If You Want To Make Designs That Dry To A Hard Finish:
The Best Cookies For Decorating With Icing
Thin, flat cut-out cookies like sugar cookies and gingerbread cookies are the best candidates for decorating with icing. These cookies are sturdy enough that they wont crumble as you work with them and have large, flat areas that are just begging for a bit of decoration.
Make sure your cookies are completely cool before you start decorating or the icing will melt as you decorate. I usually find it easiest to make the cookies on one day and decorate them the next. Since the decorating itself is fairly time-consuming, I also sometimes set up a cookie-decorating station on my counter and decorate a handful of cookies at a time over the course of a day or two.
Clear some counterspace.
Simple Designs For Beginners
As you’re learning to use royal icing, it is best to choose designs that are simple but stunning. These easy techniques are perfect for beginners to use for learning how to use the piping and flooding icings.
When you’re finished, your cookie tray will be simply breathtaking. Never underestimate the power of simplicity in design!
All the designs below use just two colors of icing — white + one tinted color of your choosing.
Change the shape of the cookie and the color of the tinted icing and you could have a wide range of designs available at your fingers using these same simple design tricks!
You’ll find a list of fun ideas after the demonstrations to get you started.
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What Does Every Cookie Maker Need
Making Decorated Sugar Cookies With Royal Icing Can Be Easy Learn How Using A Few Simple Tools The Best Part: They Look Totally Professional
Cutout cookies are always a special treat since they require a bit more care to create than a basic drop cookie . Cut in cute or classic shapes, these cookies are a delight, but the most eyecatching part has to be the icing. Its also the most finicky to make. However, frosting cookies with a classic royal icing doesnt need to be overly complex. Weve got a few simple techniques thatll have you making professional-looking cookies in no time. Make sure you know these helpful cookie decorating tips.
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Now Its Time To Play Heres How To Decorate A Sugar Cookie With Royal Icing
Now that youve got the lingo down, you can create some one-of-a-kind cookie art. Did I mention its delicious? So grab your various colored icings and any edible decorations youre going to useits time to decorate your sugar cookies!
1. Outline the cookie to create a dam. Try to pipe around the shape of the cookie in one unbroken line. Get the icing as close to the edge as possible without it falling off. When the end of your outline meets the spot where you started, lift the bag to end your line. Make sure the ends meet and the outline is closed!
2. Now you are ready to flood the cookie with icing. Squeeze the flood icing from a pastry bag or squeeze bottle into the middle of the shape. It should flow toward the outline dam. Use a small offset spatula or a toothpick to coax the icing into the corners and edges of the shape. If you see any air bubbles on the surface of the cookie, use the tip of a toothpick to puncture them.
4. Now its time to decorate with colorful sugars, candy, and nuts! These all stick readily to wet flooded icing. Sanding sugar can be sprinkled directly onto the wet icing, too. I recommend using tweezers to place dragées and nonpareils precisely onto the cookie. You can still attach decorations after the flood icing has driedjust use a dab of the same color icing to affix the decoration.
Add your sprinkles, sanding sugar, and nonpareils BEFORE your royal icing dries!
You can add finishing touches after the icing dries on your first coat.
How To Dip Cookies
- Dip one end of each cookie into ground pistachios, hazelnuts, pecans or other nuts while the chocolate is still wet.
- When the first coat has set, apply another color of chocolate. Try dipping one half of each cookie in dark chocolate, and the other half in white. You can even color white chocolate a nice pastel color: use candy coloring pastes from craft stores or kitchen supply stores.
- Use a pastry bag to drizzle stripes on cookies for an elegant touch.
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Cookie Frostings And Icings
The two terms are often used interchangeably, but many cooks think of frosting as thick and fluffy, and icing as relatively thinner and glossier. For more on this mini-debate and info on how to make them, check out How to Make Frostings and Icings.
The simplest types of cookie frostings and icings are made using confectioners’ sugar, butter or shortening and milk or water:
- is an example of a basic frosting. It will stay fairly soft even after drying and is the easiest to apply, but it’s not your best choice if you want to do elaborate smudge-proof designs.
- Sugar Cookie Icing is an example of a basic frosting with corn syrup added to the mix, which results in an icing that dries to a harder finish. You can use this kind of icing to make smudge-proof designs on cookies.
