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COOKIE DECORATING/ 201




Dear Cookie Artisans,

In my earlier post Cookie Decorating/101, listed were essential ingredients and supplies needed to decorate cookies. Once you have the necessary supplies you are ready to bake and decorate cookies!

Cookie decorating is fun but time-consuming so plan out your time. Set aside an ample amount of time to prepare dough, bake cookies, prepare icing and decorate. It can all be done in one day but I would never recommend it. You would be in the kitchen all day. I usually spread my cookie decorating over 3 days.

One, make the dough and chill at least 2 hours.

Two, roll out the cookies to 1/4 inch, bake and freeze cookies in an air-tight container overnight. (I prefer to freeze cookies before decorating to ensure cookies are firm.) The next morning thaw the cookies in the container on kitchen counter. Do not remove the lid until completely thawed. (One and Two can be done on the same day if you prefer).

Three, make icing, prepare icing bags, icing bottles, set up your workstation and decorate cookies.

Begin your first project by decorating only 10-12 cookies. Set aside a few hours to decorate. It is essential to take your time to achieve the best results. I usually decorate 15-25 cookies at a time which takes 3-4 hours. The most I decorate at one time is 36. Keep in mind that the more intricate the design the more time is needed to decorate the cookies.

Choose a simple cookie cutter and a simple design. A cookie cutter with curves, such as the  heart, mitten, or duck are great for beginners. Most cookie cutters are about 3 to 4 inches; some are larger. My largest cutter is the mitten at 5 inches and it was the first cookie I decorated. The large size and easy curves make the mitten the perfect cutter to learn decorating. A square cutter is slightly more difficult but it requires outlining straight lines. [Gail of One Tough Cookie demonstrates how to pipe a straight line.] Until you become proficient, I do not recommend the daisy, blossom or round cutters. A round cookie is the most difficult cookie to outline. I recommend starting out with tip#3 for outlining. It is easier due to a wider opening and it requires less squeezing of the icing bag.

Before you decorate your first cookie, remember to take your time and have fun! Begin first by practicing on a sheet of wax paper. This will allow you to get the feel of the piping bag, how much pressure to apply and figure out the most comfortable grip. Hold the icing bag at a 45 degree angle for a steady flow of icing. To apply flood icing, for the best flow and control, hold the icing bottle vertical and close to the cookie but avoid running into the outline.

It takes about one hour to prepare icing, divide and color icings, fill piping bags, prepare flood icing and fill squeeze bottles. I rarely use more than 3 colors in order to keep the prep time to a minimum. Cleanup afterwards takes about one hour. It requires storing leftover icing in containers, cleaning all the mixing bowls, utensils, icing bags, squeeze bottles, tips, etc.  

 For icing preparation, technique and care of decorating tools see the Decorate tab. For video instruction, visit the Videos tab.  Most of the ingredients for baking Shortbread Cookies and preparing Royal Icing are already in your pantry. Refer to Recipes for more details.

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13 comments:

  1. Great great information!! Pinning and sharing on FB.

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    1. Paula, Thanks and I appreciate the shares and pin.

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  2. Your cookies are fabulous! Thanks for all the tips...I love to bake, but somehow the decorating part is intimidating. I'm pinning this, too!

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    1. Hi Liz, Thank you. Cookie decorating just takes a little practice. I appreciate the pin too!

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  3. Replies
    1. Yunika, Thank you and thanks too for stopping by the Clinic!

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  4. One of these days when I have time, I really would like to make some fun cookies! You do a great job of explaining how to make them.

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    1. Deb, Thank you. I appreciate your kind remarks and I'm glad you enjoy my tutorials.

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  5. Wow..Joan...I am even more impressed now! I never realized how much time is really required to just decorate the cookies. Probably because you make it seem so effortless! But great baking is all about patience, to me! I just don't think I would have as steady a hand as you! Your cookies are all, always so beautiful. I love looking at all the cookies on your sidebar...and those pumpkins are really fabulous! Thanks for sharing your wonderful tutorials. (And I'm sending you an email either tonight or tomorrow!)

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    1. Anne, Thank you for your kind remarks. Your support means so much. I look forward to your next fabulous bundt cake.

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  6. very nice.. impressive! out of this world!

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    1. Monu, Thank you! I hope you found this post helpful.

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    2. yeah very helpful i will try soon :)

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