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Sugar Cookie Decorating For Beginners

Easy Sugar Cookie Decorating Techniques

How To Decorate Cookies for Beginners | Good Housekeeping

You dont have to be a pro to decorate adorable and bakery-quality sugar cookies! Today Im breaking it down into easy tips, tricks, designs, and techniques to make it EASY and FUN! With 7 different sugar cookie decorating techniques, you can choose the method and difficulty level based on your skill level!

Before we go through the exact sugar cookie decorating techniques, lets go over a few foundational tools, tips, and recipe tips before you dive into decorating!

Note: If This Is Your First Time Using A Brand New Stamp:

Make sure to condition it first by scuffing it in two different directions with a fine grit sandpaper. Then thoroughly wash the stamp before using it with the gel paste. For more details on how to prep your IOD stamps when you first get them, check out this post.

Now, pick up the gel-loaded stamp and flip it over so the design is facing down. Hover the stamp over the cookie to decide where to place it and then commit by laying it on the cookie. Be careful not to shift the stamp as you lay it down or youll smudge your design.

Use one finger to stabilize the stamp and with your other hand, gently run your fingers along the backside of the stamp to make sure all the details of the design make contact with the icing.

Then, holding the edges of the stamp, lift it off the cookie again being careful not to shift as you lift.

Piping Bags And Piping Tips

Tipless Royal Icing Piping Bags

For most royal icing decorating, tipless bags are my preference. You can change how much royal icing comes out by varying the pressure you put on the piping bag. You can also adjust how large you want the hole in the piping bag by cutting the tip typically larger for flooding royal icing and smaller for detail work. I also like this method because cleanup is a breeze!

Piping Bags with Tips

If you choose to use piping tips, I would use a coupler as well . This way you can change the tips as you are decorating. The tips are simply little cone-shaped metal pieces in different sizes and shapes. You can use a larger tip for flooding and a smaller one for detail. I use these primarily for flowers or really fine detail lettering.

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You Can Find The Sugar Cookie Recipe Here

After letting the dough rest, place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Use a dough scraper to cut the dough ball in half. Lightly flour the top and begin to work the dough into a ball. It is normal that it will be pretty crumbly, to begin with. Keep working it and it will become slightly darker in color and smoother in texture.

Work in as much as the crumbs as you can until you have a uniform ball. Its fine to push some of the crumbs to the side and work them into a second ball. As you get a uniform ball, begin to flatten out with hand until its a circular shape. Lightly flour the top. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough. Roll and turn, roll and turn. I like doing this with a fondant roller, but you can use a regular rolling pin as well. I use a fondant roller because I dont form huge circles. I cut the dough in half and then make two circles out of that one half. Roll with what you please. Its really not a big deal, just giving you an idea of why I use the tools I do. I roll out the dough until its about 1/2 thickness. I want a good cookie to icing ratio.

Dip your cookie cutter into flour. Shake off the excess and place your cutter firmly into the dough and press down.

Keep pressing down the cutters until you have enough from that one sheet of dough. Remove the excess dough surrounding the cutters or lift up the cut-out dough after you press down. Either method is fine.

Our cookies are cooling and were all set. Now lets focus on the icing.

What Is Royal Icing

Posted by Dotty at 7:14 AM

Royal Icing is typically used for decorating various kinds of desserts, though it is most common for cookie decorating. This type of icing dries hard which allows for layering different colors and achieving more intricate designs. With only three simple ingredients, it is very easy to make. The difficulty with Royal Icing comes with finding the right consistency. The best way to learn is to practice and experiment with what works best for you! Ive been decorating cookies with Royal Icing for almost ten years now, and my goal with this post is to share everything I have learned to help you with your Royal Icing cookie creations!

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Cookie Decorating For Beginners: Royal Icing

Aug 24, 2022 · This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Cookie Decorating for Beginners: with Royal Icing. Sharing tips and tricks on how to make cookie decorating easier, with royal icing!

Ive always been a fan of sugar cookies, but I only became intrigued with actually decorating them with royal icing when I saw all of the super fun cookie decorating videos on my Facebook feed.

Fill up your cookie recipe box with some of my favorite cookie recipes like my no-bake cookies, sugar cookies with Nutella, ice cream cone sugar cookie cut-outs and if youre on the hunt for Christmas cookies, then dont miss the 20 Easy Christmas Cookie Recipes!

Preparing And Coloring Icing

To test the consistency, take a spoonful of icing and turn it over the bowl. It should cling to the spoon before slowly falling back into the bowl.

To thicken royal icing, add powdered sugar . To thin royal icing, add water .

My royal icing recipe is a good to-start icing. Its on the thicker side, so its great for outlining and adding details because it will hold its shape. Its also great to fill in by piping back and forth .

