Let's start with two methods of decorating the cookies before they're baked.
Colored Sugar Crystals: This is the easiest and quickest method of cookie decorating, as it doesn't involve cutting out cookies. Instead, you simply scoop the cookies (like you would chocolate chip cookies) or roll the dough into balls, then roll the top of the cookies in colored sugar. Bake as directed.
|To get a multi-colored cookie, simply mix your colors in a bowl before you dip the cookie.|
|My "paints" - egg yolk and food dye.|
|For this one, I used straight dye (no egg yolk) and just painted it right on.|
|The cookies painted and ready to be baked.|
|I used a fan brush for this one.|
|The fan brush ended up working out well as the "paint" split when the cookie rose and spread in the oven. It gives it a nice texture for a tree.|
|The cracking doesn't work so well for this one. Oh well, I tried!|
|Since this one didn't have "paint" covering the whole thing, it worked well.|
|The candy cane also came out ok.|
Royal Icing: The cookies I decorated for my daughter's birthday party were decorated with royal icing which dries hard. At that time, I didn't have a "go-to" recipe, so I just pulled one of the internet from a pretty reputable site. However, I was very unhappy with the results and had to tweak it quite a bit to get it just the way I wanted it. So after seeing The Pioneer Woman's post on cookie decorating, I decided to try Bake at 350's royal icing recipe. I'm glad I did, because it worked beautifully! A note on the icing recipe. It calls for meringue powder, which is a substitute for raw egg whites. I would recommend using meringue powder instead of raw egg whites especially if you'll be giving these to other people just to be safe! Meringue powder can be purchased online or at craft stores such as Michaels.
- Spreading: You can spread icing or frosting on cookies with a knife.
- Piping: You can do specific details by piping the icing onto your cookies. We outlined our cookies with piping then flooded the inside. You'll want the icing to be thick when you're piping it. The nice this about this method is that even if your cookies lose their shape while baking, you can redefine the shape with piped icing.
- Flooding: Flooding is a method that allows you to fill in the cookie, giving the icing a smooth appearance. You use the same icing as you do for piping, but you add water to it to thin it out. Put a little on the cookie (inside the piped "frame") and spread using a toothpick, until the whole cookie (or the part you want iced) is covered.
- Embellisments: You can easily embellish your cookies by adding designs, writing, dots, stripes, sprinkles, edible glitter, or any other cookie decorations that you desire.
|These bottles are great tools for adding embellishments (lines, dots, etc.) to the cookies. You don't need these, but they make precise embellishments much easier.|
|To make the swirl effect, I put strips of red and green in the white, then ran a toothpick through them.|