Hard Glaze for Cookies

Recipe by PJ Hamel

This smooth, shiny glaze is ideal for cookies that will be decorated with food-safe pens. It covers cookies very well (the color of your dark gingerbread won't show through), and dries to a hard enough finish that iced cookies can be stacked on top of each other (perfect for storage or for putting into a holiday gift basket). Try building on the base layer of coating with an outline or decorations in a contrasting color.

15 mins
15 mins
1 1/4 cups
Hard Glaze for Cookies


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  1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the meringue powder, salt, and confectioners' sugar. Add 1/3 cup cool water and the vanilla and stir, or beat on slow speed. The mixture will seem hard and lumpy, but the sugar will dissolve after 4 or 5 minutes and everything will smooth out.

  2. Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing well after each addition to achieve a spreadable consistency. For a very smooth, shiny glaze, the icing should be the consistency of corn syrup or molasses.

  3. To use, dip the tops of cooled cookies in the glaze, then sweep a spatula over them to remove the excess. Place the cookies on a rack for several hours for the glaze to harden and dry. This may take as long as overnight, depending on the humidity of your kitchen and the consistency of the glaze.

Tips from our Bakers

  • To color this glaze, add food color or paste a drop at a time, and stir until the color is evenly distributed. To make the color deeper, repeat until you have the hue you're looking for.
  • Keep the glaze tightly covered when not in use; if left uncovered the top will begin to dry and make chunks.