Divide your icing into bowls and add a drop or two of your food coloring . Stir well.

Continue to add drops of food coloring, one at a time, to achieve desired shade. Stir well. Remember its easier to add food coloring than take it away, so work with a few drops at a time.

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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 favorite recipe for sugar cookies. 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. A classic, go-to recipe that every baker should keep in their apron pocket just like good recipes for pie crust, chocolate cake, and vanilla cupcakes .

Best Overall: Arty Mcgoo

How to decorate sugar cookies with royal icing for beginners – Free Cookie Decorating Class

Arty McGoo

Why We Chose It: This comprehensive program that has new videos added every month, as well as a robust community of other cookie decorators.

Pros6 new videos added monthlyGuest instructors give a different perspectiveCommunity of other cookie decoratorsReasonable monthly feeTeaching style is very personality-drivenSome videos are entertainment, not educational

With over 300 videos on how to make various different cookie decorations, Arty McGoo is our pick for the best overall online cookie decorating classes. Arty McGoo is the alter ego of Liz Adams, the creator of McGoo U, an online school for learning cookie decorating since 2014. Available for free on her website are basic tutorials on topics such as making a no-fail sugar cookie, making royal icing, the standard equipment and tools needed, and basic techniques on how to decorate cookies.

Also included in the membership is access to a private Facebook group where you can meet other cookie decorating students of McGoo U and support each other. You can even create private study groups for local membership, which give you more discounts and added bonuses. Membership is $9.99 a month or $105 a year.

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Can You Sell Cookies From Home

Many of us cookie decorators started out by baking cookies in our home kitchen to sell to friends and neighbors. As your business grows, youll want to look into the licensing rules in your area to find out whether or not you can sell cookies from your home kitchen.

My friend Mimi Fix of Baking Fix got me started with all of the proper permits for my cookie business. She has books, teaches classes, and does consulting for those who want to bake for profit. Take a look at Mimis website hereto find out more.

Best Virtual Events: Edible Impressions

Edible Impressions

Why We Chose It: Edible Impressions hosts virtual events designed for all skill sets, from family fun to corporate teambuilding exercises.

ProsAccessible for all skill setsEvents come with kitsNo baking or icing making, strictly decoratingConsEvents require cookie kit purchase

Edible Impressions’ virtual events require you to purchase a cookie decorating kit that is completely customizable. You can pick from ready-made theme sets like Happy Hour or Coffee Break or make your own custom kit.

Kits include four cookie shapes and three frosting colors. All kits come with blank pre-baked cookies and frostings so you are ready to decorate right out of the box. During the virtual event, instructor Annette Conrad will teach you a variety of decorating techniques, a tabletop view demonstration, and a live question-and-answer session. Because theres no baking or icing making, you can concentrate strictly on decorating, making this an accessible course or event for everyoneregardless of their cookie decorating skills.

Events vary on how many participants and kits are purchased, with a starting price of $220 per hour if you buy zero to four kits. Discounts are available if you buy five to 19 kits and 20 or more kits. Kits start at $26 each.

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Sugar Cookie Icing Ingredients

  • Powdered sugar. Also known as confectioners sugar or icing sugar. For best results , sift it to remove any lumps before using.
  • Milk. I use whole milk, but any variety will work instead. Just note that if you are using a lower-fat milk you may need less than the recipe calls for, as it is thinner.
  • Vanilla extract. If you want pure white icing I recommend using a clear vanilla extract.
  • Light corn syrup. Not to be confused with high fructose corn syrup, this ingredient gives my sugar cookie frosting a glossy, shiny finish and helps it to to set firmly. If you must leave it out, Ive included notes in the recipe on how to do so, but for best results I recommend using it. Dark corn syrup could work but will add a muddy color and additional flavor to your icing. Outside of the US, you may be able to find glucose syrup, which should work instead.
  • Food Coloring. Of course this is optional, but for festively decorated Christmas sugar cookies, youll probably want to add a bit of color. I love and use gel food coloring for best results . Liquid or powder food coloring will work, but may not be as vibrant.

As always, this is just an overview of the ingredients used here and why they were chosen. For the full sugar cookie recipe with amounts and detailed instructions, please scroll down to the printable recipe.

SAMS TIP: Dont have time to decorate? Skip the sugar cookie frosting and just sprinkle colorful sanding sugar over the cookies before baking!

Technique #: Spread & Dip In Sanding Sugar

Kellys Cookies on Instagram: Beginner Christmas Cookie Decorating ...

If you dont want to mess with any of those decorating techniques , simply spread your frosting on with a knife and dip in white sanding sugar. This is a super easy technique to smooth out the frosting, without needing to do any fancy decorating! For a more refined look, use Technique #1 before dipping.

