Festive red white and blue star-spangled cookies that are perfect as a patriotic Memorial Day or 4th of July celebration dessert. Recipe includes a quick video showing how easy it is to decorate these cookies!
The Most Patriotic Cookie
I made these pretty, red white and blue marbled cookies over Memorial Day Weekend. I know, obviously it would have been best if I could’ve gotten them to you before Memorial Day, but I’m late to everything and I thought that they at least still would be worth sharing for the Fourth of July.
If you’re a regular follower (thank you!), you might recognize these cookies and their technique from my marble heart cookies or my galaxy cookies. I hesitated to even share them, but with how popular those recipes have been in the past, I thought some festive, patriotic tweaking was in order.
And just look at them! I (oh-so-humbly) declare that they are the most gorgeous, beautiful Fourth of July cookies I’ve ever seen. With their whorls of red, blue and white (don’t they look a little watercolor-esque to you?), their silver star spangles, and a light sprinkle of luster dust glitter, how perfect would these be for your next 4th of July party!?
Despite the fact that they look intricate and complicated, the marbling process is actually insanely simple and hard to mess up. I’ve included a few tips below, links to all of the tools that I use in my own kitchen (below the recipe) and a step-by-step video showing you exactly how easy these are to make.
Some Notes on Food Coloring
I highly, highly recommend using gel food coloring for these. With standard liquid dyes, red coloring tends to appear as more of a pinkish shade when combined with the white glaze, and we want this to be a bright, vibrant, distinct red. When using gel, a little goes a long way, and the color comes out much more vibrantly. I personally love using Americolor brand gels.
Take care when you’re swirling your dyes together that you don’t over-mix them, otherwise you’ll end up with some purple-y hues in your cookies. It’s not the worst thing that can happen, but the goal is to stick to red white and blue.
Another note, please don’t overdo it on the dye. Remember, these are red, white and blue, so we want the white glaze to shine through as well. Too much dye will also make these cookies taste like food coloring rather than the soft, buttery, vanilla-glazed sugar cookies that we’re aiming for.
With those notes in mind, this marble/swirl glaze technique is really, really easy to pull off. When I shared my Galaxy cookies, I shared a lot of step-by-step photos that I hoped would be useful. You can refer back to those, but this time, instead of step-by-step photos, I included a video right below the recipe so that you can see exactly how the glaze technique is done.
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Be sure to check out my video at the bottom of the recipe where I’ll walk you through the decorating steps! If you enjoy watching, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel where I’ve already uploaded over 150 recipe videos that you can watch for free!
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened (226g)
- ¾ cups sugar (150g)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (295g)
Marble Icing Glaze
- 3 cups powdered sugar sifted (415g)
- 3 Tablespoons light corn syrup
- 3-4 Tablespoons milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond (or other, preferred) extract optional
- gel food coloring I used Americolor "red red" and "electric blue"
- silver star sprinkles There's an Amazon link for these just below the recipe, though I was able to find them cheaper at my local cake shop!
- luster dust/disco dust Optional, there is also an Amazon link for this below the recipe
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In KitchenAid mixer or with electric hand-mixer beat your butter until well-creamed.
- Add sugar to the mixing bowl and beat with the butter until well combined (about 30 seconds).
- Stir in vanilla extract and salt, stirring until well-combined, and scrape down the sides of the bowl using a rubber spatula to ensure ingredients are well-incorporated.
- Add egg yolk and beat until combined
- With mixer on medium-low speed, gradually add flour until well-incorporated (you will definitely need to scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl several times for this, as the mixture is fairly dry and crumbs tend to settle at the bottom of the bowl).
- Transfer dough to clean surface and use your hands to form it into a cohesive ball.
- Flatten into a disk (about 1" thick), cover with clear wrap, and chill for 15 minutes.
- Once dough has chilled, transfer it to a clean, lightly floured surface and use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out to about ¼" thickness.
- Lightly flour your cookie cutters and cut out your shapes, transferring them to ungreased cookie sheet.
- Once you have cut out all of the shapes that you can, be sure to re-combine the scraps and roll out and cut out again to get the maximum number of cookies from your dough.
- Bake on 350F for 10-12 minutes (longer if you are using larger cookie cutter) and allow cookies to cool completely before dipping in chocolate.
Marble Icing Glaze
- In a large bowl, combine sifted powdered sugar, 3 Tbsp milk, and light corn syrup. Whisk until smooth. If mixture is too dry, add additional milk, one teaspoon at a time until mixture can be stirred.
- Stir in extracts.
- Glaze should be thick, to test that it is the right consistency drop a few droplets on top of a test cookie. If the glaze remains stiff, it needs to be thinned. If it runs off the cookie, it is too thin and needs more powdered sugar. If it settles down smoothly, it is just right.
- Divide glaze into four small bowls.
- Working with one bowl at a time, use a toothpick (a different toothpick for each color) and dip it into the food coloring bottle and then into the glaze. You want a small dot of food coloring (see video).
- Drag a toothpick through the food coloring and glaze until it is prettily swirled/marbled.
- Holding your cookie at the base, dip the surface of each cookie into the glaze (take a look at your first cookie -- are you satisfied with the pattern? Adjust whorls with additional food coloring as needed).
- Once the first bowl runs out or the colors become too muddled together from dipping, move onto your next bowl of food coloring (you will probably need to stir first before adding your coloring, as the surface may have begun to harden).
- Repeat steps 5-7 until all cookies have been dipped. Allow them to harden at least 30 minutes (may take longer) for glaze to set. Enjoy!
- Keep uneaten cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
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I originally shared this recipe for Star Spangled Cookies 06/01/2017. Post updated and new video added 06/14/2019.
Wow, these turned out beautiful! Can’t wait to show them off at our 4th of July party.
Lots of positive comments on the sugar cookies. They crumbled when I dipped them into the frosting. Maybe I rolled them to thin or didn’t bake long enough. We frosted them by hand and decorated with the food coloring using toothpicks. They were a big hit on July 4th.
O no! I’m so sorry this happened, Carolyn! I’m so glad you were still able to enjoy them though. 🙂
Great video! Ready to try these cookies!
I hope you love them, Barb! 🙂
Easy to make icing will definitely make again
How far in advance can these cookies be made? I would need them for Monday, but would like to make them Friday.
Hi Tara! That will work just fine. Be sure to store them in an air tight container so they don’t go stale. 🙂
I made them on a Thursday, frosted them and put them in the fridge for Sunday. Worked fine.