How To Color Your Royal Icing: Gel Vs Liquid Food Coloring
Personally, I recommend dividing your icing into several work bowls so you can color them individually. Work with one container at a time, keeping the others tightly covered with plastic wrap so they dont dry out. Using a toothpick, add food coloring a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. I love using gel food coloring as opposed to liquid coloringyoull get more vibrant colors and its easier to control the consistency. Remember to mix it really well, or you might see streaks of color on top of your cookies later.
No Chill Sugar Cookie Dough
This is my favorite go-to recipe during the holiday season. Most sugar cookie dough recipes benefit from chilling or resting in the fridge. Here is a sugar cookie dough that can be immediately rolled out, stamped, and baked!
No chilling necessary! Simply mix together the dough and start stamping out cookies immediately!
Best of all, these cookies can be baked ahead of time. Bake up to three days in advance. Store in an airtight container until you are ready to decorate.
Tips for Baking Sugar Cookies:
Baked and cooled cookies can be stored in an airtight container for three days before decorating.
What Is Glass Bottom Method
Well, these arent ordinary chocolate cookies, these cookies are baking and decorated using the glass bottom method. Its a way of producing a moist centered cookie, with a sugar crunch on top. In order to get the sugar to stick to the bottom of my measuring cup use a little dab of butter so it will stick.
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I Chilled Cookie Dough But Now Its Hard As A Rock
After cookie dough is chilled it often become firm.
- There is no need to panic.
- Cut the cookie dough disk into quarters.
- Microwave one ¼ of cookie dough on high for 5-7 seconds. It should be sufficient to soften the dough so you can roll it out. However, you dont want it to be super soft.
- Cut up remaining quarters into smaller bits.
- Place softened/microwaved 1/4 of the cookie dough onto the work surface, between 2 rolling guides. Place rolling pin on top of the rolling guides and roll out the cookie dough. Cut out cookies and transfer them onto a light colored baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Gather scraps and add one piece of chilled dough you set aside, re-roll and repeat.
‘flood’ Icing For Full Coverage
If you’d like an icing base for your cookies to either add sprinkles or a colorful design, The first step in decorating is to apply the icing, which involves piping the border with a piping bag, then filling in the center. Jen Yee, head of the pastry program at Lafayette in New York City, recommends making two consistencies of royal icing, one for each step. “You want a firm icing for the border, and a looser one to fill or ‘flood’ in the border, which can be done by adding a touch of water to your ‘flooding’ icing,” she says. You can use a piping bag, an offset spatula, or a paring knife to frost the center, and toothpicks can help to make designs, spread icing into detailed corners, and pick up mistakes.
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Sugar Cookie Icing Recipe
If you prefer not to read the helpful information and recipe tips, you can skip to the bottom for the complete printable recipe card.
- Powdered sugar: You need powdered sugar for this recipe. Do not use granulated white sugar. Sifting the powdered sugar is highly recommended to avoid lumps and render a smoother icing.
- Whole milk: Milk is used to thin the icing. I recommend whole milk or 2%. Avoid skim and milk substitutes for this recipe.
- Light corn syrup: This helps the icing harden and what gives it that brilliant shine!
- Vanilla extract: For flavor. If you need your icing to be bright white, use clear vanilla extract.
- Pinch of salt: Just a pinch of salt elevates all the other flavors, but this ingredient is completely optional.
How to Make Sugar Cookie Icing:
You simply stir all the ingredients together until combined and smooth. If icing is too thick, add a bit more milk , until the icing is thick but pipeable. Alternatively, if its too thin, add a little more powdered sugar until desired texture is reached.
Technique #: Buttercream + Giant Swirl
If youre not in the mood for intricate decorating but still want a refined, bakery-quality look, use my two favorite tips to create giant swirls and top with festive sprinkles! This technique works best for circle or heart cookies where there arent many edges.
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The Reverse Creaming Method And Why It Works
Reverse creaming refers to the order in which the ingredients are blended together. Instead of combining the butter and sugar first, reverse creaming starts by mixing the flour, sugar, and other dry ingredients and then adding the butter, followed by the egg. Since the butter and dry ingredients are blended for less time, theres less aeration in the dough so the cookies bake up with a sturdy texture and flat-as-can-be surface.