Tools needed:

  • Pipe or spread frosting on sugar cookie.
  • Immediately dip the top in sanding sugar, gently moving it around so all corners are covered.
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    Technique #: Dip In Glaze

    This method is great when you just want a solid color icing on top of your cookie! Its fast to do, dries & hardens quickly, and is great for those times when you only want a thin cookie glaze. This is what I used for my Easy Decorated Snowman Cookies and it just goes to show how cute even the simplest cookies can be!

    Tools needed:

  • Dip the top of the cookie into the glaze, ensuring the surface is covered.
  • Before flipping it over, gently shake the cookie to remove the excess icing.
  • Flip over and allow to dry on parchment paper or cooling rack.
  • Tip: If you wish to add more detail or color to your cookie, you can immediately drizzle or pipe dots on top of the cookie immediately after dipping or you can wait for the first layer to dry before drizzling or piping on more detail.

    Your Cookie Of Choice

    The first thing youll need are cookies, of course! There are hundreds of cookie recipes online, but many of them might not be right for making a decorated cookie. The cookie needs to hold its shape and have a flat surface so that the icing doesnt run off of the edges.

    It might take some trial and error to find a cookie recipe that works right for you. Look for recipes called roll out cookies or cut-out cookies. I recommend starting with trusted cookie decorating bloggers like Hanielas, LilaLoa, or Sweet Sugarbelle. Or, if youd like to try my orange vanilla cardamom recipe, you can download it from my shop here. You can also try my cookie mix if you dont feel like baking from scratch!

    Whichever cookie recipe you decide to use, this post on how to bake perfect cookies can help you adjust a recipe to help the cookies keep their shape.

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    What Causes Color Bleeding

    Color bleeding is a no-no. It messes up youre cookie design completely. Google it if you dont believe me. There are many causes. It can be anything from humidity to placing darks on whites too soon to thin icing. The best way to prevent color bleeding is to allow the first color to completely dry before adding the next color. For example, I flood a cookie with white icing. I will allow that to dry completely for a few hours, then Ill add my black design. If I have another dark color such as red or purple, I have to let that black design dry completely too, before applying them. You see. Its like were doing layers. This will prevent color bleeding as much as possible.

    Choosing A Decorating Tip

    Beginners guide to decorating sugar cookies | snowflake cookies!

    Here is a general guideline for choosing the right size decorating tip. These are all round tips. Textured tips are better for cake and cupcake decorating with buttercream frosting.

    Size 2: Use this small, round tip to add details, such as smiley faces, dots and swirls, on top of a cookie flooded with icing.

    Size 3: Use this tip to outline cookies and add details.

    Size 4: This tip may also be used for outlining cookies or for filling a cookie in by piping back and forth.

    Size 5: This large, round tip is used for filling in cookies by piping back and forth.

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    Dont Forget To Use The Right Tools

    If you want to decorate cookies at home youre going to need the right tools and supplies. This is key.

    I have a Cookie Decorating Starter Kit available that includes everything you need to decorate cookies at home, except you know, eggs, butter, flour, etc.

    Its all of the professional grade tools and supplies I personally use. I wish I had had something like this when I first started out, it would have saved me a ton of time and money.

    All of the included products would add up to nearly $150 if bought from Amazon or other retailers, if you can even find everything in-stock. I sell my starter kit for $99 which saves you money and time.

    Technique : Polka Dots

    Whether you’re frosting Christmas trees, cookie ornaments, or simple geometric shapes, polka dots add the most visual interest for the least amount of effort. For this technique, outline and flood the cookie with whatever color icing you prefer. Working with a secondary color, hold the piping bag perpendicular to the cookie, with the tip just barely above the surface of the icing.

    Squeeze gently until the icing begins to flow, and keep squeezing to enlarge the dot. To finish, stop squeezing, and lift the bag straight up. In a few seconds, the peak of icing will settle down and disappear. Repeat with more dots and colors to create whatever sort of design you like you can even nestle dots within dots, for alternating rings of color.

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    Bake The Dough And Make The Royal Icing

    Using Shannons recipe, make the sugar cookie dough, then roll it out in one flat layer, aiming for about ¼ inch thickness. Once the dough is rolled out, use metal cookie cutters to cut out shapes and place them on a baking sheet. If your cookies arent coming away from the cutters cleanly, use a small paring knife to clean up and sharpen the edges. Then, pop your cookies in the oven, bake as directed, and let them cool!

    In the meantime, make royal icing using Shannons recipe. If your icing is too thick, add small amounts of water until you reach your desired consistency if its too thin, add a bit of powdered sugar. If you arent going to use all of the icing right away or you have leftovers, store it in an airtight container. Finally, mix in your gel-based food color of choice, and pour it into a piping bag.

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