- Royal Icing is made with confectioners’ sugar, water, and meringue powder or egg whites. It dries to a hard, crunchy finish and is the icing of choice for gluing gingerbread houses together, but it tends to be flavorless unless you add a little vanilla extract.
Watch the video to see how to make sugar cookie icing.
I Absolutely Love Baking
Its a huge deal in my family and an integral part of my personal history. I love it so much I even wrote a book about it, A Gift of Cookies: Recipes to share with family & friends. In fact, when I used to practice medicine one of my favorite things to do with patients was to swap recipes and baking techniques.
Sometimes Ill listen to music and bake into the night. Its so relaxing to me, especially with a few simple decorating techniques!
Ive developed an expertise that Id like to share with you so that you can master a few simple techniques that can help you decorate your sugar cookies like a pro for any holiday cookie. Im talkin Christmas Snowflake Cookies, Shamrocks cookies, Valentines Day cookies you name it, its possible! Mastering these simple royal icing techniques will help you decorate any cookie you like!
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How To Make Royal Icing From Scratch
To make royal icing from scratch, youll need confectioners sugar, meringue powder, a little salt, water, and vanilla extract .
My complete royal icing recipe along with a video on how to make it are available as a download from my shop and theyre also available to my Patreon subscribers.
Make sure youre using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer to make your royal icing and not the whisk attachment. Using the paddle attachment will ensure that you are mixing your royal icing just enough without incorporating too much air, which can cause annoying air bubbles later on when you ice your cookies.
When you mix the royal icing, keep your mixer on medium low speed and mix the icing for no more than 5 minutes.
The icing should hold a stiff peak and have a thick and creamy consistency. It looks a lot like softened cream cheese.
Adding Candies Pearl Balls And Drages
You can also use the icing as a glue to attach candies, pearl balls, and dragées, which are silver candy balls. Just add a dot of icing to the cookie, and then place the candy. You might want to use tweezers if the dragée or candy is very small or especially delicate. Or just sprinkle them over a flooded area while its still wet.
Here are a few suggestions for other edible items to add to your royal icing decorated cookie:
- Edible flowers, candied or fresh
- Small candies like mini M& Ms, cinnamon red hots, or Nerds
- Silver dragées or colored candied pearls
- Non pareils, sprinkles, or jimmies
- Swedish pearl sugar
If you start looking online and at craft or party supply shops, youll find that sprinkles, jimmies, non-pareils, and colored sugars come in all sizes and shapes. Youll find everything from stars to large balls to snowflake shapes to confetti sprinkles all in a myriad of shapes and colors.
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Royal Icing For Beginners
Royal Icing for decorating sugar cookies is easy to make and can be tinted any color. Cookies decorated with Royal Icing harden to a solid finish, making the cookies perfect for hanging on the Christmas tree, stacking in tins, or mailing to friends.
Cake decorating instructor,Liz Larson, demonstrates how to properly make Royal Icing Step by step tutorial.
3 eggs whites room temperature1 pound powdered sugar 1 teaspoon cream of tarterCombine ingredients, beat at high speed 7-10 minutes.Dries quickly-keep covered.
Royal Icing Lingo Tips And Techniques
Before we begin decorating the sugar cookies, heres your chance to learn the lingo before you start decorating cookies.
A few things to remember:
Royal icing can be used for piping, outlining, or flooding.
Each technique uses the same icing recipe, just the consistency changes.
Royal icing can be flavored! Just make sure to use an oil-free extract or flavoring. My favorites are vanilla and almond extract.
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How Long Does Royal Icing Take To Dry
Drying time for royal icing varies based upon how thin your flood icing is and the level of humidity in the air. On average it takes about 8 hours for the base to fully dry. Once my cookie is fully decorated, I like to let it dry overnight to make sure all of the details are set.
If it is very humid in your area, your royal icing may not dry at all. I live in a humid climate without central air conditioning. During those hot and humid summer months, I put my cookies out to dry in a room with a window air conditioner. You can also try using a dehydrator or dehumidifier.
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Theres Cookie Inspiration Everywhere
Just ask a cookier about where they find their inspiration and theyll probably tell you everywhere. Seriously, its true! I try not to Google cookie designs when Im in need of inspiration. It just gets my mind stuck in things that have already been done.
Instead, Ill look around my house, go to the store, take a walk And I always have my phone or camera with me so I can snap a picture if I find something I want to cookie.
