The type of icing that looks the most paint-like on cookies is a powdered sugar and corn syrup icing mixture. This icing hardens to a glossy shine and looks very similar to high gloss paint. Because of the texture of the paint, this kind of icing is often used at Easter and Christmas when painted and decorated cookies are used the most. This kind of paint icing works best with plain sugar cookies or other low-sugar cookie recipes.
Things You'll Need
Mix 1 cup of powdered sugar with 2 tbsp. of milk using a whisk. Add 2 tbsp. of corn syrup and ¼ teaspoon of vanilla to the mixture. Mix with the whisk until smooth and glossy.
Divide the icing into four or five small containers and color with food coloring. Use about 10 drops of food coloring per cup of icing. You can also leave the icing white at this point and allow to dry on the cookies before painting with color later.
Spread a base coat of color onto the cookies with a cooking paint brush. Allow the base coat to dry for at least one hour. It may take longer for the base coat to dry in humid climates.
Coat on additional colors of icing with smaller paint brushes. You can also use a toothpick to apply detailed paint icing over the cookies. Allow the cookies to dry overnight before stacking or storing in air tight containers. To keep cookies free of dust and bugs while drying, place some aluminum foil over the cookies. Build up the sides of the foil so that it does not actually touch the cookies, but makes a little tent surrounding them.
To paint the cookies after icing, spread liquid food coloring over a white base of icing with small paint brushes. Allow the food coloring to dry for two hours or until dry to the touch. This icing will produce a more matte finish than icing used alone.
References and ResourcesMartinsville Bulletin: Recipe for Cookie Paint
Prepared Pantry: Painted Cookies