Decorating Galaxy Cookies
Updated: Apr 27, 2019
Using this method to decorate cookies is surprisingly easy but gives them major wow-factor. If you don't have the same products I do, you can definitely improvise. One of the nice things about galaxy themed things is that they don't have to be perfect!
I use black, pink, purple, and blue gel food colouring - and no, you don't taste the colour. I know black colouring can have a very strong taste but the amount used isn't enough to flavour the glaze, especially since the glaze has almond extract (side note: I use imitation almond extract so it isn't made from nuts). After glazing, I use gold and silver luster dust to give the galaxy look more dimension, but if you don't have these you could skip this step all together or use coloured sugar instead. To help answer some questions on how this is made, I put together a video to help guide you through the steps. If you keep reading below the video, I've also provided some additional tips to help you along.
The general gist of making these is that you use toothpicks to swirl some colour into a white glaze, then you dunk the top of the cookie in the glaze and when you lift it back out, you let a bit of the excess glaze run off and then use your finger to swipe off the excess so it isn't a drippy mess. This glaze does start to set up relatively quickly, so if you're adding luster dust or coloured sugar, don't wait until you've glazed all the cookies to do so. I usually do 3 at a time - glaze 3 and then sprinkle some luster dust over them before going back to glaze more.
Because the glaze sets up fairly quickly, you will need to stir your reserved white glaze before adding more to your decorating plate. Once you stir it together, the bits that had started to set will melt back into the rest of the glaze. Likewise, the glaze that is sitting around the outer edges of your decorating plate will also set as you work. When I add more white glaze to my plate, I usually swirl a toothpick through the "old" and "new" glaze a little bit to get some of the prior colour into the glaze and also keep the outer glaze from setting too much so that not too much of it goes to waste.
You may have noticed that when I'm wiping away the excess glaze in the video I then wipe my fingers on a paper towel - this was because I was set up at my kitchen table to film rather than being set up on the counter like I usually am. Normally, I rinse my fingers between each cookie so that the food colouring doesn't stain my fingers, because if you're just wiping them on a paper towel some of the colour will end up staying behind on your fingers after a few cookies.
Once you've finished glazing all your cookies, leave them out on a cooling rack to dry for at least 12 hours, but preferably 24 hours, before you pack them up for storage or transport so that the glaze doesn't get squashed or nicked. I usually just lay a sheet of wax paper over top of the cookies after they've been out drying for a few hours to make sure they are kept free of any dust that may be in the air while they continue to dry for the rest of the 24 hours.
Makes enough glaze for 24-30 cookies depending on size
For the glaze:
187g powdered sugar
1 1/2 tbsp white corn syrup
1/8 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
5 tsp milk
Sugar cookies, completely cooled to room temperature
Gel food colourings (black, pink, purple, blue)
Food-safe paint brushes
In a small-medium bowl, weigh out powdered sugar then add the rest of the glaze ingredients. Using a rubber spatula, mix until ingredients are well combined. If you have any lumps of powdered sugar, use spatula to press glaze against the side of the bowl and then scrape it back down until no lumps remain. Glaze should run off of spatula when lifted and ribbons should "melt" back into the glaze within about 10 seconds. If needed, you can add a few extra drops of milk to thin it out more, or a little bit of powdered sugar to thicken it up.
Put about 1/4 to 1/3 of the glaze into a small plate and set the rest aside. Use toothpicks to swirl some colour into the glaze on the plate.
Dip the top of your cookie into the glaze and lift it out at an angle, slowly turning it to be right side up but still at an angle to let the excess glaze run off. Lifting it out at an angle will give you the streaks of colour running along the cookie. Use your fingers to wipe off the excess glaze running off, then tilt your cookie in the opposite direction slightly as you transfer it to your cooling rack (to encourage the glaze to set more evenly).
Once you have 3 cookies on your cooling rack, dip a paint brush into your gold luster dust and tap off a bit of the excess in the luster dust container, then tap your brush while holding it over the cookies to sprinkle them with luster dust. Repeat with silver luster dust using a second paint brush.
As the colours in your glaze get a little muddied, or if there doesn't seem to be a lot of glaze left, mix the remaining glaze you had set aside so it returns to proper consistency and then add a bit (about 2 tbsp) to your plate and swirl some more food colouring into it.
Repeat steps 3 to 5 until you've glazed all your cookies, then leave them out to dry for at least an hour before eating, or 24 hours before storing.