I think the difference between a blog and a recipe website is that a blog is personal. It is a journal chronicaling the writers love for food and their feelings about the world around them. Eid is something I have written about many many times, but this year and especially today my heart feels very differently on the subject. It seems to me that 2020 has been a heavy year, marked with losses of different kinds and here I am talking today talking about cookies. I almost did not write this post, because of all things that have been on my mind today a Small Batch of Eid Cookies isn't up there. Then I was reminded by several of you that this is something you are looking forward to doing with your kids. My friend Farah spoke today that her kids motivate her to keep smiling through everything so here I am hoping to give you and your kids something to smile about.
Why Share ANOTHER Cookie Recipe?
My initial impetus for writing my third (!!!) cut out cookie post is twofold. One - I wanted to write something scaled down, something that would allow you to bake just enough that they are fun to decorate and eat. The second is that I wanted to approach decorating in a way that we can all enjoy. The fancy cookies of Pinterest have a place in this world. If you have small children then you know they do not always have a place in reality! A few years ago at the Ramadan Market in Toronto I picked up a cookie painting kit from Sunflour & Sprinkles. The concept was simple - there was a icing color 'palette' and a cookie with a beautiful mosque drawn on in edible ink. My daughter loved it and I loved how easy it was.
Inspired by that cookie I decided this year that I was not going to go down the path of multiple colours and thicknesses of royal icing. I was not going to broker negotiations over whose turn it is. Not going to want to pull my hair out when we were supposed to be having FUN. So here they are, my simple, fun, delicious Eid cookies, painted with gel food coloring and with lots of joy and love.
Food Coloring for Painting Cookies
In my preliminary research I found people preferred gel food colors like the Wilton or Atecco ones for food coloring. We tried a several and the liquid food coloring in the baking aisle and each has it's perks. In other words use what you can easily get and have fun with it. Put a dab of each color on a clean plate or palette, hand your kids brushes and let them at it. Eid cookies ought to be fun 🙂
Mama tip: Put plastic mats or newspaper underneath where they are painting and keep paper towels handy.
Royal Icing for Decorating Cookies
For this project I used half a 400g bag of royal icing from Bulk Barn. The trick is to add just enough water that if I drop it back on to itself it then it disappears in 15 seconds. That consistency is perfect if you want to make just one icing to cover the cookie. Pipe it on with a squeeze bottle or icing bag or just gently dip the tops into the white icing. Let it dry till completely hard . This requires a few hours of patience with decorators royal icing and overnight patience for a DIY version (in notes).
Looking for a quick fix? Read the recipe for Eid Cookies to see how you can use chocolate chips instead!
If you are looking to make more than 20 cookies then check out these other two delicious versions below!
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- ½ cup butter
- 1 egg yolk to bind (can omit, see notes)
- 1 ¼ cup flour (plus extra for rolling)
- pinch of salt
- 200 g Store bought royal icing mix OR (below)
- 1 ½ cup Icing Sugar
- 2.5 tbsp Milk
- ¼ tsp Vanilla
- ⅛ tsp Salt
- a few icing colours (small amounts, a few drops go a long way, for gel colours dilute with water)
- for an alternate decorating idea read notes
Preheat your oven to 375 F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
Mix the butter, sugar and lemon zest until just smooth.
Mix in the egg yolk, beat 30 seconds.
Add in the flour and salt and mix, the dough will look crumbly but come together when pressed together.
If it is hot where you are then chill the dough for 30 minutes
Generously flour your surface and dump out your dough, press togehter, lightly kneading to create a smooth flour. Depending on where you are you may want to add more flour.
Roll out the dough about ¼ inch thick and cut with cutters of choice.
Bake till the edges are golden - 10 minutes for medium sized cookies, adjust for smaller or larger ones.
Knead dough again, roll and cut cookies until it is used up
Let the cookies cool completely before icing.
If using a royal icing mix follow package decorations for a stiff icing then gradually (very gradullay, drops of water at a time) add enough water that the consistency is toothpaste like. A spoonful dropped back into the icing should disappear in 15 seconds. Tap the bowl gently on the counter to deflate air bubbles.
If making royal icing then mix the icing sugar, milk, salt and vanilla on low speed until just combined, adjust the thickness by adding more icing sugar or water to get the consistency described above.
To decorate the cookies you can put your icing in a squeeze bottle or a piping bag and do a smooth white base. You can also gently dip the tops of the cookies in a bowl of icing and let it set. Use a skewer to pop any air bubbles.
Icing mixes tend to set in a few hours, homemade royal icing needs to sit out overnight.
When it is time to paint bring out your icing colors, put them on a plate or palette, take a deep breath, give your kids brushes and smile 🙂
Dough: I find the dough tastes better with the egg yolk as a binder but you can absolutely make it without too.
No Cutters? No problem: My cutters are from With a Spin, but you can totally cut out shapes with a glass, your kids (washed) play doh cutters or let your kids shape them by hand!
Decorating Note: If you do not want to deal with royal icing then melt ½ cup chocolate chips or candy melts, take out the sprinkles and let the kids drizzle away. Lemon zest works well with melted white chocolate or vanilla candy melts. If you're using regular chocolate chips then omit the lemon and add ½ tsp of vanilla extract.