Cookie Decorating 101

Sugar and a little imagination go a long way this Easter

A few days ago, after lunch at a café, my boyfriend turned to the main counter where the desserts were and pointed. "I want that one," he said. I looked over, expecting to see some decadent chocolate mousse or an adorable petit four — alas, I was wrong. What he was pointing at was a pretty, large sugar cookie in the shape of an Easter egg. Even at 26, the holiday treat spoke to him — as it does to people of all ages, because, really, who doesn’t love a little holiday fun and a whole lot of sugar?

Making holiday cookies at home is a great way to personalize treats (and save some cash). All that’s needed is a basic sugar cookie recipe, some cookie cutters, and a wild imagination.

Ricky Eisen, the brains behind catering company Between the Bread and confectionary Cookie Panache, knows a thing or two about holiday cookies. Whether it's with little toy soldiers and gingerbread men for Christmas or message hearts for Valentine’s Day, she knows how to make special occasions just a little brighter.

Simply start with a basic sugar cookie recipe and cut the dough into favorite holiday shapes. For Easter, go for a bunny, a chick, an egg, a basket, a carrot, etc. After you’ve cut them into to their shapes, bake and let them cool. When the cookies are cooled, it’s time to get a little creative. Begin by making royal icing in suitable colors. Why royal icing? Eisen claims that royal icing has a smoother, finer finish than plain frosting and it gives the cookie a clean and uber-professional finish.

To make royal icing, mix together one pound of powdered sugar, three tablespoons of egg whites, a few drops of food coloring. Add the mixture to a quarter-cup of hot water to start, and keep adding a little hot water until you get the right consistency, which should be runny but not watery. Make a variety of desired colors using food coloring and put them in icing tubes and voilà!

Top it all off with fun, edible décor and sprinkles to make the holiday cookies even more fun.


Don’t have the time to bake? Buy a DIY cookie decorating kit from Eleni’s — all you need is a frosted cookie and a few markers. Yes, we’re serious.