Christmas Tree Ornament Cookies with Cookie Paint

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Sweet Christmas Homemade Peppermints, Sugar Cake, ChocolateBright cookie paint will beguile many a child on a long winter’s afternoon. You’ve never seen your little artists bloom like they will when you provide cookie canvases and sugary “paint.” You can use any cookies, such as the gingerbread cookies pictured here, but the bright paint is especially pretty on a sugar cookie. You don’t even need cookie cutters to shape this easy-to-handle sugar cookie dough into circles or diamonds. You can use the tip of a paring knife to make any shape you like or use the rim of a glass, if you like a more uniform look. Paste food coloring, rather than liquid, will give a much more intense color.

  • Yield: 2 to 3 dozen cookies


For the Cookies
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1½ cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
For the Cookie Paint
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Food coloring, preferably paste
  • 18 Approximately feet of ¼-inch ribbon
How to Make It
  1. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth, then beat in the vanilla and egg.
  2. Mix the flour and baking powder, then blend them into the butter mixture. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill it for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a baking sheet. Roll half the dough to ¼ inch thick on a lightly floured surface and use cookie cutters or the rim of a glass to make large circles.
  4. Lift the cookies onto the baking sheet with a spatula. Use a paring knife or drinking straw to make a hole in the top of each about ½ inch from the edge. Bake the cookies for about 8 minutes, until they are just set and not at all browned. Cool them completely on the baking sheet.
  5. To decorate, use a stand or hand mixer to blend all the cookie paint ingredients except the food coloring. Divide the icing into small bowls and tint them with food coloring to make any colors you like. Use clean small paintbrushes to smooth icing on the cookies (you can also simply use a knife or the back of a spoon to smear on one color). If you’re using more than one color on a cookie, apply the paint thinly and let each color dry a little while before adding the next.
  6. When all the cookies are dry, thread thin loops of ribbon through the hole at the top of each and knot the ends together. Repeat with the remaining cookies.

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