Cooking with kids: watercolour biscuits

cooking with kids ideas: watercolour biscuits for Lunch Lady Magazine

Cooking with kids has never been so beautiful!

This recipe is part cooking activity and part crafty DIY, and guaranteed to keep the kids busy for ages.

To make these water colour biccies you first need to bake some sugar biscuits. Once cooled, iced and set, you're ready to get painting.

How to make sugar biscuits:

You will need:

  • 2½ cups plain flour, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 190g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract


To make the sugar biscuits:

  • Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until creamy.
  • Add the egg and vanilla and beat well. Stop mixer then add salt and half of the flour.
  • Beat on low until the flour has been absorbed. Add the remaining flour and mix to a dough.
  • Knead the dough lightly and divide into two equal balls. Wrap separately in plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 2 days.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand for 5 minutes.
  • Roll out the dough between sheets of non-stick baking paper until 5mm thick.
  • Cut the dough into shapes using cookie cutters. Place on baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper.
  • Refrigerate the cookies until firm, 20-30 minutes.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  • Cool on wire racks.

(Makes approx 24 cookies, depending on size.)


How to do the watercolour bit:

You will need:

  • Your baked sugar biscuits (cut into your favourite shape)
  • Ready-made white icing (fondant)
  • Cornflour
  • Natural or artificial food colours (Liquid, gel or concentrated pastes)
  • Clear Almond Essence
  • NEW and clean paint brushes, ideally marked food safe.
  • Food Colouring Pens

For the icing:

1. Take a quantity of fondant required (store leftover fondant in plastic). Knead icing until smooth. Dust your work surface lightly with cornflour (finer than icing sugar). Roll out to approximately 3mm thickness.

2. Use the same cutter shape you used for making your biscuit and cut out your fondant shape.

3. Brush the back of your fondant shape with water – this will make it sticky.

4. Align biscuit, up-side-down, onto the back of fondant shape.

5. Press biscuit firmly down making sure fondant sticks all over.

6. Leave biscuit until fondant hardens (preferably overnight)


To turn them into watercolour biscuits:

  • Mix one or two drops of food colouring with two teaspoons of almond essence in a small dish. Use a separate dish for each colour.
  • You can add more almond essence or colour to achieve the right shade.
  • Do not use water with the food dye. This can make the fondant sticky.
  • Paint your cookies using clean paintbrushes.
  • Let them dry for roughly 1 hour or until the cookies are dry to the touch.


Recipe + styling by Danie Pout and Photograph by Jacinta Moore for Lunch Lady Magazine Issue 23.