Sunday, February 6, 2011

Disco Dust, Sanding Sugar, Edible Glitter, Nonpareils.....oh my!!

A few weeks ago, someone asked about all the different "pretties" that can be added to the top of a cookie. While I was making snowball cookies in January, I decided to experiment. Plus, I wanted to put all the effects together so you could compare them for yourself.

Sanding's seen everywhere in the cookie world these days. I think they make it in just about every color. It brings a nice shiny crystal-y look to the cookie. Sprinkle it on.....let it sit for a few minutes and then pour off the excess.

Nonpareils.....most everyone has seen them. Actually.....most people HAVE them in their kitchen. :) We all grew up with them.....using them on the Christmas cookies, ice cream, etc. They come in every color and color combo imaginable! They are great for certain effects, but I have two problems with them. First, once you open the cap.....the likelihood of having them EVERYWHERE is great (lol). Also, I don't like biting into a whole bunch of them on a cookie. But sometimes their effect is just perfect for whatever cookie you are doing. Just sprinkle them on.....carefully! ;)

Edible glitter gives a lot of dimension to the cookie because it is kind of like flakes. I found that it was the best match for making a "snowball effect". I've also used it for making snow cone cookies in the summer time. You can find edible glitter in many colors too. Just sprinkle it on.

Disco Dust provides the ultimate in a shiny, glitter-y effect. However, it is considered "non-toxic" (like crayons) and thus not intended as something edible. I've been told it is ground plastic, although I haven't confirmed that. If you're wanting to add a beautiful effect to a display cookie that will not be eaten.....disco dust would be a perfect choice.
However, I would not recommend adding it to cookies that will be consumed.

And here's all the "snowballs" and their "pretties" together. 

I've included a link to each decor item to give you an idea of price and show you the place I go to purchase them.


So RED is the color for today's valentine cookies. Fun!

Happy Sunday to you. :)


Sweetly Favored said...

Happy Sunday to you too, and thanks for yet another awesome post!

Aimee said...

Loved learning about all of the decorations - too cute - and I totally see why you love the disco dust. Very, very cool.

So all of the cookies are darling (as always) but that cupcake is one of the cutest cookies i've ever seen!

Kimmie R said...

Thanks so much for the wonderful post. I am planning on making Chocolate cut out cookies this afternoon, and I got a new cupcake cutter at Hobby Lobby on Friday...I guess we are thinking alike.

I did my first cookies last week during the big snow storm we got in central Missouri (18+ inches) and the bug as got me. Your recipe for cookies and glaze are wonderful, thanks so much for sharing.

Now I have tips for you, I am a cupcake gal, have been making them for years, and sprinkles are a MUST for cupcakes. I have tons of sprinkles and they to get every where, so here is what I do to "cut" down on the mess. First I got a spice rack with empty jars, they have "salt shaker" type holes, so you can manage better instead of having one big hole, makes shaking much easier. Make sense? The second thing I do is work on a coffee filter, I place my cupcake or cookie on the coffee filter, shake on my sprinkles, they I can easily pour the excess sprinkles back into the container. I won't take credit for this idea, as I found it on the internet, but it works great.

Any way...I babble....Thank you again for all your wonderful help, tips and inspiration you have given my on your blog, you have me hooked. Now off to church, then onto the cookies!

Kimmie R

Anonymous said...

You have no idea how informative this post is to's exactly what I've been trying to figure out.
Being able to see the toppings on cookies is perfect!

RosieP said...

Thank you so much for providing examples of those finishes, with more and more fun products like these available it's getting confusing.

~Rosanne said...

I have to totally agree with Kimmie and the bug has hit me too.
Once again I tried my hand at your recipe and the turnout was great. But as I was making them I wondered about all the sanding sugars and such and how to apply and turned on my computer and here you posted about it, thanks so much for all your help.
I showed my mom the plastic wrap trick to get the icing in the bag and she was amazed and glad to know that.

I posted on my blog about my experience and linked back to your blog, I hope that is OK,
maybe I should have ask first.
Let me know if that is a problem.
Thanks again for sharing your passion for cookies and missions!

Pam said... is so wonderful to come home from church to see all your sweet posts. Thank you! I'm so glad that what I'm sharing is helpful.

Kimmie and Roseanne.....yeah for the cookie decorating bug. So happy you've joined the club. :)

Kimmie....thanks for your great tips on sprinkles. Love it!

And's perfectly fine for you to link back to my blog. I appreciate the credit....even though most of the things I know come from others. ;)

Hugs to all of you!

Cozyflier said...

Thanks for the help. As usual, your cookies are amazing, LOVE them!

Ruth said...

simply perfect!!!

Diane {Created by Diane} said...

