Pastel Valentines Springerle

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How do you get pastel food color gels? Did you know that there are white food color gels? When you are mixing food color into white frosting, you add small amounts for pastels and larger amounts to get more intense color. So if you want to paint cookies, to get a pastel gel paint, you mix color gels into white gel paste.

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Of course you will need some cookies to use as your canvas. The raised designs of a Springerle cookie are somewhat like a coloring book…you pick your color and start painting one of the elements.

Yes, you can use this paint on cut out sugar cookies too. You can paint names on hearts or draw shapes on a sugar cookie with these paints.

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To create the pastel colors, you will need white gel food coloring and some colored gel. I used just 4 colors: deep pink, royal blue, leaf green and lemon yellow. I used Spectrum gels from Ateco as shown above. Another brand you might look for is Americolor. Check the cake decorating department in your local Hobby Lobby or Michael’s.

Also these gel colors do not mix with water, so use triple sec to thin the gel and to clean your brushes.

You will also need some brushes dedicated to food use; artist brushes are best. (Clean with triple sec and then soap and water when you are finished painting your cookies.)

Have some paper towels or soft rags handy too. The rags will be ruined, so I cut small pieces of old white tee shirts and toss them when I am finished painting my cookies.

You will need some waterproof paper plates to use as your palette.


Don’t use a patterned or colored plate as it will be hard to see the colors you are mixing. Use a white plate!

Squeeze out a dollop of each color you have selected and some larger dollops of white. Start adding some colors with a toothpick or popsicle stick until you like the color. You can also use a palette knife if you have one. A palette knife makes it easier to mix.

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After you are happy with one color, move on to you next color. I made a pink, then a blue, then a lavender by mixing some blue and pink, and then a green. I thought the green to be a too alarmingly bright green, so added a tiny bit of the pink and a tiny bit of the yellow to dull the green. Then, I mixed some of the green and blue tints to make aqua. Later I made some pastel yellow to add to the flowers.

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If you want to keep it simple, choose just 2 or 3 colors and some cookies that are less complicated. Below, I painted just the hearts and their borders on the small rectangular cookies made with Hearts United and just the single image on the Fleur de Lis cookie. Use a Fleur de lis or a flower motif, paint it pink and yes, it is a valentine!

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This is a creative way to spend a cold February afternoon or evening. Also, the usual cold dry weather of early February is great for making Springerle (they dry beautifully) and for baking of any kind!

Happy Baking!

Tutorial and images from House on the Hill!

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