Working with Colored Dough

Dear Fellow Cookie Lovers,

I recently shared some Valentine cookies on my Facebook page that utilized pink colored cookie dough – an idea I was inspired to use after reviewing Sweet Sugarbelle’s Website November 24, 2015 Facebook post.  Ever since then, I’ve wanted to try even more cookies using this technique and I thought, what better way than to try then out on Easter cookies! So, if you’ve ever wanted to try out this technique, here is my experience, to-date because there will be more! – of working with colored dough.

Girly Girl 2
My recent Valentine’s Day “Girly Girl” Cookies in which I utilized Americolor Deep Pink colored cookie dough.  What a timesaver and a gorgeous result in the end.

This is such an easy technique that the real challenge lies only in your imagination on how to apply the technique to your own cookie designs.  For me, I wanted to try the technique out to see if I could  1) save time,  and/or, 2) enhance the overall look of the finished cookie. Anything I learned after that would be a bonus. So without further ado…

Coloring the Dough

I tried coloring the dough in two ways.  The first time I tried it, I had already refrigerated the dough and then added the coloring to it.  The second time I tried it, I added it to newly mixed dough PRIOR to refrigeration, which is the technique I preferred and use in this post.  I found I got equally good results but it was obviously much easier to knead the color in on the unrefrigerated dough.  I mention both ways in the event you want to rush off and try the technique on dough you’ve already made and happens to be in your refrigerator – which is what happened to me.

A few things to know:

  1. I used both Americolor and Wilton gel food colors.  I personally prefer Americolor food coloring but only because of the packaging whereby you can add the coloring by “drops” rather than scooping out the color on a toothpick for the Wilton colors. You’ll see the toothpick technique in my picture in this blog.
  2. I used the coloring process on sugar cookie dough only, not chocolate,not gingerbread, or any other flavor.
  3. I found the coloring did not dye my hands when I added it to the unrefrigerated dough but it did when I colored the refrigerated dough.

Pictured below you will see how I add the color to the dough. And…that’s it! Not kidding. Once you add the color to the dough, all you “need” to do is “knead” the color into the dough – a process that took me about three minutes for each color. (Remember to wash your hands after each color to get off any slight discoloration.)

Coloring the Dough
I know we all like precise recipes when it comes to making cookies but the amount of color I used for coloring my dough was really trial and error.  I can tell you that I used approximately one cup of dough to about 3 – 4 drops of Americolor food coloring, and the amount for the Wilton colors is pictured above.  The one thing I can tell you is that the baked cookies come out VERY CLOSE to the color of your unbaked dough color. Sort of “what you see is what you get.”

Knead, knead, knead until the color is even in the dough and wrap and refrigerate as usual. I used Americolor Leaf Green, Wilton Golden Yellow, Americolor Deep Pink, and Wilton Violet as seen below and Wilton Copper and Americilor Chocolate Brown (both not pictured below).

Colored Dough
Colored dough ready to go into the refrigerator.

 

The Baked Tinted Dough Cookie – To Decorate or Not To Decorate

As I stated in my intro, the real beauty of tinted dough comes in the application of use.  Below, are baked cookies that I used for this blog posting but, seriously, you could use these cookies exactly like they are when they come out of the oven.   In the inspiration cookies from Sweet Sugarbelle’s Facebook page (11/24/15 posting), she used a yellowish tinted dough with a simple brushing of Pearl Dust over them which came out gorgeous without any further decorating.  So for anyone looking to do something super easy and to arrange into a beautiful platter of cookies for the host, this technique will leave you smiling!

One thing I want to mention at this point.  I’ve used a total of 8 different colors (outside of this blog) and the only color you really have to watch is the Wilton Violet color.  I baked them about 1 – 2 minutes less than the others because the color tends to change  – it came out a bit brown – odd.  But all of the other colors really were close to the original colored dough color prior to baking.

The Cookie is Your Palette

Okay, for the cookies I did, I used a variety of ways to try out the tinted cookies.  First, I used the cookies fully iced with just the edges or a small amount of the cookie showing, and, two, the cookies completely bare with royal icing in white piped over them.

Below is the first set of cookies iced and ready to go.

Iced Cookies Mix
In this set of cookies you can see how I completely iced most of the cookie leaving only the edges of the colored dough showing. Pictured below, you will see how the painted technique I used on top of these cookies was further enhanced by the actual color of the cookie.

I went ahead and painted the cookies in three different ways.  The first was painting two stripes on the iced cookie and then piping an intricate lace design on top – one of my favorite styles to work in.

Finished Rabbits

For the second set, I painted the cookies in a watercolor type of technique and then piped white lines and some outer details on the edge to get yet another effect.  I like how these came out and the little hint of the cookie left as an edging on the top of the cookie really was the way to go with these rabbits.  I think I would leave some cookie showing on top for all of the rabbits I did next time around.

Finished Rabbits 2

I love a natural looking egg and had to try them with the colored dough.  I simply painted the white iced cookie with the same colors I used for tinting the dough, and then took Americolor Chocolate Brown with a stiff brush and splattered the cookies. I then went in with Wilton White-White Icing Color and a very tiny-tipped brush and added some white dots as well.

Finished Eggs

So fun right?!  The many uses of colored dough.  I am a fan.  Okay, some more ideas.

I have wanted to try the “moss” technique on cookies for some time and decided colored dough might look nice with this technique.  I simply took one of those green cookies I baked and used my handy zester to turn it into cookie dust. I painted a thin coat of royal icing onto the cookie and sprinkled with “moss” cookie dust.  I think next time I would go over it with some darker paint in some areas but I liked the clean look of these eggs without it.  You could easily use a green-base or brown-base of royal icing and dust with the moss cookie dust before it dried but I was not sure what I was going to do with all of the egg cookies until I got into the decorating process.  That is why I then painted a thin coating of royal icing on top and then dusted.

Moss Eggs

Now, I’ve saved my favorite for last.  You all probably know by now how much I love to pipe so this may not come as a surprise to you.  Well, the thing I really don’t like is having to wait for my iced cookies to dry before I can actually get to the piping.  So this technique of leaving the cookie un-iced and going strait to the piping process THRILLED ME!!  Just bake and grab my piping bag.  THIS is a technique you will be sick of seeing me do before I am done with it.  Hey, just a fair warning for you all!

Finished Cookies 1

Finished Flowers 2
In this photo, I used the Copper-colored dough cookie and simply piped white icing over it.

Fabulous fun!!!  I like this application of the colored dough process the best because…it SAVES ME TIME!!  Not that I’m in a rush, I’m just impatient to get to the part of the decorating process that I really enjoy…which is piping!!

And, for the last view, a combination of all the Easter cookies I did using the colored dough technique.  I hope I’ve inspired you to try out this technique and let your mind go wild with ideas.  I am still thinking of ways to use it!  Most of all, remember to have fun…and…eat the cookies!!

Colored Dough Cookies All

Your fellow cookie lover,

Diane

 

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