These Pantone Cookies are the cutest way to celebrate the Color of the Year! Or any colorful occasion, really.
A lot of blogs I follow are doing Valentine’s Day posts this week, but I’m not a huge fan of the holiday. Instead, I decided to devote a post to something I love with all my heart and soul — color.
A few years back I made cookies that look like Pantone’s signature swatches for the office, and they were a huge hit. This time, I decided to tackle Pantone’s 2014 Color of the Year, Radiant Orchid.
Pantone, for you non-designers out there, is the color powerhouse that studies and identifies trends in color across the realms of design. Designers of all kinds, such as fashion, interior, product and graphic designers, rely on color to catch people’s eyes and sell products, but it can be difficult to stay true to a color across platforms.
For example, a company would want to be sure the colors in its logo appear the same online, on paper, on a wall and on fabrics, so Pantone created the Pantone Matching System (PMS). A universal standard, designers buy and use the PMS swatch books, filled with tiny paper swatches, to achieve perfect matches in inks, dyes, paints and pigments. As a designer myself, this system is one I use every day.
The reveal of Pantone’s Color of the Year is always something I look forward to. Pantone released its first Color of the Year in 2000 to set the pace for the year ahead. It’s always interesting to see what color Pantone is going to pick next.
I wasn’t a fan of Radiant Orchid when it was announced in December, but it’s growing on me. Keep your eyes peeled, as you’ll probably see clothes and products in this pretty lilac hue pop up in stores all year long, if you haven’t already. Last year’s Emerald and 2009’s Mimosa are my favorites from years past.
For the cookies, I added cinnamon to a basic sugar cookie recipe and frosted them with royal icing, dyed to match Radiant Orchid as best I could. I wrote the word “Pantone”with a food color marker.
If you’re in a pinch, you could always ice a flat, rectangular, store-bought cookie, such as Pepperidge Farm’s Chessmen, instead. If you try them, let me know in the comments what Pantone colors you try and how you achieved them! // susannah
Click below to see the recipe…
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To make the Pantone Cookies, you’ll need these supplies:
- Baking sheet
- Rectangle cookie cutter
- Parchment paper or silicone baking mat
- Icing colors — I used Wilton’s Aster Mauve
- Piping bags and tips
- Offset frosting spatula
- Black food color marker
These cookies are a designer’s dream. Give them to a designer friend to make them squeal, or make them for yourself so you can eat your favorite colors. The cinnamon in the sugar cookie contrasts nicely against the sweetness of the icing. These cookies take a little time, especially the icing process, so be patient.
For the cookies:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the icing (from Martha Stewart):
- 1 pound confectioners’ sugar
- 5 tablespoons meringue powder
- Scant 1/2 cup water
- food color
- food color marker
- For cookies: Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon in a medium bowl and set aside. With an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and continue to mix until well-combined. In three batches, add reserved flour mixture and mix until just combined.
- Separate dough into two balls and wrap in plastic wrap. Flatten into a disc and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with non-stick baking mats or parchment paper and set aside.
- Roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured work surface. Using a rectangular cookie cutter or knife, cut dough into rectangles and transfer to prepared baking sheets, leaving an inch in between. Bake until lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Do not allow the cookies to brown. Remove from oven and let sit for 2 minutes before transferring to wire racks. Let cool completely.
- For icing: Add confectioner’s sugar, meringue powder and 1/5 of the water to the bowl of an electric mixer. With an electric mixer, beat ingredients on low speed until smooth, about 7 minutes. If icing is too thick, add more water; if too thin, beat 2 to 3 minutes more.
- Separate icing into as many bowls as you need colors. For white, don’t dye the icing. In small batches, dip toothpicks in icing color, then swirl them in the icing to add color. With a spoon, stir the color in. Repeat until you have a slightly lighter color than desired, as the icing will darken slightly as it dries and hardens.
- Spoon icing into piping bags or plastic zip-lock bags and snip a small corner off the bag with scissors. Test the pressure of the icing on a plate or wax paper. Pipe squares of color and rectangles of white to look like a Pantone chip. Use an icing spatula or butter knife to smooth, if necessary.
- Let harden completely. If desired, write “Pantone” and the color’s PMS number on the white part of the icing with a black food color marker. Store in airtight container. (The cookies can be frozen in an airtight container. Let container reach room temperature before opening to avoid condensation and discoloration on the cookies.)
*I halved this recipe, making less icing and storing the rest of the cookie dough in the freezer for use at a later date.
**For Radiant Orchid, I used Wilton’s Aster Mauve, which has been discontinued, combined with Burgundy and Royal Blue. I think the Burgundy and Royal Blue would be just fine on their own, though!