FOOD // DIY Watercolor Christmas Cookies (Part II)

We hope you enjoyed part I of our cookie decorating DIY! After baking the cookies and frosting them with an even layer of Royal Icing, it's time for the most fun part: painting! For our jewel-tone cookies, we used Wilton gel food colors, which you can find any HEB. 

To prepare your work area, you'll put small amounts of the gel on a clean kitchen plate. You'll also want a cup of water, clean paint brushes, and paper towels handy. These food colors will easily wash off of a plate, but clothing, not so much. You may want an apron as well!

The gel colors can be a bit too viscous to paint with, so before you begin decorating your cookies, mix a little water with them to get your desired consistency. (I hear clear alcohol, like vodka, works well too.) These gel colors blend together pretty easily, so you can mix custom shades!

With a high-quality paintbrush, and the right dilution, gel food coloring acts a lot like watercolor paint. Depending on your experience and level of patience, you can make some pretty amazing things! An abstract watercolor pattern like this one though, is easy enough for beginners. 
The techniques used for these cookies are simple: Just fill your brush with pigment, and blot it on the cookie. For a more transparent effect, make a small pool of clean water on the surface of the cookie, and lightly tap it with your brush to let the pigment bloom across the wet surface. I also created a few splatters by simply flicking a color-filled brush onto the cookie. 

Play, experiment, and have fun!  After being painted, allow the cookies to dry for at least two hours.
My one warning: too much water will deteriorate the smooth surface of the icing. You can see rough patches and indentations in the cookies below. I decided that these imperfections were part of the cookies' charm. They certainly didn't make them any less yummy!

Best of luck with all of your holiday baking, and if you try these out, use the comment section to let us know how it goes!

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