Homemade Food Coloring

September 28, 2010

In my previous post I shared the September Challenge for the Daring Bakers which was to make decorated sugar cookies. I was excited about making cookies and decorating, but I had recently read a post about food dyes on Kelly the Kitchen Kop's website. You can read the story here.

After reading that, I had second thoughts about using store bought food coloring to decorate my cookies so I looked online to find some recipes. There are lots of recipes available to follow. I read a few and then decided to somewhat improvise.

My first attempt was to make a brown food dye. I wanted to decorate the cookies in a fall theme, so browns, tans and oranges were what I was going for. I brewed a very small pot of coffee double strength. I then added some of the coffee to the icing. Here is my result.

It was way too runny and very light. I kept adding more and more powdered sugar, but it really never got much thicker than this.

I also read that tumeric can be used, but not to use fresh or else the flavor will be overwhelming. So I decided to add cinnamon to some of the icing. You can see how much darker it turned out and it tastes nice with the sugar cookies.

Next time I will attempt some brighter colors, maybe green from mint and red from berries.

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