Home bakers can make printed images for their cookies just like professionals. The process involved is easy to adapt for home use with edible ink, rice paper and cookie cutters. Rice paper is an edible paper made using rice flour. It can be purchased online or at most speciality shops and stored in tightly sealed zip-lock bags for later use. Just about anyone can create cookies decorated with photos and other realistic images using rice paper.
Create or select the image to decorate your cookies. These can be digital photos printed out from an edible ink printer with edible ink, or just a cartoon you'll draw onto the surface of the rice paper with edible ink pens.
Draw or print the image onto the edible rice paper. If printing, simply insert the edible ink cartridges into your edible ink printer, place rice paper sheets in the paper tray and print the image you've chosen onto the sheets. Those using edible ink pens can draw their image directly onto the rice paper.
Cut the rice paper to fit the shape of the cookies. This can be done by using the same cookie cutter to cut out the images. Set the rice paper aside.
Frost the cookies with white frosting. Any type will do, but most bakers will use either royal icing or sugar paste.
Brush the back of the rice paper with a damp brush soaked in water. A very small amount of water will do for this purpose.
Turn the rice paper over and press onto the surface of the frosting. Pat gently to ensure that the rice paper will stick to the cookie.
Use a frosting pipe to decorate the cookie further with dots, borders and other accents.
Placing the rice paper on a clean, damp sponge will also work to moisten it before application. Experiment with your rice paper. It can be used on cookies, cakes, and even as wraps for the dinner course.
Never use regular ink or regular printers for any edible project. Keep all regular ink supplies separate from your edible printing supplies to ensure that your cookies are not contaminated with toxins.