I also keep a small spiral binder for drawing my designs, or at the very least, writing a description of how I see the designs. Once you start finding your inspiration, being inspired probably wont be a problem.
The problem will be having enough time to make all the designs that are in your head.
What About Royal Icing
Royal icing is what professional bakers typically use for this kind of cookie decorating. Its made with either whipped egg whites or whipped meringue powder along with powdered sugar and water, and it tends to be a little more stable and thicker than straight powdered sugar icing.
Royal icing is great for fine-detailed decorating work and Martha Stewart, but for the most part, Im just not that fancy. I am totally happy with a cookie simply flooded with a layer of crunchy, sugary icing. I also like the fact that straight powdered sugar icing can be made with a fork and bowl in just a few seconds and doesnt require any disclaimers about raw eggs when sharing the resulting cookies.
These cookies might not be quite what the pros would go for, but for friends and family, these fuss-free, homemade, hand-iced sugar cookies are a credit to the cookie tray.
If you are curious about royal icing, here are a few recipes and tutorials about working with it:
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Best For Churros: Astra Shop Royal Icing Tip
Next on the list, weve got yet another tip that manages to win our hearts. Its the Astra Shop Royal Icing Tip and its widely considered as the tip that has the most suitable features. The astra shop royal icingtip is non-toxic and it is corrosion resistant. Make sure this fits by entering your model number. These work well making meringues, churros, macarons or icing a cake, cookies kitchen etc.
Lastly, the astra shop royal icing tip includes 3-piece with different mouth diameter.s.
Therefore, buyers were very happy to recommend it to friends and families.
Why We Like This:
- Include 3-piece with different mouth diameter: 0.7mm/1mm/1.4mm.
- These make for nice quality and it is used for non-stick.
- Its also a great value product.
- Strong, durable, corrosion resistant, reusable, non-stick, tasteless and non-toxic.
Basic Tips For Sugar Cookies
Decorating cookies with royal icing all starts with the best sugar cookies recipe.
Using the right cookie cutter makes a huge difference, too. You don’t want shapes that are hard to cut or decorate which is why I love these cookie cutters the most.
- Best Sugar Cookies Ever
- The Best Cookie Cutters for Kids
- Tips for Baking Sugar Cookies with Kids
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Prepare All Of Your Supplies Beforehand
Aside from the obvious things like an electric mixer, youre going to need several less-obvious supplies too. I suggest having several small bowls/containers on hand for mixing your icing colors. Also, having plenty of pipette bags will save you the headache of continuously washing them out when you are switching colors / consistencies.
Best With Buttercream: Wilton Royal Icing Tip
The features department is where Wilton royal icing tip truly manages to shine. Make sure this fits by entering your model number. Also, the tip is perfect for a variety of tips and it is washed in warm. In conclusion, with a 4.7 rating and more than 2328 buyers, the Wilton royal icing tip stands as the best choice.
Most customers quickly discovered that the tip is a great set for a great price. Also, they strongly agree that the tip is perfect even for men. In short, many customers have used the wilton royal icing tip for more than a few months without any issues, and it shows no sign of giving up.
Top Customer Quotes:
- This is used to make designer-decorated sugar cookies for Christmas.
- Everything you need to decorate cookies with cream or royal icing.
- Disposable decorating bags are 12 in. .
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Ready To Take Your Cookies To The Next Level With Royal Icing Go Beyond Basic Piping And Flooding And Explore These Advanced Techniques For Making Bakery
Once you start decorating cookies with royal icing, it gets super addictive! And Im not just talking eating all those pretty cookies. You can do a ton of decorating using just the technique of piping and flooding, but here are a few more techniques that you can use to create beautiful and unique cookies.
Work From Thick To Thin
I like to make my royal icing a little on the thick side because its ALWAYS easier to thin the icing by adding water than it is to thicken the icing. When creating your flooding icing, use just a splash at a time. The water really goes a long way in thinning the icing. If youre coloring the icing with liquid food coloring, make sure to do that first before setting the consistency of the icing. Sometimes the liquid food coloring alone will thin the icing out to your desired consistency.
When making your flooding icing, also be sure not to get the icing TOO thin. When this happens, your icing looks more like a glaze and it will not totally cover the color of the cookie. The beauty of royal icing cookies is their clean opacity. Your flooding icing should drip quickly off the spoon but should maintain its color and opacity.
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