This is a fun and easy technique you can do on any cookie that has been frosted with a smooth coating of royal icing.
Roll out your favorite gluten free sugar cookie recipe (or try ours!), and grab a shamrock cookie cutter. If you don’t have a shamrock, you can use a heart – gently press 3 or 4 heart pieces of dough together to create a shamrock!
Once you’ve whipped the royal icing into a stiff consistency, pipe an outline around the outer edge. Be sure to save some of this stiff icing (more on that later).
Thin the remaining icing out with a few drops of water, stirring until it’s the consistency of syrup. Use an offset spatula and scoop some icing into the center of the cookie. Push the icing around, completely filling in the outline. Frost just one cookie to start with, and let it sit for about 4 minutes…
If you notice air bubbles forming, it means you made the icing too thin (use a toothpick to pop any bubbles while the icing is still wet). To prevent air bubbles from forming, you need to thicken the icing a bit – stir in some of the reserved stiff icing you used for the outline. Do not add more powdered icing sugar as this can affect the consistency.
Let the cookies sit at room temperature to dry. Once dried to a smooth hard finish, they are ready to ‘paint’.
Gel colors are the best since they contain very little water. Regular liquid food coloring can contain too much water that will cause the frostings hardened surface to dissolve – which will ruin the finish.
In a small dish add about 1 Tbsp of vodka (or any other grain free alcohol you like). Use a toothpick to pick up some of the gel color, and swirl it in the vodka to mix completely. Add more gel color if necessary until you get the shade you desire.
Use a variety of widths of good quality paintbrushes to paint on your design. To paint, don’t saturate your brush with the color, use a minimal amount and brush in quick strokes. If you get the surface of the frosting to wet, it can start to dissolve the frosting. Although if you have a hair dryer set on cool, you can quickly dry the color before it ruins the frostings surface.
Allow one color to dry before adding another, unless you want to create a watercolor effect.
For the gingham pattern effect above, brush on vertical and horizontal strips. There is no need to let the ‘paint’ dry before you switch directions.
The vodka will evaporate completely as it dries, leaving all your beautiful designs behind.