Decorating With Buttercream?

Baking By NRWick Updated 28 Jan 2009 , 2:02pm by HeidiCrumbs

NRWick Posted 27 Jan 2009 , 6:52pm
post #1 of 18

Hey, everyone! I've been a lurker for a long time and finally decided to make an account and join the discussions. I suppose for my first post, I wanted to ask about frosting cookies. I know it's been discussed in many ways and I even did a search but couldn't find an answer that quite fit my needs.

So, I suppose my question is simply: Does anyone not use fondant or royal icing to decorate their cookies? Especially when you are making a lot of them and are selling them, in particular. More specifically, does anyone here use a buttercream icing? What about a buttercream without meringue? I would need something that crusts well so it can be packaged... but then, I probably couldn't put them on top of each other. This would probably not be a good thing.

I suppose the reason I ask this is because I'm trying to start a business plan and would like to make cookies along with the other baked goods, so I want to have an idea of how I would go about things. Sugar Cookies with buttercream are so delicious and I love making them, but I hate working with and eating anything with royal icing or (especially) meringue. Maybe it's a stupid thing but I am sort of a believer in the idea that I would not make anything that I, myself would not eat. Maybe this is naive? I don't know.

At any rate, sorry to make this so long, but I tend to ramble when I'm nervous. Haha. Any input would be most appreciated! Thanks!

17 replies
HeidiCrumbs Posted 27 Jan 2009 , 7:17pm
post #2 of 18

Hi! I'm a new poster too!

I have looked and looked through many posts recently and I can't really find anyone else who uses regular buttercream frosting. I use it for my Christmas cookies that I sell although I only do one color per cookie, so red hearts, yellow stars, green trees etc.....

My recipe is:
6 Tbsp butter
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
milk to soften

I make it to the consistency where it makes soft peaks when I pull up a spoon from the frosting. I dry them for two full days on cookie sheets and after that I am able to stack them about six cookies high in a container. If you push your fingernail into the frosting it will go through, but if you just put pressure on the frosting it won't give. When you bite into it it doesn't crunch, but is just perfect IMO. I have sold these for four years and I am always asking people if the cookies stuck together and not a single one has that I know of.

I hope that helps!

GayeG Posted 27 Jan 2009 , 8:20pm
post #3 of 18

Sorry I cant help but just wanted to say WELCOME! to Cake Central!

Hope you find the answer your looking for!

And good luck with that business plan! Hope it works out for you!

SeriousCakes Posted 27 Jan 2009 , 9:44pm
post #4 of 18

I am also a big fan of sugar cookies with bc, oooohhhh so good! I use my regular buttercream recipes, it crusts but like you said, you shouldn't stack them. I don't make them that often because I know for a fact that I'll eat WAY too many!
http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1280637
If I were to package them I think I'd do a single layer and put some kind of food safe tissue paper on top. Actually I've been saving those little plastic table-looking things they put in pizza boxes to keep the lid from falling on the cheese. I have enough of them now that I thought if I needed to transport cookies I could do it in layers using cake boards and those plastic thingies to keep the upper layers from crushing the cookies below. I haven't tried it yet but I'll let you guys know when I do!

DsLady614 Posted 27 Jan 2009 , 9:56pm
post #5 of 18

Ahhh... and here I have a solution! If you don't want to use royal icing on cookies, try a glace. There are a couple different recipes here on the site, one is called Toba's Glace. It is a simple mixture of powdered sugar, liquid, corn syrup and flavoring. It's not as versatile as royal or buttercream in making stars etc, but believe me, it can do wonderful cookies. Search for a user called kneadacookie. ALL her work is in glace and its AMAZING!!!!

The taste? Well, personally I think it tastes like buttercream. It dries hard enough to stack but doesn't crunch when you bite it. I've had been people tell me that they HATE iced cookies... but LOVE mine! To me, that says a lot.

newmansmom2004 Posted 27 Jan 2009 , 9:57pm
post #6 of 18

I decorate my Christmas sugar cookies with buttercream all the time. I just make a simple American style buttercream with high ratio shortening, butter, powd sugar & flavorings. The problem is exactly what the OP stated: packaging. You can't pack them on top of each other becuase they get smashed. Last order I did was for 3 dozen - one dozen of which was decorated sugar cookies and the other two just drop cookies. What I did was put one dozen of the drop cookies in a box with 6 decorated cookies on top. The 2nd dozen of drop cookies was put into another box with the 6 remaining decorated cookies on top of those. All three dozen in two boxes with the decorated cookies on the top layer of each box. Worked out great.

jlsheik Posted 27 Jan 2009 , 9:58pm
post #7 of 18

I too am a BC fan...I use a cream cheese soft sugar cookie with butter cream. They are so tasty!! I don't like hard sugar cookies and I don't like RI !! So these are about the only cookies I sell!! I tell people when they call for cookies what I use and why and that they don't package well....no complaints yet!! I do use fondant monograms alot on the BC.

Happy caking!! And cookies of course!!

newmansmom2004 Posted 27 Jan 2009 , 9:59pm
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious_Cakes

I've been saving those little plastic table-looking things they put in pizza boxes to keep the lid from falling on the cheese. I have enough of them now that I thought if I needed to transport cookies I could do it in layers using cake boards and those plastic thingies to keep the upper layers from crushing the cookies below.




