Being a sugar artist and a health conscious mother at the same time is not easy. But I try to do my best. This project is part of the mission.
I have an easy start as my favorite gingerbread recipe is already healthier than the traditional sugar cookies. It has just a little sugar, the rest is honey and one cookie has about 75 calories (while a sugar cookie can be anywhere between 150 and 250, depending on the recipe).
The tough part is the decoration. I usually use royal icing and color it with Americolor gel food colors. They come in gorgeous colors, they are affordable and easy to use. But they are artificial food colors, so I do not let my kids eat it. I do let them eat some colored food, but my cookies are laying around 365 days a year and that would add up in their bodies way too much. So they had to accept this general rule: no colored cookies for them.
However, as all kids, they love colorful things. Fortunately there is a healthy option! I can use Tru Color natural food colors. They are too pricey for me to use for keepsake and presentation cookies, but they come in beautiful vibrant colors. So this is the perfect solution for my project.
Now, the icing... Around Easter my kids eat way to much sugar with all the egg hunts and parties. So I just decided to skip icing. And here is what I came up with:
I chose five happy colors from the Tru Color standard metallic collection. They are really shiny and could be painted on icing as well. But now I am doing something different.
As they contain no preservatives, these colors come in powder form and have to be diluted before use. I took out a little of each color to a paint palette.
Added some distilled water to them and mixed well with a toothpick.
Then I added corn syrup to the colors. It's clear, will dry hard and helps to distribute the paint evenly.
The next step is painting the cookies.
The drying time is a little longer, than the drying time of royal icing, but it will dry hard and shiny.
Go to my website to see more of my work.