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The December issue of Bon Appetit has a holiday cookie idea that you must try. Even if your father is the Grinch, even if you have never had a tree, one look and these cookies are surely in your future.

The colors here come from Luster Dust, a product available from several manufacturers and in many, many colors. Just google and you’ll see.

There are three steps to these cookies:

[1]   Make a batch of sugar cookies

[2]   Frost with royal icing

[3]   Paint away with joy

For step one, the sugar cookies need to come from your own personal, favorite recipe.

Here’s the Royal Icing:

Royal Icing

Yield: 2 cups


  • 3 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • Water


Place the sugar and egg whites in mixer bowl. Beat on medium-high speed until white, thickened and roughly tripled in volume, about 5 minute. Now, if necessary, add water by the tablespoonful until the icing no longer holds a peak.

To decorate the cookies, follow these steps. Using a pastry bag with a small plain tip, pipe a thin border of royal icing just inside each cookie’s edge. Fill in with royal icing, using an offset spatula. Actually, Suzen and I found the piping hard to do and just put a dollop of royal icing in the middle of each cookie. Then we gently worked from that center, gradually extending the royal icing out to the edge. Allow the icing to completely dry. We chose to let the cookies sit overnight.

Follow the directions on your Luster Dust package: typically a little dust mixed with a few drops of lemon extract. You may, to avoid the lemon flavor affecting your cookie, use color free vanilla. Mix several dishes of multiple color. Now, do whatever you want. Absolutely whatever.

Because these gems are sure to be consumed, take pictures. You’ll never see the same cookie twice.