luv2bake6 Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 3:45am
post #1 of

I've been going through the cookie gallery.......still........ icon_eek.gif ........and had this question.
There are so many beautiful artistic designs and drawings on the cookies and was wondering what the trick is for those of us who are artistically challenged.
This is aside from EI sheets.
I'm talking about doing designs in RI; do you use patterns, tracings, etc?

61 replies
kbak37 Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 3:55am
post #2 of

I have the same question! I would like to know if there are any tutorials...I do not have any luck with the search here..the forum results are always empty. I had a similar question in another thread, but only one person responded. I hope I dont smell...LOL! I would like to cross over into cookies.

Susie53 Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 4:00am
post #3 of

Same here...I want to learn more on doing a design on cookies! icon_smile.gif

SugarChic24 Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 4:04am
post #4 of

Theres a great book... Cookie Craft its by valerie Peterson and Janice Fryer. They give you a lot of really spectacular designs and great instructions on how to do them. A plus is that their designs (most of them) are surprisingly easy but trust me, they dont look that way! Its a great starting point anyway, once you start your creative side will kick in. Im uploading a photo now of cookies I did for my neices 4th bd. I didnt use a pattern, I just had fun. They're recipes for cookies/icing in the book are the best I've used also! Good luck!

kellertur Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 4:04am
post #5 of

BUMP~ icon_smile.gif

I'm not sure what other people do, but I draw mine freehand. (probably not the answer you were looking for...)

There are some really great cookie artists here. Two I can think of (off the bat) are Yankeegal and Antonia74.
To me, they are the quintissetial cookie-gurus. icon_cool.gif

Good luck.

Susie53 Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 4:32am
post #6 of
Originally Posted by SugarChic24

Theres a great book... Cookie Craft its by valerie Peterson and Janice Fryer. They give you a lot of really spectacular designs and great instructions on how to do them. A plus is that their designs (most of them) are surprisingly easy but trust me, they dont look that way! Its a great starting point anyway, once you start your creative side will kick in. Im uploading a photo now of cookies I did for my neices 4th bd. I didnt use a pattern, I just had fun. They're recipes for cookies/icing in the book are the best I've used also! Good luck!

I bought this book a couple of weeks ago and I love it! It has so many beautiful cookies in it, and yes they do give great instructions on making them. I took a peek at the cookies you made and you did a beautiful job on them! thumbs_up.gificon_smile.gif

SugarChic24 Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 4:41am
post #7 of

Thanks Susie! Thats a great book, its now on my can't do without shelf!

tujy Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 5:15am
post #8 of

i once saw a tutorial in photos on the lady drew a quick sketch on a giant square cookie using an edible marker. then she piped on thick icing along the lines she drew, and then filled in using flood icing.

toleshed Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 10:06am
post #9 of

I love The Flour Pot Cookie book. I use that quite often

GeminiRJ Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 12:41pm

I, too, will draw a design on the cookie using edible markers if I think the design is somewhat complicated. I just wing it for the marjority of my cookies...namely the 3D ones. Those designs are all pretty simple and don't need to be precise for the end result I'm looking for. Mostly, practice will take you where you want to be!

JenWhitlock Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 1:32pm

I freehand my cookies... I know, not what you want to hear, but...

my advise if you are freehanding an outline is to have your image next to you as you pipe, then start with good fixed points... like lines that follow the edge of the cookie, then work off those lines into the open spaces referencing your image and looking for anchors, i.e. this part lines up with that part....
does that make any sense?

I usually pipe the outlines, then flood fill, then come back and add highlights, or use markers/paint to add the tiny details.

I couple other tricks is to pipe some parts of the design on waxpaper - trace them over you image - and add them to the base cookie.

also, I saw TracyLH (aka the Amazing Tracy!) say that she practices piping lettering over the image on wax paper until she gets the feel for it, then goes after the cookie

good luck!

Susie53 Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 2:01pm

Thanks for the decorating tips! icon_smile.gif

yankeegal Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 2:19pm

Kristi-you are too kind!

I also(like Tracy) sketch out everything before I decorate. Sometimes just seeing it on paper and playing with it helps to work what I want to do. Start with simple designs. Some of my earliest cookies were just dots and swirls, plaids, etc....I think people get overwhelmed and try really intricate designs off the bat and get discouraged. Use simple clipart as well to get inspired. Just keep practicing!!

cookiemookie Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 2:28pm

Now that I have the flooding technique down, I really am enjoying using stencils. I saw an example on here and thought I'd give it a try. After all I did dry embossing with my scrapbooking and I've stenciled borders on my walls. So I thought what the heck. It does take some practice to get them nice and clean but it's doable.

