes are clean and dry.
What You’ll Do
Here’s how to paint cookies using evaporated milk:
- Make the dough and chill until firm. Roll dough between two sheets of parchment paper until 1/4 inch thick.
- Cut out simple shapes with simple cutters. Place shapes on a cookie sheet lined with parchment.
- Pour a tablespoon of evaporated milk into a small container and add a few drops of food coloring, stir to combine.
- Use a paint brush to paint the cookies.
- Sprinkle painted cookies lightly with white sugar.
- Bake as directed. Enjoy!
Soft Sugar Cookie Dough Recipe
Decorating cookies with kids is a fun holiday tradition. Learn the easy cookie decorating technique that uses less sugar and makes decorating holiday treats with kids simple and less messy!
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter softened
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 8 oz can evaporated milk, for painting
- Food coloring, natural
- white sugar, for dusting
In a large bowl, cream together butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat eggs int the butter and sugar one at a time, then stir in the vanilla and almond extract.
Gradually add dry ingredients mixing slowly until fully absorbed. Cover dough, and chill for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Roll dough between two sheets of parchment paper to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out shapes using cookie cutters.and place on prepared cookie sheets.
Pour a tablespoon of evaporated milk into a small container and add a few drops of food coloring, stir to combine. Repeat for each color you wish to use.
Use a paint brush to paint the cookies.
Sprinkle lightly with white sugar.
Bake 6 to 8 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are lightly brown. Remove from cookie sheets and cool on wire racks.
I hope you try this easy cookie decorating technique with your kids this holiday season.
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