Youll notice that not all sugar cookie recipes have instructions for this method , but that doesnt mean you cant still use this method. Go ahead and give it a try and see what a difference it makes when you want a flat surface to decorate.
Your turn! Do you use the reverse creaming method when making sugar cookies?
Recipes and Tips for Making and Decorating Sugar Cookies
Sugar Cookie Decorating Techniques
There are a handful of ways you can decorate sugar cookies, depending on the look youre going for! Below are my top 7 favorite decorating techniques using buttercream, icing glaze, and traditional royal icing! Each technique includes my favorite frosting recipes & instructional photos!
Important: Before decorating, make sure your sugar cookies are fully cooled! Decorating a warm cookie will cause your frosting to melt and spread.
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Creating The Puffy Look:
To achieve a puffy look, squeeze a little bit more icing on the surfacejust enough that it doesnt overflow. Once the icing dries, water will evaporate from the surface and the look of wet icing will flatten. Overfilling a little makes up for the flattening effect and ensures that your cookie maintains a puffy, pillowed look.
Advanced Sugar Cookies Icing: Royal Icing
For the more advanced sugar cookie decorating, you can use royal icing. What makes it more advanced is that you can do very precise decorations and do them on various levels with royal icing. The other thing about royal icing is that it gets hard which is great for storage but a little extra care while working with it.
Make a batch of royal icing with sifted powdered sugar, meringue powder, and water. Use enough water to make it the consistency of toothpaste spreadable but not runny. Divide it into separate bowls and tint each bowl the color you want. Keep the bowls tightly covered with plastic wrap or covered with a wet cloth to keep them from hardening.
Transfer half of the icing in a bowl into a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip . Cover the icing tip to prevent hardening. I found to be super useful!
Then, thin the rest of the royal icing in the bowl with tiny drops of water until it reaches a flowing consistency. I like to do the ribbon test to see if it just right. Take a spoonful of royal icing and drizzle it back and forth in the bowl kind of like a ribbon.
The icing should hold its shape for a bit and then disappear back into itself in less than 10 seconds. You can see how the strands of icing on the bottom of the drizzle have almost disappeared completely.
Put this thinner sugar cookies icing into icing bottles with caps or into another pastry bag fitted with a small round tip for flooding.
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How To Decorate Sugar Cookies
Baking sugar cookies for Christmas? Let me help! Today Im sharing 5 easy and approachable ways to decorate Christmas cookies. If youre intimidated or nervous about making royal icing and creating adorably festive sugar cookies, this post is for you.
Before we begin decorating, lets review my sugar cookie recipe. This recipe, pictured below as adorable little hearts, have slightly crisp edges and a nice flat surface for decorating. They have a pronounced vanilla flavor, super soft center, and taste unbelievable on their own.
Different Consistencies For Different Techniques
You might notice that the humidity in the room affects the consistency of the icing. Your recipe should be adjusted accordingly. It might be tricky at first, but dont get discouraged! Once you get the hang of it, youll even develop your own preferences for thicker or thinner icing.
For example, youll probably want thicker icing for outlining. For flooding , youll want your icing on the thinner side. This allows it to blend in seamlessly on top of your cookieit looks so nice and professional! A good rule of thumb is that one tablespoon of water will thin one cup of icing to flooding consistency. Remember to cover your icing with plastic wrap when youre not actively using it so it doesnt get crusty!
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Cut Out Sugar Cookies
Cut Out Sugar Cookies are popular all year round. Favorite with children and adults alike you cant go wrong with a basic vanilla cookie.
PIN IT for later
Sugar Cookies require only few ingredients and are super simple to make from scratch. This recipe is a cross between shortbread and sugar cookies. They are little crunchy on the outside and soft inside.
How Thick To Make The Icing
If youve watched cookie decorating videos on youll notice there are usually two types of icing:
- A thick icing is used to outline the shape
- A thinner icing is used to fill the inside . If youre making fancy cookies, youll likely want both consistencies.
I decorate cookies just for my family so, Im not looking for perfection and I usually make only one consistency.
To get the right consistency. If it is too thick, add a little more milk . If its too runny, add a little more powdered sugar.
You can test one cookie to make sure it doesnt run off the edges and holds its shape well enough but still spreads.
