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How Do You Decorate Cookies

Myths About Royal Icing

Color Flow Technique for Cookies

I had some pretty strong misconceptions going in to this endeavor. Such as:

  • You need to be an artist to create a beautiful sugar cookie decorated with royal icing. Totally not true. I mean, it’s not like I’m attempting intricate designs or heading to Cookie Con any time soon . But to make cute, easy cookie designs? You got this.
  • Getting just the right consistency is practically impossible and one drop of water too much will cause your icing to run everywhere. False. Yes, thickness or fluidity is important when decorating sugar cookies with royal icing, but it can be demystified by knowing that the two main consistencies used are a thicker piping consistency and a thinner flood consistency .

Cookie Designs To Start With

It may be tempting to try out one of the elaborate cookie designs you see on social media, but its a good idea to start with a simple design so that you dont get overwhelmed and frustrated. Here are 5 cookie designs that are perfect for beginners!

Then, once you get comfortable with icing consistency and holding a piping bag, you can move on to more advanced designs, like these garden cookies.

How Much Water Do I Use To Thin Down My Icing If Its Too Thick

It really depends on how thick your icing is, and how much icing you have. If you have an entire batch of icing thats very thick, you might need to use ½ cup of water to get it to the correct flooding consistency. Or you might just need a few squirts of water from your spray bottle to thin it down enough. If you have a small amount of icing that needs to be thinned down, you might only need a few drops of water.

My suggestion is to always add a little at a time. You dont want to add too much water, and then end up having to add more powdered sugar because you watered it down too much.

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How To Store Decorated Cookies Etc

Properly Drying the Cookies

Once youre happy with the decoration of all your cookies, you need to let them FULLY dry before storing them.

Many recipes will say at least overnight, but thats an absolute minimum.

Personally, I aim for at least 24 hours of drying. Cookie decorations that look and feel dry can sometimes surprised you, and easily be dented when bagged or stacked.

Much better to wait longer, than to risk losing all that work!

1. Cookies should be allowed to air dry, out in the open. Dont dry them in boxes, etc – air flow is your friend! To speed things up, you can use a fan blowing across your cookies.

2. Cookies will take longer to dry on humid days.

3. How long it takes the cookies to dry affects the finish of the frosting. Slow drying can lead to a dull finish, the faster the frosting dries, the shinier the finish.

4. For a fast drying time and shiny finish, you can dry your cookies in a food dehydrator.

5. Do not dry your cookies in the fridge. Not only is it a fairly moist environment – and one that can impart smells and flavors onto your cookies – condensation cam ruin the finish of your cookies.

Storing Decorated Cookies

Once fully dried – I mean it, FULLY dried – Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.

I like to lay them flat, in layers, with each layer separated by a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper.

Can Cookies Decorated with Royal Icing Be Frozen?

FULLY dried cookies can be frozen for several months, if needed.

How To Dip Cookies

How to Decorate Cookies with Royal Icing 101
  • 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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How To Decorate Cookies

Vanessa Greaves is a Senior Editor at Allrecipes with nearly two decades of experience helping home cooks gain confidence in the kitchen. A self-taught cook who grew up reading cookbooks for fun, Vanessa lives and breathes the challenges faced by busy everyday cooks to get dinner on the table.

You can dress up plain cookies to suit any occasion with decorations that can run from super-simple to as fancy as you want to be. To get you started, we’ll share simple techniques for decorating cookies, including tips on making and working with frosting and icing. Once you get a feel for the basics, you can keep practicing to take your skills to any level you wish.

More:Get recipes for cut-out cookies to decorate and use these easy tips to bake cut-out cookies.

Wet On Wet Cookie Decorating

While you will usually want to allow the base layer of flooded icing to completely dry before piping frosting on top of it, in some case you may want to pipe INTO the frosting.

Thats usually referred to as wet decorating or wet on wet – youre using a wet frosting piped onto/into an area of wet icing, to achieve a specific look.

Because youre dealing with 2 flooding icings, the one piped onto the other will sink INTO the other.

At the most basic, this can be something like piping dots onto a flooded cookie, for a smooth polka dot cookie.

The real fun, however, comes when you start messing around with piped dots. Dragging a toothpick tip through wet-on-wet dots or lines can produce all kinds of fun effects.

Here are a few walk-throughs of the most basic techniques:

Zig Zags / Chevron

– You can use whatever size tip you want, the bigger the tip, the wider the lines.

– The closer together the dragged lines, the steeper the chevrons will look.

Random Pulled Hearts

1. Border and flood your cookies.

2. Pipe dots of different colored, flood-consistency royal icing all over your cookies, leaving a little space between each.

3. Starting in the main colour flood icing next to a dot, drag the tip of your toothpick from that background colour, through the dot, and out the other side. You can drag it in a straight line, or curve it. It just depends on the look youre going for.

