10 things I wish I knew about cookie decorating

New to the wonderful world of cookie decorating? Here are 10 tips to set you up for cookie decorating success! You’ll find everything you need to know about common royal icing mistakes, making custom cookie shapes without a traditional cutter, stenciling without fancy equipment and more.

Source: thesimple-sweetlife.com

So if you’re new to cookie decorating and don’t know where to start, this is a great place to be! Let’s take some of that guess work out of your decorating endeavors.

1. Always, ALWAYS make more royal icing of each color and consistency than you think you’ll need.
I made the mistake once, and ONLY once of not coloring enough royal icing for my cookies. If you’re working with uncolored royal icing, it’s not big deal because you won’t notice slight differences in consistency once the icing has dried.

BUT, if you’re working with colored icing, it’s very hard to get the color just right. And in case you didn’t know, icing darkens as it dries.

2. Dough thickness makes a difference.
When I first started making sugar cookies to decorate, I’d had a long history of making pastries but not so much cookie cutouts. My instinct was to make my cookies thinner so I could get more mileage out of the dough.

Unfortunately, going too thin will cause your cookies to spread, lose their shape and develop an uneven surface. When rolling out your dough, you really don’t want it to be thinner than about 1/4″.

3. Freeze your cut out cookies for 5 minutes.
I no longer remember where I read this, but I remember reading several bakers’ suggestions to cut out and refrigerate or freeze the unbaked cookies for about 5 minutes. The extra dose of coolness will help your cookies retain their shape and keep from spreading in your hot oven.

Cookies with a higher proportion of flour are also less likely to spread. You can find my go-to sugar cookie recipe here.

4. You don’t need a custom cookie cutter to make a custom shape.
It’s natural when you come up with a cookie you want to make to immediately go in search of a corresponding cutter. However, you can make a lot of different designs simply by turning your cutters in different directions or by combining cutters you already have.

For an awesome example, check out this Christmas elf out of a snowman cutter by Make Me Cake Me or these grim reaper cookies by Semi Sweet Design. If you’re not sure where to start with your cookie cutter collection, Sugarbelle has a great post on the 20 cutters every cookie decorator should have.

If that’s just not doing it for you, you can also make your own cookie stencils or tinfoil cookie cutters. Check out this tutorial for more information on those techniques.

5-6 Visit: 10 things I wish I knew about cookie decorating By: thesimple-sweetlife.com

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