Easter, Christmas, and all sorts of other holidays just scream out for decorated cookies, but if you want to keep your kids away from those nasty food colors, what do you do? Some time ago, I had a Twitter follower asking me about where to find natural food coloring. We couldn't find any in Canada at all, and were stumped until Suzanne from Green Planet Parties sent me some India Tree natural food coloring to try!
Would you believe I had some Maple Gingerbread cookies hanging around from Christmas? It's amazing what you find when you clean out the freezer. I mixed up some royal icing with the colors. they worked really well, and you don't need a lot! The blue is a little more greyish, and I noticed as it sat that it actually turned a little more purplish. Interesting! The colors are pretty vibrant, but they aren't like the artificial ones-which if you don't mind, isn't a problem. I did try to make green, and the color wasn't something I wanted to use because it looked kinda awful.
Anyway. On to the decorating!
Here's a quick way to ice cookies that works really well with kids-line a mug with a ziplock and spoon the icing inside. Close it up, making sure that you get all the air out. Push the icing to one end of the bag.
Snip a little piece off the corner. It's best to snip it smaller than you think you'll need-you can always make the hole bigger, but if it's too big it's too late!
Squeeze the icing out onto the cookies! I keep the mug close by to put the icing bags back in when I'm not using them. Catches all the drips and keeps the colors separate.
To get a tie dyed effect, make circles of all different colors (you really have to do one at a time, when I did the cookies like this the icing dried too quickly and I couldn't finish it, so they were ruined)
Draw a toothpick through the circles, starting in the center and cleaning the toothpick off at each pass through.
When you are finished, your cookies will have a really amazing swirled effect! Pretty cool to have such vibrant cookies with natural colors instead of all that artifical stuff.
If you are interested in buying some India Tree Natural Food coloring, talk to Suzanne over at Green Planet Parties! They would be great for all the Easter treats coming up, so get cracking!
Disclosure: I wasn't paid to write this post, but I was sent a small container of the food dye to try. Opinions are completely my own.