How To Paint Sugar Cookies
Have you ever seen sugar cookies that are so beautifully decorated, theyre too gorgeous to eat? Decorative sugar cookies are a fun and festive addition to any occasion, and learning how to paint sugar cookies and make them yourself can be a lot of fun.If youve ever tried to use icing to pipe out intricate designs, you know that it can be a challenge. A much faster, simpler, and often more enjoyable method is painting cookies using special edible paints and then adding icing for quick and easy decorative accents. To help you get started, weve put together a guide to making painted cookies at home using the Color My Cookie decorating kit collections. Instead of shopping for ingredients, preparing cookies, and making edible paints, you can jump right into cookie creativity with a complete kit. Using our cookie decorating kits, you can enjoy painting cookies with none of the stress and all of the fun, making this a sweet project youll want to do time and time again.
How To Easily Decorate Sugar Cookies
In this section, Ill show you five different decorated cookie options. They are all easy, yet impressive. With these simple skills, you should be able to use what youve learned to make and decorate plenty more!
2020: 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS COOKIES
12 Christmas cookies you will love, PLUS bonus baking tips and TWO extra recipes you will not find on this blog! See ALL my cookbooks here!
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How To Bake Sugar Cookies
Before I talk about decorating tips, I want to share a few of my tried-and-true techniques for baking a batch of sugar cookies that youll actually want to eat, not just ice.
Cream, cream, cream, cream the butter. Sugar cookies contain so few ingredients that a surefire way to mess them up is during mixing. Some recipes for roll-out sugar cookies might tell you to use a different technique, but I like to use the creaming method for mine. Start by mixing the butter and sugar together. Every recipe in the world will tell you to mix until light and fluffy,” but what does this mean? During the process of creaming, youre incorporating air into the mixture, while also combining the butter and sugar. The whole process actually helps to dissolve the sugar into the butter, which makes for a properly mixed cookie. This processdone correctlytakes 4 to 5 minutes on medium-low speed.
The Dry Ingredients
Careful with that flour: Once flour becomes involved, the process requires more precision. You want to take great care not to over-mix your dough otherwise, your cookies will be unpleasantly crisp and tough . Sift or whisk together your dry ingredients to combine them. Combining these ingredients beforehand makes sure that they have the best chance of being properly incorporated, which can help to reduce mixing time overall.
Rolling Out the Dough
Cutting the Cookies
Time to Bake
Get Personalized & Custom Cookie Designs
In addition to our themed collections, Color My Cookie also offers custom cookies for decorating, giving you an array of options to start your adventures as a pastry artist. Host a cookie decorating party, add a fun activity to a special event, or give the gift of fun and creativity. With our personalized cookie designs, your imagination can run wild!
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Decorate The Cookies With The Detailed Frosting
Again, in that video above, youll get a much more thorough visual tutorial of this process, but Im going to walk you through some of the basic steps. This part is VERY doable, you just need: a little time, a little patience, and a steady hand.
Tips for doing the detailed decorating:
- Have your designs in mind
- Take some screen shots of other Christmas cookies you love, or do a search for Christmas vector images or Christmas clip art .
- If you want a calligraphy look, you can do a search for Christmas word art or Christmas calligraphy and get some inspiration from those images, too!
Then, youll just start gently piping the icing onto the cookies.
And youre just going to keep going with a steady hand!
Have fun with the different designs!
What If I Dont Have 4 Hours To Chill The Cookie Dough
You can speed chilling process place cookie dough in the freezer for one hour.
- Or you can roll the cookie dough between 2 pieces of parchment. Slide it onto a baking sheet or a freezer safe tray. Place the tray into the freezer for 20 minutes or 1 hour into the fridge. And cut out and bake cookies.
- Dont leave rolled out cookie dough in the fridge for an extended time, edges tend to dry out.
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The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies
Whenever you make these cookies for someone, be sure to bring along several copies of the recipe! You will be asked for it, I promise! NOTE: I make icing with confectioners’ sugar and milk. I make it fairly thin, as I ‘paint’ the icing on the cookies with a pastry brush. Thin enough to spread easily but not so thin that it just makes your cookies wet and runs off.
- 1½ cups butter, softened
- 2 cups white sugar
- Step 1
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour .
- Step 2
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F . Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
- Step 3
Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.