I love nonpareils! Disco dust is so addictive to use, everything deserves a little glitter, even the floors :) it always seems to land there too.
Beautiful red hearts!

Thyjuan Rosario said...

Pam, this is so helpful and informative. You did a great job with your post!

One question I have for you is on the disco dust...I used it for the first time a few weeks ago along with luster dust. On one cookie, I used the luster dust dry with a brush - painting it on for a shimmer finish. On another cookie, I used a combo luster disco and was told to paint it on with high alcohol vodka. It worked great. When you mention flicking the disco dust on with the brush, is it hard to get an even consistency? (I'm assuming that the icing wet when you're applying the disco dust - right?) I've not heard of applying it the way you mentioned and am curious about trying it. :-)

Pam said...

Thanks for all your wonderful comments.

Thyjuan, luster dust is a whole different medium. Disco dust is like glitter....and I've tried putting on wet like you mentioned, but it doesn't change how it looks.....and sometimes messes up the cookies base. I would definitely recommend adding disco dust dry to a wet cookie and not worrying about an even distribution.

Luster dust can be put on wet or dry....but personally I like it put on wet best. It gives a sheen to the cookie that is totally different than all these items I've mentioned in this post.

For a good video on luster dust, go to

Bird said...

I LOVE all the sparkly ones! :)
You are sooo talented!!

Pinky572 said...

Love your cookies and tutorials as always.. but I'm wondering if any of these white sprinkles/sparkles will let the base color show through. Such as sanding sugar or edible glitter, if I used white of either of those and put it on a red snowcone, will they look white or will they be more transparent and look sparkly red?
Thanks for your help!

Pam said...

Thanks everyone.

Pinky572....I think that would probably work. You'll have to try it. I guess it depends on what the base color is.....but it seems like red should work.

Pinky572 said...

Love your cookies and tutorials as always.. but I'm wondering if any of these white sprinkles/sparkles will let the base color show through. Such as sanding sugar or edible glitter, if I used white of either of those and put it on a red snowcone, will they look white or will they be more transparent and look sparkly red?
Thanks for your help!

Ruth said...

simply perfect!!!

Kim said...

Um, not sure how to say this but Disco Dust is NOT EDIBLE. It is non-toxic, yes. But it is for decoration only, not meant to be used on food that will be consumed. As these are cookies I'm assuming these are meant to be eaten by someone. Just thought you should know so you're not giving these to someone when they've got non-edibles on them.

cookiecrazielady said...

Thanks for your info, Kim. Yes, I'm aware that is only non-toxic.

theatrejuliebakesherheartout said...

Just curious how your red is so red?

Cookiecrazielady said...

Americolor Super Red :)

Pri said...

What is the white layer that you have between the cookie & the "pretty"?

cookiecrazielady said...

Hi there......I'm not sure what you are asking......but there is icing on the cookie, and then I sprinkled the "pretty" on top of that. My recipes are in my FAQ.

Kelly said...

Your cookies are beautiful!  Do you have any recommendations on applying heart/star edible glitter?  I tried today and found that tapping it out of the tiny container was a hassle since a whole bunch would come out at once, but they stuck to my fingers too.  Would love your opinion.

Cookiecrazielady said...

Thanks Kelly. If you're talking about the larger heart/star like these

I'd suggest using the little tweezers you can get here:

This way you can carefully place your accents exactly (almost....I think they have a mind of their own sometimes- ha ha) where you want them.

Happy sprinkling.... :)

Sparklepopz said...

Why bother using a food-safe brush to dip into the inedible ground plastic that is clearly labeled FOR DECORATIVE USE ONLY on the bottle?  Disco dust is NOT edible,  is NOT made from any edible materials, and is only meant to be used on decorations that are to be removed before eating.

Kelleyhart said...

Is it really ground plastic? 

Baker said...

@cookiecrazielady Can you please answer the above question asked by @Sparklepopz? This person brings up a real good point that has been discussed quite a bit. If you are trying to inform, you have to disclose all information in order to stay credible.

cookiecrazielady said...

Since doing this post about disco dust, I've learned that it is is non-toxic, but not considered "food safe". I don't know exactly what it is made of, but ground plastic could very well be it's origin. I have not promoted disco dust for use on cookies to be eaten since then.....but I guess the fact that I have left this post up implies that I think it's fine to cover cookies in it and then serve them to guests or sell the cookies to those who will eat them. I was remiss in doing this. Since this post is fairly informative on the different "toppings" you can put on cookies for shiny effects, I don't want to take the post completely down. So instead, I will revise it. Please forgive me for not updating this post sooner and not giving you the facts as I learned them.

cookiecrazielady said...

kellyhart.....see above.

cookiecrazielady said...

Thanks for pointing this out to me, Baker. See the above note which includes my thoughts and apology.

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