How do you apply colored decorating sugar to just the raised image on an embossed cookie

I bake a LOT of cookies, but tend to gravitate toward the soft and chewy type - normally a drop cookie but I have also done rolled and pressed cookies. Recently my daughter asked me to make a cookie she saw on TV. The cookie she described had a raised design and had colored sugar only on the raised design.

I am guessing those cookies are some type of shortbread cookie (a cookie with little or no leavening so the imprint stays sharp) either baked in a mold or stamped before baking. However, I cannot find any information on how to decorating just the raised image or the just the imprint. Every web site I have looked at basically covers the entire cookie with colored sugar or uses some variety of royal icing.

How do you decorate just the embossed part of the imprint with colored sugar? Are cookies like this made with stamps, molds, or stencils? Any help would be much appreciated.

  • Posted by: Kilau
  • March 2, 2015


Maedl March 2, 2015
It sounds like you are talking about Springerle. I remember seeing painted Springerle on this site which were beautiful. I tried my hand at it. I used a very fine water color brush and food coloring--which I mixed to produce various colors. It required a very steady hand, but turned out nice enough to give for Christmas gifts.

On Facebook there is a Springerle appreciation group which features a lot of painted designs. Ken Hamilton, I believe, runs the site. If you want to join and can't find it, let me know.
Maedl March 3, 2015
Found the link--
Droplet March 2, 2015
Indentation and relief complete each other so it is certainly possibly to create a raised design with a stamp as long as the design on it is that of the negative space of the desired image. That being said, the way I would approach this if I was aiming for a well defined and sugared final image, would be to do a phantom sandwich cookie of sorts, by splitting a dough suitable for rolled cookies in two, and making a simple flat beds on which I place a cut-out which has been sugared prior to joining the two. The two layers will fuse in the oven if you work with the right type of dough.
LeBec F. March 2, 2015
p.s. if the decoration is actually raised, then the cookie must be molded.(A stamp would create an indented design, not a raised one.) If not, then it is likely stencilled. In either event, labor intensive for sure. But stencilling is less labor intensive because you don't have the added step of having to make each cookie separately with a mold.
LeBec F. March 2, 2015
Along the lines of armour's response, I'm thinking:
While the cookies are still a little warm, brush water on the raised design. Dip the top of the cookie down onto a small mound of decorator's sugar, set upright to dry. After cookie dries, if sugar falls off, then use a sugar/water syrup instead of just water, on the design. I am wondering if the decorator's sugar could withstand the heat of the oven. I suggest you follow the water and dipping procedure with 2 sample cookies, then bake them and see how that looks. Then you will have covered all your bases!
hardlikearmour March 2, 2015
I assume they ice (or apply simple syrup to) just the embossed area, so the sugar only sticks there. Seems like a molded cookie -- something like a springerle -- to have raised areas on it.
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