Before that, I just used simple clipart(or coloring books) as examples of what I was trying to do with a particular cutter.

I still have lots to learn. I'm completely self taught. One day I would love to take some classes .

TracyLH Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 4:02pm

I always have my final artwork done and have it right there when I work. I also figure out each step ahead of time. I have used edible markers to sketch onto the cookie. Many times I will copy my design onto wax paper with edible ink, lay that over the top of my flat, dry RI'ed surface and use a fine point turkey skewer to trace it to create a faint line that I can follow. If any marks show after you are done piping, use a paintbrush with a minimal amount of water to make them disappear. It will eventually rip up the wax paper, but then I just make another sheet. But these are for the more intense designs. I am trying to work towards some simpler ones so I can freehand them, but still have all of the steps figured out ahead of time.

Like Jen, I also like to do some images in RI separately and then drop them on on the image is dry. It allows me to be more precise as I put my image underneath and then trace over exactly it with the RI. I will use foodsafe acetate, wax paper or parchment paper when I do this. As Jen mentioned, I always practice my lettering separately first by putting the words under wax paper before attempting to put it on a cookie freehand. Lettering does not come naturally to me.

Eventually I want to try stenciling as I just love what Cookiemookie does! It is so perfect, just lovely and looks like a real time saver (something I need to work on! icon_lol.gif )

Attached is an example of both the the wax paper idea when I needed to get lettering precise on some Chamber of Commerce cookies along with an example of RI-ing the image separately in order to drop it on an then the final cookie. These are two of my favorite techniques.

kbak37 Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 4:23pm

Wow, thanks guys! A lot of good information there. The cookies are just so gorgeous! You guys are talented. I feel inspired..... icon_lol.gif

kbak37 Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 4:38pm

What is the best flooding technique? I have seen where people will shake the cookie genlty, and I have seen spreading with a spatula to even it out. Any suggestions?

sarah0418 Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 4:51pm

I just want to say a HUGE Thank You to all of you VERY talented cookie artists for sharing some of your techniques. I have recently found my new addiction that is cookie decorating, and TracyLh and Yankegal are always part of the group that I admire. Thank you for sharing your great talent!

cookiemookie Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 4:55pm

I outline and flood with the same consistency icing.

I go around my cookie then quickly fill it in touching my outline to blend it in.

Then I give it a little shimmy shake and Voila done and usually no line.

Consistency is the real key to making this work.

This is what works for me.

GeminiRJ Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 4:57pm
Originally Posted by kbak37

What is the best flooding technique? I have seen where people will shake the cookie genlty, and I have seen spreading with a spatula to even it out. Any suggestions?

I use one thickness of icing...not too thick, not too thin. I outline the edges of the cookie (using a #4 tip for large areas, #2 for small) and then immediately fill in the area with more icing in a zig zag pattern. I then use a tapered, offset spatula to smooth out the icing. Once the icing is set, I go back with thickened icing to do the final outlines (if the design calls for it).

AKA_cupcakeshoppe Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 5:04pm

cookiemookie and geminiRJ, could you describe what the consistency of the icing is that you use?

cookiemookie Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 5:13pm

I would compare it to Elmers Glue(white school glue).

GeminiRJ Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 5:28pm
Originally Posted by cookiemookie

I would compare it to Elmers Glue(white school glue).

Ditto that! Maybe even a tad thicker.

yankeegal Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 5:32pm

I describe the flooding consistency as pancake batter like.
You can also use the 10 second rule. Drizzle a line of icing in a little circle on wax paper and count the seconds until it "settles" into itself. 10 seconds is the ideal time, I find, for perfect flooding consistency. Does that make sense?

TracyLH Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 6:18pm

Ditto what Yankeegal says! I was trying to post that same 10 second timing info, but my computer wouldn't play. icon_lol.gif (LOVE computers! I lost use of my keyboard yesterday for several hours! Tragedy - no way to post comments on the cute new cookies! icon_cry.gif ) I mix my color, let my RI settle in the bowl, then run a spoonful of it above and see how long it takes to settle in. 10 seconds is perfect for flooding and I use about 7 seconds for outlining on top once it is dry or if I need a firmer border before I flood right away with the 10 second RI. I do love it when the stars align and I can use the same consistency for both. That's a happy day! icon_biggrin.gif

Also, (side note only if it helps), I fill one bag for flooding with thinner RI and a larger tip (or a #45 for flooding large areas) and close it with a plain rubber band. I then fill another with the thicker RI and a #2 or #3 tip for outlining and close it with a colored rubber band. Even if it is the same consistency RI, I like having one bag with the colored rubber band to show me which has the correct tip for outlining without having to look at the tips all the time. This way it makes it really easy to keep track of which is which and having two bags saves me time in the long run from taking tips on and off.

