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Painted sugar cookies for Mother’s Day

I can hardly believe my calendar, which is telling me it’s MAY this morning. Buds are (finally!) beginning to show on my lilac bushes, and it’s Mothers’ Day in about a week and a half. Dads, aunts, uncles and grandparents – if you’re in charge of coming up with creative ideas for gifts your kids can make for their mom this year, this is for you. Simple sugar cookie dough kids can mix up, roll, cut and actually paint with edible paint made from egg yolks, which bakes to a glossy, flavourless sheen that’s much cleaner than going the icing route.

Moms, this idea is worth squirreling away in your back pocket – with edible paint you can use paintbrushes directly on the unbaked dough, which gives kids far more control than a knife or icing bag. The result: smooth and glossy cookies that won’t get everything all sticky. To make it, place an egg yolk in a small dish and add food colouring until you get the shade you want. So easy.

Paint directly on cut-out rolled cookies, before baking them – this is easiest to do directly on the baking sheet to prevent needing to move them afterward. The whole process makes a fun project for kids – and a delicious, packageable gift for Mom.

Happy Mothers’ Day!

Painted Sugar Cookies

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp. (10 mL) vanilla
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) all-purpose flour
1 tsp. (5 mL) baking powder
1/4 tsp. (1 mL) salt

1 egg yolk (you can use about half a yolk per colour)
food colouring

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and light; add the egg and vanilla and beat for a minute, until smooth and well blended.

In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the sugar mixture and stir by hand or beat on low speed just until you have a soft dough. Shape the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for half an hour.

When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out about 1/8-inch thick. Cut cookies into whatever shapes you like and place an inch apart on a sprayed or parchment-lined baking sheet.

In a small dish, add a few drops of food colouring to the egg yolk and mix with a fork until well-blended. (To make multiple colours, divide the yolk in half, or use several.) Use a clean paintbrush to paint the unbaked cookies with the edible “paint”.

Bake for 12-14 minutes, until the cookies are pale golden around the edges and the paint is dry and glossy. Using a thin spatula, transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Makes 2-3 dozen cookies.

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