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a simple real food recipe :: DIY powdered sugar, icing, and real food cookie toppings

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Ok, so we have “real foodified” the sugar cookies – now lets dress them up!I’m gonna make a quick note here. In our house cookies and treats like this are called “occasional treats” – because that is what they should be. I’m not trying to glorify icing or powdered sugar, or cookies for that matter. My point in these posts is this that there are ways of enjoying the holidays in a less processed way. These are not and should not be things that are eaten every day. Sugar is sugar. Sugar is something our bodies do need in moderation to function properly. But excess sugar, especially processed sugar, obviously leads to problems.

My goal is to show my girls that we can have fun and still eat clean. I want to teach them that it is important to care about the things they put in their bodies, but that they don’t have to be afraid of occasional treats that are made with food the way God made them.

I do feel like I should note that if you are healing your gut and staying away from sugar and grains, please know…I have BEEN there 🙂 I understand. Stick with it – even through the holidays. Can I tell you it is SO worth it! I stayed away from sugar and grains among other things for a couple years while I was healing my gut. Hard? Well sure! It is everywhere! I felt SO much better sticking to my guns though. I had already seen healing and change and I didn’t want to screw it up.

SO…onto the fun! I’ll start with the icing and end with the toppings!

Most sugar cookies are iced with a powdered sugar combo and food coloring. Food colorings like red 40 and yellow 5 are linked to hyperactive behavior and even cancer. So I buy a natural food coloring from our health food store. They are colored using fruit, veggie, and herb extracts and are tasteless. They are pricier but it is worth it to me. And if you have a kid with ADHD or you notice that they are sensitive to food coloring, it is worth it.

1 cup organic cane sugar (you *can* use sunacat BUT it will come out much browner and won’t take the colors well)
1-2 tsp arrowroot

  • Blend up the sugar until it becomes a powder. (I use my coffee grinder since I don’t have a good blender! It takes less than a minute.)
  • Add the arrowroot and blend to combine.

1 cup powdered sugar (from above)
2 TB softened butter
2-3 TB whole milk (Preferably raw, or go for organic low pasteurized – never ULP) (If dairy free use coconut milk or water)

  1. Blend with a hand held mixer to combine well. Start with less milk and add to your desired consistency.
  2. Add natural food coloring to your liking!


  • Dried cranberries, apricots, cherries, or raisins. If you have a food dehydrator (lucky YOU!) you could dry out blueberries or whatever other fruit you want!
  • Coconut shreds or flakes
  • Dark chocolate shavings (Watch ingredients! No soy!)
  • Naturally colored sprinkles
  • Naturally colored crushed up candy canes

I really hope this helps! Shoot me some pictures of your finished projects! I love spending time in the kitchen with my kids! I would love to see some of your creations! Tell us about some of your real food cookie topping ideas!

This post was shared at Real Food Forager’s Fat Tuesday, and Real Food Freaks Freaky Friday!

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