Please Teach Me, Oh Cookie Divas!

Baking By giraffe11 Updated 8 Apr 2009 , 5:13pm by GeminiRJ

giraffe11 Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 12:52am
post #1 of 18

OK. I feel like I have the basic techniques down. But I'm interested in making some fancier cookies. Are you fabulous cookie divas willing to share some technique advice?
For instance, how would you do a cookie like this:
http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-photo-1342472.html
just as an example.
You can assume that I have a cutter and can bake the cookie. What next? Do you outline all the different areas and pieces of the picture first and then flood with lots of different colors? Do you have to go over the outline again? Or so you just outline and flood in the individual colrs and then use the black to emphasize the edges? How would this work? And how many drying cycles would it take?
I just use this recently-uploaded cookie as an example, but I would love to try doing some of these more complicated cookies. I just don't know how to begin.
Thanks for any hints you are willing to share.
Heather

17 replies
GeminiRJ Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 11:56am
post #2 of 18

Not that I'm a cookie diva, but I have learned a ton of stuff about cookie decorating from this site! When I do more complicated cookies, I will usually draw the design onto the cookie using food decorating pens. I then will fill in the different areas with icing, working from lightest to darkest...though not always. It depends on the design. I do one color at a time, and by the time all the cookies have been decorated with that color, the icing has set enough to add another color. I like to let the cookie sit overnight before adding the details and black outlines.

I use one consistency of icing for decorating the cookie. I use a slight modification of Toba's Glace, thickened with powdered sugar until the icing is the consistency of Elmer's school glue (or a bit thicker). I outline the area to be iced with a #4 tip (large areas) or #2 (smaller areas) aand then add more icing, smoothing it over the entire area with a tapered off-set spatula. For the final details, I thicken the icing until it is the consistency of peanut butter. I use a #1s or #1 tip for these.

Practice makes perfect, so that's what I would suggest. Luckily, when you're obsessed with decorating cookies, this isn't a hardship!

bonniebakes Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 12:16pm
post #3 of 18

I just wanted to add - not that I'm a cookie diva either - that you don't have to be limited to shapes based on cookie cutters. This link has information about making your own shes, as many of the very talented people here on CC do.

How To Make Your Own Cookie Cutters:
http://cakecentral.com/article.....tters.html

Check out the Cookie Forum... there are lots of threads about how to make cutters, cookie dough recipes, icing recipes, and decorating techniques.

Practice a lot... post your pictures... have fun!!

Sabz Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 12:54pm
post #4 of 18

bonniebakes, that link doesn't work. Shows some 404 error.

sweetopia Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 1:16pm
post #5 of 18

Hi there!
I'm not a cookie diva either, buut have had a little practice as I do them more so than cakes, so I'll add a few tips which I've learned along the way.

To prevent colors bleeding into eachother (more so if you live in a warmer climate), definitely use a de-humidifier if you're outlining with black and filling in with white or a lighter colour. Let your darker outline set for a minimum of 15 minutes before you flood. I find the Americolor better than the Wilton in terms of less bleeding happening. Also, tint your icing 24 hours before you decorate to give the color a chance to set/deepen to the color it will be.

Watch the pressure of your hands on the pastry bag when piping close to 'intersections'. Try and ease the pressure off so that you don't get the 'ball' at the end of the icing line.

Other than that, I'm with GeminiRJ on her tips... I follow most of those as well. In terms of the order of icing application, I usually outline with a darker color, let that set for a minimum of 15 minutes, fill in one color at a time on all the cookies, move on to the next colour etc. By the time I get to my second color, the first color has usually set nicely. (approx. 15 mins.) If I want detail to stand out on top of the flooding, I let the cookies dry for 24 hours and then add.
Hope this helps!
Marian

bonniebakes Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 1:53pm
post #6 of 18

oops... sorry!

Here are a few more articles and threads. hopefully these links will work (if not, I guess you could always cut and paste...):

Freddyfls how to
http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-623107.html

icing tips/info
http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-588155.html


outling tricks & tips
http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-581262.html

Antonia74s article
http://www.cakecentral.com/article54-How-To-Bake--Decorate-Cookies.html


KHalsteads article make your own cutters
http://cakecentral.com/article73-How-To-Make-Your-Own-Cookie-Cutters.html

making own cutters thread
http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-607066-metal.html

GeminiRJ Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 2:42pm
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabz

bonniebakes, that link doesn't work. Shows some 404 error.




