PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. All prices are accurate upon date of publish. You can learn more about the affiliate process here.
We’re suckers for a recipe that’s half snack, half craft…as long as it’s foolproof to execute. (What can we say? We have a tender ego.) Luckily, these tie-dye sugar cookies require no special skills—in fact, a kid could make them.
Getting the ultimate tie-dye effect is all about swirling the food coloring, and we’ve found it’s best to stick to two colors (three, max) to avoid a muddy result. More mixing will have a softer, more marbled effect; less mixing will yield bright streaks of color. If bubbles on the surface of the icing bother you, use a toothpick to lightly poke them away.
Oh, and it probably goes without saying, but these make an excellent lunchbox treat.
1 batch cut-out sugar cookies, cooled completely
2½ cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons milk, plus more as needed
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
½ teaspoon pure vanilla or almond extract (optional)
Assorted gel food coloring (such as Wilton)
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, milk, corn syrup and extract (if using). Add more milk as necessary to make an icing that drizzles easily off a spoon but is still on the thick side (or about the viscosity of honey). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp towel if not using right away.
2. Use a toothpick, small skewer or chopstick to swirl a small amount of the food coloring through the icing, leaving streaks. (Don’t overmix the food coloring, or the cookies won’t have a “tie-dye” effect.) You can use as many colors as you want, but the more you mix, the muddier the colors will get.
3. Working one at a time, carefully dip a cookie face down into the glaze. Turn the cookie right side up and transfer it to a cooling rack, letting any excess glaze drip off. If the icing loses its streaks as you dip, you can add a little more food coloring and swirl it again. Let the icing set for at least 4 hours (and up to 12).
4. The cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.