What a terrific idea! I was trying to come up with some way to have an elevated layering system. I bet this would work and you could probably buy some of those little thingies from either a restaurant supply store or your local pizza place.

newmansmom2004 Posted 27 Jan 2009 , 10:05pm
post #9 of 18

[quote="newmansmom2004"]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious_Cakes

I've been saving those little plastic table-looking things they put in pizza boxes to keep the lid from falling on the cheese. I have enough of them now that I thought if I needed to transport cookies I could do it in layers using cake boards and those plastic thingies to keep the upper layers from crushing the cookies below.




OK I found those "thingies" online and they're called pizza savers. I found one place that sells a case of 1,000 for $29.95. Just google "pizza savers".

ThreeDGirlie Posted 27 Jan 2009 , 10:13pm
post #10 of 18

I've never used it, but what about rolled butter cream? It works like fondant, but tastes like BC...

Here's a great thread that has anything you could ever want to know about it linked by JanH:
http://forum.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-221681-.html

HeidiCrumbs Posted 27 Jan 2009 , 10:27pm
post #11 of 18

I wonder why my bc dries so well? Maybe I make it thicker, therefore less liquid? I get those disposable aluminum half pans from Sams Club that people use for buffets or really big lasagnas, and I fit 4-5 dozen bc frosted cut-outs in them and not a one has stuck. And i don't put anything in between the layers either. Hhmmmmm.

NRWick Posted 28 Jan 2009 , 12:10am
post #12 of 18

HeidiCrumbs: Awesome! And thanks so much for the recipe too. It seems like a basic buttercream recipe, so that's great! A question, though: They don't get stale sitting out for 2 days?

GayeG: Hee, thanks! I appreciate the warm welcome.

Serious_Cakes: Oh! now that is an interesting idea! I would really love to know how that turns out! I'd think you would probably need more than one per layer though, right? Since cookies can get heavy? Wow, such a great idea. And lovely cookies! They look so yummy and I adore the look of the grass one. Very cool.

vstar_pilot: Glace? I have never tried this, but it sounds great. I wonder if it could help to add a little butter extract/flavour or something to help. Thanks so much for your input!

newmansmom2004: That sounds like a clever way to work with the dropped and buttercream frosted cookies. I like the idea of individually packaging them in some cases, but I wonder if this can get costly. Also, it doesn't help if you have 200 of them or something of the sort. Thanks so much for sharing!

jlsheik: I can't stand hard cookies either! I like them chewy and delicious.

ThreeDGirlie: Thanks so much for the link! I have not tried rolled butter and depending on how I can manage with regular buttercream, I may try the rolled. Thanks!

HeidiCrumbs: Really? Now that is interesting. Do you find that your recipe with less liquid tastes really sweet at all? Maybe the key is just crusty buttercream. I will have to work to perfect my buttercream. ^^

And thanks to everyone for all of you helpful input! I really appreciate it.

DsLady614 Posted 28 Jan 2009 , 1:36am
post #13 of 18

NRWick - Don't add anything to Glace. It is perfect that way it is. The ingredients are the reason it works the way it does. Honestly, I swear by it at this point and wouldn't use anything else. Matter of fact, need to throw together a couple batches tonight for my first batch of Valentines.

NRWick Posted 28 Jan 2009 , 3:13am
post #14 of 18

vstar_pilot: Point very well taken. I shall have to try this some time.


I have another related question. Has anyone made butter cream transfers for cookies? Did it work well for you? I'm considering trying this. If anyone has tried this, what did you use to stick it to the cookie and did it change the taste? I also wonder if anything is even needed to stick it to the cookie.

I'm going to do a bunch of experimenting with buttercream and sugar cookies tomorrow! So, this should be really interesting. Haha, to me at least.

DsLady614 Posted 28 Jan 2009 , 3:26am
post #15 of 18

I did see someone who did some buttercream transfers, can't remember who though. I just keep thinking it would just be too small to work with. I'm also just not convinced that buttercream is really sturdy enough for cookies in the long run. However... as long as we all have a good list of "victims" to eat our experiments... we just have to try everything!!

andpotts Posted 28 Jan 2009 , 3:46am
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by vstar_pilot

NRWick - Don't add anything to Glace. It is perfect that way it is. The ingredients are the reason it works the way it does. Honestly, I swear by it at this point and wouldn't use anything else. Matter of fact, need to throw together a couple batches tonight for my first batch of Valentines.




I couldn't agree more! The recipe is so easy and the results are awesome!! I am a glace addict, you have to at least give it a go. I use lite corn syrup with vanilla flavor already added to it and it is delicious icon_biggrin.gif Other thing I like is the recipe as written is perfect outlining consistancy, from there I just have to add a tablespoon or so to my seperated colors to get flow/fill, so easy!

DsLady614 Posted 28 Jan 2009 , 4:25am
post #17 of 18

Oddly, the glace recipe I use is more fill consistency. I have to add quite a bit more sugar. But I just love it! I'm setting a goal of getting as good as kneadacookie and carmie!! Not gonna happen... but I'm going to keep trying.

HeidiCrumbs Posted 28 Jan 2009 , 2:02pm
post #18 of 18

For the liquid in the bc frosting I use either whole milk or half and half. And my cookie recipe is a little crunchy, but it's a delicate crunchy, not a super hard crunchy. I use the Betty Crocker regular sugar cookie recipe. Having them sit out for a few days or having them in a container makes no difference, that anybody can tell at least, in the crunchiness. They have also never tasted stale or "old" either. I think they're just perfect.

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