Friday, December 16, 2011

Cookie Decorating 101

Cookie decorating was the name of the game in this house last week.  I had prebaked and frozen all of my cookies so that I could focus on the decorating.  I thought I would share some of my cookie decorating ideas with all of you today.   I certainly don't consider myself to be a decorating expert by any means.  Most of what I know about decorating, I learned by trail and error.   Feel free to send me comments with your cookie decorating suggestions because I'm always looking for ways to improve.

I had baked both sugar cookies and shortbread cookies.  Before I started decorating, I lined the cookies up on a clean work space.  I had about 8 dozen snowflakes cookies and 4 dozen round cookies - I recommend starting with a much smaller number of cookies.

Royal Icing
3 Tablespoons meringue powder
4 cups powdered sugar
6 Tablespoons warm water

Combine ingredients in mixer until desired consistency.

I make my icing in 2 smaller batches.  The first batch should be the consistency of glue.  Spoon the icing into a pastry bag fitted with a #3 tip.  I outline each cookie with the icing. 

I make a second batch of slightly thinner icing.  I use an artist brush to "paint" icing into the middle of the cookies.

While the icing is still wet, I sprinkle them with sanding sugar.  (Available at craft stores.)

After a couple of hours of piping, painting and sprinkling, I ended up with a table full of sparkling snowflakes.

I also found the cutest snowman cookies on Bakerella's website so I decided to give them a try.

Mine didn't come out nearly as cute as they were on her website but I had a lot of fun making them.  I used the same process to decorate these little cuties as I used for the snowflakes.  I started by outlining each cookies with my thicker icing.

Next, I painted the icing to fill in the middle of each cookie.  I also added an orange chocolate covered sunflower seed nose to each cookie. 

I added sprinkles and piped eyes and mouths to finish off my snowmen. 

It was a good day of cookie decorating and I spent an hour sweeping up sugar and sprinkles off the floor to prove it.  (Iced sugar cookies are well worth the clean up.)  We'll be decorating even more cookies this week while the kids are home from school and looking for something to do.

Bon Appetit!

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