This is interesting. I tried to resize some photos today so I could upload them, and got the same error message. I hope it doesn't mean I can't use shrinkpictures.com anymore....I don't know how I'd ever be able to post another picture!

bonniebakes Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 3:40pm
post #8 of 18

Gemini - Say it isn't so.... I'm not sure I could go on without your cookie inspiration! Somehow you have to find a way to post pictures!!!

GeminiRJ Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 3:51pm
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by bonniebakes

Gemini - Say it isn't so.... I'm not sure I could go on without your cookie inspiration! Somehow you have to find a way to post pictures!!!




I tried it again, and was able to resize my picture! I just posted "Bandana Birds" to the cookie gallery. I had an awful lot of fun doing these cookies. They were very easy, and I was very happy with how they turned out.

sweetopia Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 3:53pm
post #10 of 18

It would be a shame; your cookies are superb GeminiRJ. Glad it works again! thumbs_up.gif

Sabz Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 7:25pm
post #11 of 18

Out of curiousity, how long does it take for you guys to decorate a batch of cookies? I normally decorate mine very basic and am daunted by the thought of spending hours. Obviously it would be all worth it in the end, but my hubby would officially class me as mad if he would see me put so much effort on the cookies. I try and do my decorating when he's not around, so it looks effortless to him!

GeminiRJ Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 7:38pm
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabz

Out of curiousity, how long does it take for you guys to decorate a batch of cookies? I normally decorate mine very basic and am daunted by the thought of spending hours. Obviously it would be all worth it in the end, but my hubby would officially class me as mad if he would see me put so much effort on the cookies. I try and do my decorating when he's not around, so it looks effortless to him!




It took me 1 hour of baking and 4 hours of decorating to finish 28 of the bird cookies I recently posted. This was using a recipe that is half the size of the NFSC recipe on this site. Roughly 6 cookies per hour. So much depends on how complicated the design is, and on the size of the cookie. I usually figure 3-4 cookies per hour when I'm doing any of my 3D cookies...but that has to take into account that each finished cookie has 4 cookie pieces and a marshmallow to coat.

giraffe11 Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 8:30pm
post #13 of 18

Thanks so much for the tips, everyone! And yes, GeminiRJ, you ARE a cookie diva! I love the birds you just posted and the arizona sun cookie you posted a little while ago has been in my favorites since you posted it. I have learned so much from this site already, but I never saw an explanation of how people are doing these fancier cookies until now.
My cookies thus far have just been one color flood, so i am anxious to try some more involved ones now.
I am going to try and do my kids' favorite story for the April cookie club post, so we'll see how that goes.......
Thanks again, Heather

Sabz Posted 8 Apr 2009 , 1:22pm
post #14 of 18

GeminiRJ, having spent so much time with the cookies, it must hurt when someone bites into them. Kinda like letting one of your babies go.

sweetopia Posted 8 Apr 2009 , 2:16pm
post #15 of 18

It depends on the detail of the cookies and how many, but for an average size and for about 24 cookies, generally it takes me about an hour from start to finish for dough making and clean up, an hour to cut and bake the cookies, and 3-5 hours to decorate them.

GeminiRJ Posted 8 Apr 2009 , 2:38pm
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabz

GeminiRJ, having spent so much time with the cookies, it must hurt when someone bites into them. Kinda like letting one of your babies go.




Not really! I make them knowing they're going to be eaten. It's funny that when my husband takes them into work, all the women have no problem eating them. It's the men who think they're too nice to eat!

bonniebakes Posted 8 Apr 2009 , 3:38pm
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeminiRJ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabz

GeminiRJ, having spent so much time with the cookies, it must hurt when someone bites into them. Kinda like letting one of your babies go.



Not really! I make them knowing they're going to be eaten. It's funny that when my husband takes them into work, all the women have no problem eating them. It's the men who think they're too nice to eat!





that's so funny... when my husband takes mine into work the almost same thing happens - the women eat them and the men take them home to their kids!

GeminiRJ Posted 8 Apr 2009 , 5:13pm
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by bonniebakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeminiRJ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabz

GeminiRJ, having spent so much time with the cookies, it must hurt when someone bites into them. Kinda like letting one of your babies go.



Not really! I make them knowing they're going to be eaten. It's funny that when my husband takes them into work, all the women have no problem eating them. It's the men who think they're too nice to eat!




that's so funny... when my husband takes mine into work the almost same thing happens - the women eat them and the men take them home to their kids!




The most amazing are the people who refuse to eat the cookies, and shellack them instead. It's a cookie...EAT IT!

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