For some reason when I hear the word 'shimmer' I start singing the "Chin Up" song from Charlotte's Web, "Twinkle, sparkle, let a little sunlight in!". With two little kids, it seems like most of my thoughts end up back at random kid's songs. But since I also make cookies, my mind eventually circles back to that...and it makes me smile to make my cookies twinkle and shimmer a little. It's a great way to add some extra visual interest to a cookie platter or to make individual cookies a little more special.

There are a few things you'll need to make your cookies shimmer:
1- a decorated cookie (I use royal icing) that has completely dried, as in overnight.
2- an extract. I like to use orange, or an alcohol like vodka (much cheaper than orange extract). You need to use an alcohol, not water, because it will evaporate quickly and not soak into your cookie.
3- paint brush. Buy a NEW one from the store, not one that you've been using to oil paint! Get a few different sizes as you never know what size area you might be covering.
4- pearl dust (tube shaped container in the below picture). I use the Wilton brand, mostly because I can get it 40% off at Hobby Lobby :) and it comes in a range of colors
5- small vessel in which to mix your paint. The one below used to have Wilton powdered color in it, but it was an awful color so I dumped it out and use it for mixing and storing my shimmer paint (I have a vessel for each different pearl dust color I use). I like that I can seal it up (remember, alcohol evaporates pretty quickly) when I need to stop what I'm doing for a minute. 

From here on out it's really pretty simple, mix your pearl dust with a little bit of extract or vodka to make a 'paint'. You want it thin enough that it is not clumpy but thick enough that it doesn't run all over the place. As is true for a lot of things in cookie decorating, you'll just have to get the feel of it for yourself.

Here you can see some of it that I have mixed up, not sure if this is helpful at all, but you can see that it doesn't clump up but does run down to the bottom of my vessel. If you are adding shimmer to a lot of cookies, you may find that your paint begins to thicken, this is just due to the alcohol evaporating. Just add a few drops of extract/vodka, mix it up and you're good to go again.
You have almost endless options when adding shimmer to your cookies. One options is to paint it over the smaller details like I did with the detail on these Christmas ornaments. This can be a bit time consuming and you will need a very small brush for some of it, but details like this take your cookie from nice to gorgeous!
Or you can paint the entire cookie. For this you will need a larger paint brush to 1-speed up the process and 2-avoid seeing any brush strokes. You can see the difference it makes below where only half the cookie is painted. The yellow color icing is none too exciting itself but adding the pearl dust really dresses it up.

I should add here, for this sort of cookie the icing color you paint over should be similar to the pearl dust color you are planning to use. So, if you are doing silver dust, use a gray-ish icing color, for gold use a yellow-brown color, etc.
So, you can see that just a little bit of shimmer can go a long way in spicing up your cookies. Get to your craft store and grab a few paint brushes, I promise once you try it you'll be looking to add shimmer and sparkle to all of your cookies!
3/3/2013 09:45:14 am

Great tutorial!!! Love the shimmer it gives your coins!!! Will definitely have to try this--Katy

3/27/2013 04:12:23 am

Love it! How did you get the shimmer to show up in your pictures? I cannot, for the life of me, take a good picture of shimmer on my cookies!

2/23/2016 05:36:26 am

Its really a great work. Adding shimmer make others to get eager to taste the cookies. The material that makes the cookie glitter is really awesome. I just love it


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