Cookie Decorating Tips

Mario Brothers, Mickey Halloween, and Coffee & Donuts

7FE2C746-F67B-4B2C-AB0F-04E346F3F9E9

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:

DIY Cookie Flooding ~AND~ Party Ideas for Little Man Baby Shower

IMG_0893

These mustache and tie cookies were for a baby shower I helped put together. The colors are so fun and I got to do this cookie flooding technique I’ve been wanting to try for a while. The trick is using these bottles:

IMG_0894

Wilton Mini Squeeze Bottles (Amazon)

I watched a few videos and found that some people mixed up their royal icing, outlined the cookies, then added a little water to do the flooding inside the cookie. Others just added the water at the beginning, outlined the cookies and filled it in, all with the same icing consistency. I tried both ways and ended up liking the second way better. As you can see, it takes a few practice cookies to get the hang of it:

IMG_0888

But once I did, I was very happy with it.

IMG_0889

Once you make the royal icing (recipe below), you’ll want to add 1/2 tsp at a time of water until you get the right consistency which is a 10-15 second icing. This means when you take a spoonful of icing and then drizzle a little design, it should disappear back into the icing within 10-15 seconds. If you end up getting it too runny, add in some more powdered sugar. I found this YouTube video very helpful:

Royal Icing Recipe:

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Meringue Powder (bought mine on Amazon)
  • 5 Tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter
  1. Mix meringue powder and water in stand up mixer until foamy.
  2. Add powdered sugar and cream of tarter and mix on low for about 8-10 minutes. Yes, minutes. 🙂
  3. Transfer whatever royal icing you aren’t adding water to yet in an airtight container because it hardens quickly. So if you’re doing multiple colors, just keep out what you’ll need for the first color, and put the rest in the airtight container.
  4. Mix in your color and then 1/2 tsp of water until icing is right consistency.
  5. Put your 10-15 second icing into the squeeze bottle and outline the cookie. Then fill it in. If there’s some little holes where the icing didn’t quite fill, just take a toothpick and spread a little bit of the outside icing into the hole.

When they completely dry, they have a nice gloss to them and you can stack them without messing it up. Here they are on display at the shower:

IMG_0914

The party colors were green and blue with a mustache and tie/bowtie theme. My mom has the new Cricut Explore which was amazing for making the food labels and banner.

IMG_0905

Dessert Table

For appetizers we had bowtie pasta, meatballs & little smokies, sliders, white chocolate m&m popcorn and fruit (in a baby carriage of course 🙂 )

IMG_0912                                  IMG_0916

IMG_0908                           11426365_10204571828072436_9130237450692937756_n

Drinks were served in mason jars with mustache straws. I cut out the mustaches (with Cricut Explore Machine) and just hot glued them onto some straws.

IMG_0907

There was a photo booth where you could take silly photos with props and hats. You could also get a finger mustache tattoo there because those are awesome!

IMG_0910             IMG_0911

IMG_0915

Some other details were the chalkboard sign with a To Do List

IMG_8717

Envelopes to write your address for thank you notes

IMG_8715

And favor boxes with small cookies

IMG_0918