Now, I think it’s pretty clear that I’m never going to be a health food blogger. I talk a lot about sugar and sprinkles and food coloring (oh my!) and I’m cool with that. I’m a party gal after all! BUT have you ever noticed that sometimes frostings that have been dyed SUPER bright colors have kind of a funky taste? It’s very off-putting to me, but I didn’t think there was any other solution so I usually just went lighter with the color. Whomp whomp.
BUT THEN! Our new resident baker Theresa showed us these AMAZING and BRIGHT food colors she made… all with natural ingredients!! And I had to share them. Aren’t the colors gorgeous!??!? So for those of you who don’t like the funky food coloring taste like me, or if you’re just more mindful of what goes into your treats, here’s a great solution! And it comes in the form of sugar cookies because, yes, today is National Sugar Cookie Day. BAM!
Click through for the recipes!
Naturally Dyed Sugar Cookie Frosting
(Makes about 25)
For the sugar cookies:
2 3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar (plus more for rolling)
2 whole eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Sift together the flour and the baking soda.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and the sugar for about 2 minutes. Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Add in the vanilla. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
With the mixer running on low, add in the flour and baking soda mixture into the wet ingredients. Mix just until combined.
Divide dough into 1 to 1 and 1/2 inch balls. Roll in sugar. Place about 2 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for about 7 minutes till lightly browned. Let cool completely before frosting. Makes about 25 cookies.
For the frosting:
6 cups powdered sugar
4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
All natural food colorings (recipes below)
Cream together the powdered sugar, butter and vanilla till smooth. The frosting will be thick at this point.
Divide evenly into bowls, depending on how many colors you are making. Add your natural food colorings into each bowl starting with about 1 teaspoon at a time, and stir till smooth. You can combine the 3 base dyes (green, yellow, and fuchsia) in different ways to achieve different colors and shades. Use mostly fuchsia with a little yellow for a red color. Use mostly yellow with a touch of the fuchsia for an orange shade, etc.
For the fuchsia:
1 red beet
1/4 to 1/2 cup water
1/4 cup cream
Peel and dice the beet. Place in a small microwavable dish. Add in 1/4 cup of water. Cover and microwave for about 30 seconds to 1 minute to slightly softened the beets. Place the beets and water into a blender with the cream. Blend on high till smooth. Add more water if necessary. Strain through a fine mesh sieve to extract as much liquid as possible. This liquid is the fuchsia food coloring!
For the yellow
1 golden beet
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1/4 to 1/2 cup water
1/4 cup cream
Peel and dice the beet. Place in a small microwavable dish. Add in the turmeric and 1/4 cup of water. Cover and microwave for about 30 seconds to 1 minute to slightly softened the beets. Place the beets, turmeric and water into a blender with the cream. Blend on high till smooth. Add more water if necessary. Strain through a fine mesh sieve to extract as much liquid as possible.This liquid is the yellow food coloring!
For the green:
1 to 2 tablespoons matcha powder
1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves
1/2 cup cream
Combine 1 tablespoon matcha, spinach, and cream in a blender. Blend till smooth, adding more matcha if necessary. Strain through a fine mesh sieve to extract as much liquid as possible. This liquid is the green food coloring!
Photos by Jeff Mindell | Recipe by Theresa Rountree | Styling + Creative Direction by Kelly Mindell
Gold Spoons from HORNE
My first question was “But can you taste the beets? The spinach!? I like spinach, but please keep it to my salad, not my cookies.” But the flavors are so so subtle you can’t even tell! Jeff is my ultimate cookie taste tester and he was INHALING THESE. Only left me two. #marriage So there you have it. Perfection!!
Have you ever tried to make natural icing? What’s your favorite ingredient or color!?
For more sweets and treats to try, click here!