Thursday, December 13, 2018

Painting Plaid Christmas Cookies

This is a sponsored post by Challenge Butter, but the text and opinions are all mine. Thank you for supporting brands that make Kylee's Kitchen possible!

I’ve been wanting to try painting cookies for a while now. Some people are really artistic and paint gallery-worthy pictures on their cookies. Considering I haven’t actually painted anything since elementary school, I set expectations low for myself.

Honestly, I just really wanted to make plaid cookies. I think it’s a really classic print, and it symbolizes the holiday season well.

First thing’s first, start with your favorite sugar cookie recipe. I’ve shared my favorite recipe below. I like my cookies nice and thick. A trick to achieving that is to roll your dough out between two sheets of parchment paper before refrigeration. Refrigeration prevents the dough from spreading, and it makes it a heck of a lot easier when it comes time to cutting out your shapes.

Once your cookies are baked and cooled, it’s time to add the icing. I’ve always been a buttercream girl. I love the way it tastes. But these cookies require a flat surface since we’re going to be painting on them, so royal icing is a must.

Like I said, I don’t love royal icing, so I used a variation of the recipe. Also, I discovered another fun trick: buy a can of white frosting (Duncan Hines ranks the highest on taste tests), melt it in the microwave, and dip the cookies in that. You can add a little almond or vanilla extract to the store-bought frosting to spruce it up a bit.

I’m not usually a proponent of store-bought frosting, but this wasn’t bad! I’ll let my co-workers do a taste test, and I’ll update this later with which frosting they preferred.

Once the frosting is dry, prepare your paint colors. All you need is food coloring and lemon extract.

A lot of food coloring goes a long way! I would say start by mixing 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract with 1/8 teaspoon (about 13 drops) of food coloring.

It’s important to use extract because extract is mainly alcohol which evaporates quicker than water. You can use any extract. I just really like the taste of lemon.

Painting a plaid design on the cookies is really quite easy. I’ve broken down the steps below. Drawing straight lines is the trickiest part, but I think it’s easier if you have a very light hand. Also, I recommend painting the first color on a bunch of cookies before painting the second color on top. The colors are less likely to bleed together that way.

The painting will take anywhere from 10 minutes to a half hour to dry.

Holiday Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
For the cookies
  • 3 cups flour (360 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks Challenge butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (198 grams)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
For the icing
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 5 tablespoons whole milk
  • 5 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 ½ teaspoons almond extract
For the paint
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon food coloring of your choice
  • Note: You can increase the amount using this same ratio if you need more paint
For the cookies
  1. Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter for one minute; add the sugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy.
  3. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed and add egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Beat until combined.
  4. Add dry mixture to bowl and beat on low until just combined.
  5. Lay a piece of parchment paper on your counter top, place dough on paper, and then put another piece of parchment paper on top of dough.
  6. Use a rolling pin to gently roll out the dough between the two sheets of parchment paper.
  7. Once dough is about 1/3-inch thickness stick it in the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes.
  8. After cookie dough is chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  9. Use cookie cutter to cut out shapes and transfer to baking sheet.
  10. Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until edges of cookies just barely turn golden.
  11. Repeat with remaining dough; cool completely before frosting.
For the icing
  1. Sift the powdered sugar into bowl.
  2. Add the milk and whisk until it’s smooth.
  3. Add the corn syrup and almond extract and continue whisking until it’s pourable consistency
  4. Using a squeeze bottle or a pastry bag, cover the top surface of the cookie, and let dry before painting.
To paint plaid
  1. Mix the lemon extract with food coloring
  2. Paint a cross
  3. Add a line above and below the cross and to the right and left.
  4. Add one or two little lines in between each of those thick lines.


  1. Loved these Christmas cookies a lot. Just a few days are there to celebrate this day with the loved ones and I am already very excited. We just had the pre Xmas bash as well at the domestic event space Atlanta. It is just so fun time for me as I am having great time creating the crafts with my kids.

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