4. Wipe off your toothpick, repeat with remaining dots.

Pulled Heart Lines

Spider Web


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Weve Got What You Need

Today Im sharing with you a tutorial for one of my favorite pretty treats: royal icing decorated cookies! Ill teach you how to adorn yummy, no-spread sugar cookies with colorful florals and some gold luster dust detailing. You dont have to follow my design precisely if you dont want to. Instead, feel free to get creative and let the cookies inspire you

This is one of my favorite no-spread cookie recipes. In fact, I used it here, last fall, to make 3-D pumpkins with buttercream. Plus, in this tutorial, Ill share with you my secrets to achieving the perfect consistency of royal icing every time!

So, lets get started!

First, read through my helpful royal icing method and tips section dont forget to check out the video, too! Then, peruse the tools list to make sure you have all of the equipment necessary, before getting started.

Finally, when youre ready to bake, you can find my printable recipe card with the exact measurements and ingredients youll need. Most importantly, have fun and enjoy!

P.S. Dont forget to scroll all the way to the bottom of this article for more close-up photos of each of the cookies in this set!

Best Icings And Frostings For Decorating

Watermelon OREO Cookies How to No-Bake Summer Snacks | My Cupcake Addiction
  • Sugar Cookie Royal Icing: Easy to make, lactose-free, endless decorating possibilities, dries hard for easy cookie transportation
  • Buttercream Frosting: Easy to make, versatile, fan-favorite flavor, ideal for topping with sprinkles
  • Wilton Cookie Icing: Pre-made and incredibly easy to use, matte-finish, does not dry hard

Learn more about these icings and frosting with our Christmas cookie icings guide.

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What Are The Three Types Of Royal Icing

Royal icing is available in three types: stiff consistency, piping consistency, and flood consistency. They can be used in a variety of decorating techniques, though you may be able to achieve the same result using the same consistencies.

How To Store Royal Icing

In the refrigerator, store royal icing for up to two weeks, and in the freezer, store it for six months.

How To Decorate Cookies Like A Pro

Cookie icing is a baking basic, but one that is oddly enough sometimes difficult to master. Getting creative with icing to decorate a fresh batch of cookies is a surefire way to impress guests and family as they dig in to your newest homemade creations this holiday season.

This handy tips and troubleshooting guide will help you with your next baking excursion to make sure your cookies look as stellar as they taste.

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How Do I Make Different Colors Of Icing

If youre decorating hundreds of cookies, youll probably need an entire batch of icing for each color that youre using.

If you only plan to decorate a couple dozen cookies, you just need to make one batch of white royal icing, and then you can separate smaller amounts into different bowls and color it different colors.

How To Prepare Piping Bags

Candy Decorated Christmas Sugar Cookies

It’s good practice to prepare all of your desired icing colors and consistencies before starting to decorate. There are two types of piping bags that you can use: tipless piping bags or piping bags with metal tips. With tipless piping bags, you simply need to snip the tip to the size you want and pipe away. These come in handy when you want to get super-small lines, but piping bags with metal tips are helpful in standardizing your piping size. For cookie decorating, you’ll likely use round tips that range in size from #1 to #5 . Metal tips also come in a variety of shapes while some shapes can be helpful for decorative flair, for cookie decorating, you’ll use a round tip the majority of the time. We recommend using a size 1 or 2 tip for most piping to achieve the cleanest thin lines.

For flooding, there’s no need to use a metal tip, as you’re concerned with covering a larger surface and not the detail of the lines. Simply snip the end of the disposable piping bag to create a small opening, approximately 1/8-inch, and pipe directly onto the cookie.

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What Does Corn Syrup Do In Frosting

It is important to note that corn syrup adds moisture to the milk and helps dissolve the sugar. Furthermore, corn syrup enhances the glossy and luscious quality of the icing. If you do not have corn syrup, do not leave it out.

The Different Types Of Icing And Their Uses

Because corn syrup is associated with GMOs, many people are hesitant to use it in baking cookies because icing is so important. Royal icing does not contain corn syrup, but rather uses meringue powder in order to harden it. As a result, royal icing is the best option when you want your cookies to stand out from the rest of the cake or when you want intricate details to be drawn on them. You can add a little glycerin to the icing to make it shinier. It will make the icing more fluid and easier to work with, but you should avoid using too much glycerin because it will make your icing too soft and runny. It is usually best to wait an hour or two before using medium or stiff consistency icing, which is usually used for small details.

How To Make Sugar Cookies

For the cookies, I baked Pillsburys break-apart sugar cookie dough, and it was simple to use. In my experience, theyre a good size for simple decorations and small hands. I also used a recipe for royal icing, which sets up to a hard, candy-like coating.

