To those of you that use lots of color on your cookies, do you make a new batch of RI every time or do you have colors made up and ready to go? Do you leave the icing in the bag/bottle or do you clean out everytime?
I don't make my cookies to sell, I'm just a hobbyist, so I'm not sure if my answer will help you or not....
I use about one batch of icing (I use a modified version of Antonia74's recipe) for one whole batch of cookies (NFSC). I portion the icing out and color it as needed. If I make a 1/2 batch of cookies, which I usually do because it fits in my mixer better, I will keep as much icing as I can white, so that I can color it for another batch. I don't keep my already made icing for more than 1 week if it is going to be eater, but I do sometimes save it if I have a lot of extra for practicing if I know it is not going to be eaten. I store it in a Tupperware container at room temperature.
Hope that helps!
I actually use antonia74 royal icing for all my cookies. I make a whole batch at a time. I try to color only what I will need and keep the rest white until needed. I do store the icing. I put it in an air tight container and also put plastic wrap over the container, before the lid. Then I put the container/s in a ziplock bag. I actually read a forum post by Antonia74, herself, and I believe she stated that the icing is good to store for a while (a few weeks). You do need to re-whip the icing before you use it because it does separate after a while. For this reason, I only leave the icing in the bag if it's going to be used within the next day. And, if I do that, I remove the tip, remove the coupler ring, place plastic wrap over the coupler and put the ring back on. Then I place the piping bags in a ziplock bag. I am starting to make cookies more often so, for me, to store the icing is not a problem as I know it will get used. Hope this helps.
The more you get into making cookies, you'll find yourself changing the way you do things. I've been trying so many ways of doing things because I feel extremely unorganized and have such a giant mess whenever I make and decorate cookies. The last time I made cookies (this past week for Easter), I tweaked my system and it really worked for me. First, I wrote down the cookies I wanted to make and pulled out my cookie cutters. Then I sketched out what I wanted the cookies to look like and colored my sketches. Next I made a batch of Antonia74's royal icing and divided it in containers and mixed all of the colors needed. I let the RI sit overnight so the colors would deepen. The next morning I made the NFSC dough and cut out the cookies I had listed. Any leftover dough I wrapped up and refrigerated because I'm going to try out some new designs in a few days. After I baked the cookies I started bagging my icing. By the time I had the dishes, silpats, and counters cleaned up the cookies were cooled off and I was ready to sit down and decorate. That is my favorite part Clean-up is the worst I'm sure I'll tweak my system again, but so far this worked the best for me I'm sure there is a more efficient way, so hopefully others will post their routines. As far as keeping the RI, I usually throw mine away when I'm done decorating, but if I have some white RI left over I'll put it in the refrigerator for a few days. I love Sarah's idea with saving the icing in the piping bags. I'll have to try that the next time I'm on a 2-day decorating binge!
Don't have a lot of RI left over -- I make small batches for detail work. I make a stiffer version RI and thin it as needed.
I pipe flowers and leaves with all my leftover icing. I put them, wax paper sill attached, in an airtight container. They'll usually start to fade before they get stale.
I give the "fading" and twos or threes of a color to my little neighbor who uses them to decorate CCs and sugar cubes for her tea parties.
I dont bake large amounts but I do make a whole batch of antonias, I start with the colors I can mix...so if I'm making cookies and I need blue, orange, yellow, purple, green, pink...I'll do yellow, then blue...then I'll mix any leftover yellow and blue for my green and then I'll do the pinks and mix with leftover blue for my purple and so on. It sounds kind of complicated but I dont like to have leftover colored frosting. The white does rewhip nicely. I also take all the small colored frosting thats leftover(if there's not really enough to save) and mix it all together then add enough black and use it for outlining.
Yes, bbmom! Me, too! Start with primary colors, then mix those as you need. I put out 3 small bowls with the primary colors in them, covered with a damp paper towel to keep it from getting hard. I use decorating bags, so I have multiple bags with the different colored icings so there is no cleaning-out-refilling between colors (when you can get away from doing that, you'll be AMAZED how your efficiency improves!)
I was going to post my own questions until I saw this post. I have only decorated cookies twice and I would really love to get into it more. I made a batch for easter and afterward I was just exhausted. Every bowl and spoon I own was dirty and I was just thinking the whole time there has GOT to be a better way.
I am really interested to know how the people who decorate cookies often do it...what is your specific routine? From mixing the colors to piping. I really enjoy decorating cookies but if I can't find a more efficient way I don't think I could make the time to do it very often.
Any help is appreciated!
I mix up a large batch of icing (Toba's Glace) in a Rubbermaid bowl, picking one that has a tight fitting lid. I divide the icing into small glass bowls and color just what I think I'll need. I load the icing into the bags with tip attached and place the bags in short, wide-mouth glasses. Once I'm done decorating, I will mix together all the leftover icing into one bowl. Add a bit of black food color, more powdered sugar to thicken until it's the consistency of peanut butter, and I'm ready to do the final details and outlines.
No matter what I do, I still end up with a messy kitchen! Bowls, spoons, food color, etc. litter the countertops. It's a short-lived mess, so I've just learned to deal.
that's a good tip about mixing all the leftover colors together. so it sounds like there's not a real stream lined way of going about it. i think i will just start with less ambitious projects i.e. not so many different colors and just slowly start learning what works best for me. didn't mean to hijack the thread but i'm glad i was able to get my question answered!