It takes some time and a little patience to decorate cookies or cakes with gold royal icing, but the technique itself is actually very simple. For products used in this and other tutorials, visit the recommended products page. Start out by piping your designs in brown icing. I like to use brown icing because, not only does it help the gold to stand out, but it’s less noticeable if you miss a spot. Let the icing dry completely, about 30 minutes to an hour. For this filigree design, I used stiff royal icing and a round tip 2. I prefer to use Crystal Colors edible gold dusts for this method. Antique Gold and Old Gold are my favorites. You can find these dusts on Amazon or at Sugarpaste.com. Fill a small container with about a half teaspoon of pearl dust. Mix the pearl dust with a few drops of alcohol or flavored extract, such as vanilla, lemon or almond. Alcohol and flavored extracts are used for painting on royal icing because they evaporate very quickly, which means that the liquid won’t dissolve the icing as you are applying the gold. My favorite alcohol to use for this process is Bacardi 151 because of its high alcohol content. I also use 160 proof vodka when I can’t find Bacardi 151 at the liquor store (UPDATE: I now use Everclear since it became available where I live). If you are looking for alternatives to alcohol, read about my experiments with different liquids to use when painting with gold. Add just enough alcohol, a few drops at a time, so that you achieve the consistency of paint. If you add to much liquid, it will run off of the decoration and create a mess. If you add too little, your paint will be chunky. As I mentioned before, the alcohol evaporates very quickly, so you’ll need to add more drops as you work to maintain the correct consistency. Very carefully paint the icing with a tiny brush. I like to use a size 2/0 liner. Let the paint dry for about 20-30 minutes before handling the cookie. Here are some more cookie projects that use gold royal icing: Visit my shop for cookie decorating video tutorials.