I’m personally not super into Valentine’s Day. It always feels like such a forced day to me. Every year I declare that I’m not going to participate and inevitably the day or two before, I have a flash of inspiration for little gift ideas and give in. This year was no exception. This morning I woke up thinking that I should decorate some cookies for a busy day of meetings tomorrow. Which lead me to remember seeing plain heart sugar cookies being sold at my local bakery, which then lead me to think that I could make a quick icing for them, package them up and hand them out tomorrow.
I stopped off at my local bakery during my morning errands, picked up the cookies, came home and rummaged through my cupboard only to find out that I was out of my vegetable based food coloring and I had no interest in running to the store. Crap. Now what? I’d been seeing a big trend on Instagram lately to naturally color baked goods with beet juice. It’s a creative idea but I don’t like the taste of beets and because I don’t eat them, didn’t have them in the house. I started going through my pantry for another creative idea and found a bottle of tart cherry juice. Eureka! The deep red color of the juice lead me to believe it could work so I started experimenting. To one cup powdered sugar, I wisked in the cherry juice one tablespoon at a time until I got to the desired thickness of icing. For me I liked the ratio of 1 cup powdered sugar to 3 tablespoons of tart cherry juice. The color came out less intense than the beet juice icing but I actually like how the tart cherry juice creates more of a blush pink and the juice adds a slight cherry flavor as well.
I laid the pre bought sugar cookies out on a cooling rack with a cookie sheet underneath and drizzled the icing using my whisk that I used to mix the icing with (you can also use a fork dipped into the icing) over the cookies in a free form, Jackson Pollack way. You could be more precise if you wanted and pipe the icing on with a pastry bag but I didn’t have the patience or time for that today. I also experimented with dipping the cookies in the icing, laying on the cooling rack to let the excess drip off and that worked as well.
Let the icing set for a few hours before packaging up, I find the longer the better. I made these this morning and will package up tonight when I make dinner.
A few notes:
The next time I do this, I will reduce the cherry juice to get a more deeply colored syrup to color the icing.
If you are out of powdered sugar, you can blend 1 cup granulated sugar with 1 tablespoon cornstarch in a food processor or Vitamix until the sugar is the same consistency of powdered sugar.
If you don’t have beet or tart cherry juice around, don’t run to the store. See what you have. If I had been out of juice, I would have used frozen raspberries by boiling them in a sauce pan with a splash of water until cooked, quickly blended in my Vitamix and pressed through a sieve to make a raspberry sauce that I would have added a tablespoon at a time instead. Be creative!
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons tart cherry juice
- Measure powdered sugar into a small mixing bowl. Using a small whisk, add tart cherry juice (or another naturally red colored juice of your choice) one tablespoon at a time to powdered sugar until you get the consistency that you need for your project.
If you are out of powdered sugar, you can blend 1 cup granulated sugar with 1 tablespoon cornstarch in a food processor or Vitamix until the mixture is the same consistency of powdered sugar.
If you don't have beet or tart cherry juice around, don't run to the store. See what you have. If I had been out of juice, I would have used frozen raspberries by boiling them in a sauce pan with a splash of water until cooked, quickly blended in my Vitamix and pressed through a sieve to make a raspberry sauce that I would have added a tablespoon at a time instead. Be creative!