For a homemade dough, I cant recommend these white velvet cutouts enough. Theyre 100% the best sugar cookie Ive ever made. The frosting for that recipe is different from the one I used here, but is outstanding in its own right.

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How To Decorate Christmas Cookies Like A Boss

If your time in the kitchen is all about your own personal enjoyment, then there’s nothing to stop you from tackling whatever wild ideas strike your fancy. But if you have your heart set on gifting beautiful cookies to your friends and family, then it’s best to keep things simple. It’s waaaaaaaay more fun to underestimate your skill level and hit a home run than fall short of your own expectations. Remember, NAILED IT memes are funnier when they’re not happening in your own kitchen.

Simple doesn’t mean boring! Every design you see here is suitable for beginners, and requires just four icing colors and three kinds of sprinkles it’s the mix-and-matching that keeps things interesting and fun. Well, that and a few cute but simple cookie cutters, like my beloved candy canes, snowflakes, Christmas trees, and ornaments.

The first step to painting any masterpiece is, of course, procuring the right sort of canvasa rolled sugar cookie that’s thick, pale, and smooth . I’m partial to my own recipe, but any cutout cookie that meets those criteria will do. Steer clear of thinner, crispier sugar cookie styles, since they’re more inclined to break, and keep in mind that cookies with a cracked or porous surface can make the icing more difficult to apply.

Royal Icing Decoration Method : Dipping

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Taste of Home

The easiest way to decorate cookies with royal icing is to dip them. This method serves as a great base for all kinds of embellishments. And dipping cookies is just as easy as it sounds: Prep a thin royal icing, place it in a shallow bowl, then dip the top of your cutout cookies into the icingdone!

From here, you can set the cookies aside and let them dry completely or keep decorating while wet.

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How Do You Make Cookies Without Baking Powder

All-purpose flour, 2 cups Unsalted butter, 1 cup Sugar, cup Culinary lavender flowers, 1 tablespoon Vanilla extract, 1½ teaspoons Salt, teaspoon Sanding sugar or sprinkles for decorating

When baking cookies when do you put the sprinkles on?

Nonpareils. These tiny balls of sugar and starch date back to at least the 18th century.

  • Confetti Sprinkles. Photo by Molly Jean Bennett.
  • Sanding Sugar. Photo by Molly Jean Bennett.
  • Thick Vs Thin Royal Icing

    I like to start off with a stiffer, thick consistency icing because it’s easy from there to thin the icing out to a flood consistency just by continuing to add a little water. A thicker royal icing should be spreadable and easy to pipe. It reminds me of the consistency of toothpaste or very soft cream cheese.

    To color the icing, divide it between separate bowls for each color you want. Mix in gel food coloring until you get the shade you want.

    You can use lighter colors first, then build on that color with darker colors to save yourself dirtying a separate bowl for every color. I will start with light pinks, blues, yellows, or greens, then move to darker reds, purples, oranges, etc.

    Once colored, you can use the thick icing to pipe borders to decorate your cookies or go ahead and thin out the icing to a flood consistency by adding additional water a little at a time and stirring well after each addition.

    For flooding, the royal icing should be thinned out enough to melt in on itself in about 10-15 seconds when you run a knife through it.

    Think about the viscosity of honey or shampoo to help you gage flooding consistency. It should melt in on itself in about 10 seconds but not be so thin that it will run off the sides of the cookie.

    If you go too far and add too much water to your flood icing it will be too thin. But you can save it by adding a spoonful or two of the thicker consistency icing and mixing that in.

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    Can I Add Extract/flavor To My Royal Icing

    Because royal icing wont harden and dry if you get any oil in it, I avoid using extracts. I flavor the cookies, and since meringue powder is already vanilla flavored, I dont feel the need to also flavor the icing. If you want to flavor your royal icing, make sure that you only use an oil free extract. You can also replace the water in royal icing with lemon juice, but be careful not to get any oil from the lemon rind in your royal icing.

    I flavor my cookies and not my royal icing.

    Using Flood Consistency Royal Icing

    Decorating Tips for Gingerbread Cookies

    Alternatively, you can thin out all of your icing to flood consistency from the get-go and use it to both outline and fill your cookies by piping the border with flood icing and then immediately “flooding” the middle of the cookie to fill it in. I recommend using a toothpick or scribe tool to fill in gaps between the border and the flooded center or to pop any air bubbles, if needed.

    The upside of this approach is that your border will completely blend in with the flooded center and be invisible. Also, you avoid the nuisance of having to make two consistencies of every icing color by using flood consistency for all your decorating.

    The main downside is the risk that your flood consistency icing is too thin and it could run off the edge of the cookie. However, this is my preferred method because once you have figured out the right flood consistency you shouldn’t have any problems with your icing being too thin.

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