Oh, I don't know if you have heard this tip before, but use tall glasses (I like pub style) to hold your RI bags in as you are working. You put a bit of slightly damp paper towel in the bottom and it will keep your tip from drying out and RI from oozing out as well.

JenWhitlock Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 8:18pm

Tracy, I love the idea of two colors of rubber bands!
I seem to be too uncoordinated to get the rubberbands on well so I bought those silly Wilton purple rubberbands with the funny end on them (hard to put into words)
I looked at them for so long in the store, thinking 'I'm not going to spend money on those'
I finally caved, and I LOVE THEM. it's just one of those dumb things icon_rolleyes.gif
but I wish they came in different colors!!!!

Amifsud Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 9:14pm

Jenwhitlock, I use those purple bands too and I love them, what I do to mark the different bags is before I fill the bag I write on the outside of the bag with marker what I filled with and the tip #. I also find it really handy to put the empty bag in a tall glass to put the icing in the bag without try to have to hold too many things.

TracyLH Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 9:18pm

Thanks, Jen! I was really worried everyone would think I was a little weird for doing that! icon_lol.gif I just find it makes things faster for me. Before I had colored rubberbands, I would use wider rubberbands for my thicker RI and thinner rubber bands for my thinner RI or divide up accordingly if it was just a matter of tip size. I just buy the cheap pack of rubber bands from Staples.

Amisfud - great idea with the marker!

Oh, here is another one of my favorite things to do if someone hasn't heard of it. I dread the chore of washing pastry bags. icon_sad.gif Not fun. (Yes, I use disposable, but I still wash them. I can't see just throwing them out). What helps me is to make an 'icing insert'. I played around with the idea a bit with small ziplock bags with so-so success, but then saw a better form of it posted here on CC. You basically take a rectangular piece of cling wrap and lay it out flat. Put your RI in the center, somewhat towards one end, but not too close. Now fold one of the long ends over onto the other, enveloping the icing. Now take that extra on the long side and pull it over, so you are mimicing the shape of your pastry bag (a 'V'). Make sure there is a big enough opening for your RI to come out, but not to big - just a bit smaller than the actual bag. Now that you have that 'V' and the edges are wrapped around to cover the crease, drop your icing insert into a pastry bag that is standing up in a glass (pull the sides down over the glass to make it easier). Twist the extra cling wrap into a knot. Twist your pastry bag and seal as you normally do. Once you are done, pull out that insert and you will find you have much less icing to left inside to contend with. This has made my life a lot easier!!! thumbs_up.gif

JenWhitlock Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 9:54pm

my Wilton instructor used to do that.
I do it sometimes, but mostly I'm lazy.

when I found it most useful is when I do two colors of BC.
(e.g. my fireman cupcakes)
I usually put these instructions in my response to the requests I get for the fire/water templates.


the fire on the cupcakes was done with two colors of buttercream and a star tip.
split your icing, color each half a different shade of yellow/orange.
(my Wilton intructor taught me this...)
lay out a piece of plastic/saran wrap.
place a lump of icing in the middle.
pull half the wrap over the icing, and sqwish into a cone gently with the outside edge of your hand.
wrap the remaining plastic wrap around and cut a small whole at the bottom.
repeat with other color.
now place both color-cones into a pastry bag with a star tip.
twist the top closed and start icing... voila! two colors that won't mix all the way to the end...

TracyLH Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 10:42pm

Oh, this is too funny! icon_lol.gif I just started to make my icing inserts for balloon cookies and realized I needed to say that once you fold it over, to cup your hand and push it into a cone shape before wrapping the remaining cling wrap around.. but, Jen covered it already! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif Thanks for watching my back, Jen! icon_lol.gif (sometimes I think we have some kind of brain meld!)

Okay, you took it one step further with the two color idea! How cool is that???!!! I love how we all share ideas! It is so fun to learn something new!

Well, back to cookie-ing! icon_biggrin.gif

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