Cookie Decorating Tips

Mario Brothers, Mickey Halloween, and Coffee & Donuts

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Christmas Cookies

A couple years ago I became interested in a cookie frosting technique called flooding. It makes your cookie look glossy, smooth, and flawless. As a baker this was something I really wanted to try! It started out as something fun to do for my own special occasions but ended in a small side business with a friend.

We started taking Mother’s Day orders and then the orders never stopped! I was so nervous in the beginning; stressing over every detail. It took us sometimes 16 hours to do 2 dozen cookies. I’m happy to report now that we’re more comfortable and confident, we have been able to cut that time in half 🙂

If you are interested in giving this fun cookie art a try, I have some tips to share with you!

Baking the Cookies

• You want a sugar cookie recipe that’s going to give you firm, thick cookies. You want them to keep their shape and be a good foundation for your icing art.

• Place raw cut out cookies in the fridge for 5-10 minutes before baking to help them keep their shape.

• Be careful of cutters that give you thin areas. For example if you had a margarita glass you wouldn’t want the stem to be too thin because then your cookie will break easily.

•Always make a couple extra cookies. You never know what will go wrong lol

• Always set your timer a little lower than what you think it will take to bake the cookies. Then check on them and increase time by 1 minute increments until they are slightly browned around the edges. This will cut down on burnt cookie accidents.

Icing Consistency

• When flooding you want the consistency around 8 seconds. This means when you drizzle the icing on top of itself, it should only take 8 seconds before it has melted back into the rest of the icing.

• For outlining and writing you want the icing stiff, but still soft. If it’s too stiff you’ll  have trouble getting the icing to flow smoothly.

• When using tips that make an imprint such as flowers and leaves, you want the icing very stiff or the imprint will lose its shape.

Decorating

• Immediately pop bubbles after flooding or it will leave holes in the icing. Use a toothpick if you don’t have the tool needed.

• When you need just white colored frosting add a couple drops of white instead of just leaving it colorless. It will give it a crisper look and help with color bleeding.

•If a color is too dark, just add some white food coloring to lighten it up to the desired color.

• Let flooded cookies dry overnight before adding writing or using edible markers to draw eyes, etc. Especially if the flooded color is darker than the writing color, it will bleed if not given enough time to dry. Also the icing will crack under the pressure when using edible markers so you want to make sure it’s nice and hard.

• Sometimes it takes time to find a comfortable position with your hand when using a decorating bag. If you find your hand is shaking or not able to be flexible, try different positions and use an extra cookie or napkin to practice.

• If you’re not great at doing fonts with icing, use an edible marker to write it first and then go over it with the icing. Try to use the same color marker as icing you’ll be writing with. If it’s a different color it’s more noticeable if your lines don’t line up exactly.

• See if you can use a cookie cutter you already have to make something new. This could save you from having to purchase or make a whole new cutter. For example in my Christmas cookies the Santa face was originally a bell.

Probems

Oil Spotting- this is when the moisture from your cookies soak through and create dark spots in your icing.

To try and prevent this I store my cookies on paper towels to soak up extra moisture. If oil spotting has occurred, the best solution is to let it continue happening so that the whole cookie just looks darker in color and you can’t tell there was spotting.

My final piece of advice is to just go for it! If you’re too scared to try things, you’ll never know if you can do it. And even if it comes out bad at first, you can always get better!

Happy Decorating!

If you’re just starting out, you can view this YouTube video of me flooding a wedding dress to give you a start:

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