I was asked to do cookie decorating during a party for 13-year old girls. I don't normally do this but the pay offer was something i couldn't refuse. (especially before the holidays and buying presents! )
So i decided to do chocolate chip cookie cakes because it's easier for me to prepare and big enough (8-inches) for girls that age to decorate.
My question is about the decorating and what i should plan. Should we use buttercream? Do i need to make a decorating bag for everyone? Do i prepare RI decos or plaques? I'm completely new to class giving.
I need for this to last an hour. Any advice or suggestion is appreciated.
Any suggestions are appreciated. I forgot to mention there will be about 30 girls at this party.
Hi! I just did a little class with children, but mine were a lot younger- 5-6 years old. They did turkey cookies and deocrated them. What worked for me was having separate bags with different color icing for them to use. SO I had about 15 kids and I had 3 of each color icing: red, brown, orange and white.
I did a cookie class for kids at my church this summer -- you'll have a blast!! My one hint is to fill the bags at home, make sure the frosting is pushed down tight, then put a rubber band around the end. That keeps the frosting from squirting up the wrong way and coming out the top of the bag. It prevents a lot of mess.
Also, an hour seems like a lo-o-ong time, so you might take 10 minutes or so at the front to show them how to assemble and fill a piping bag so they can do it at home some time. Just a thought.
Yeah, an hour is a long time and that's why i'm nervous that i won't have enough to do. You know how there are girls who'll plop a few things here and there and then claim they are done, and then there are others who're so precise that they could sit for hours and take advantage of all that's given to decorate.
I think i'll have to leave the filling of the bags to them and then have some pre-filled just in case there's not enough time.
The question is if i should set up everything from a-z that they'll need and then have them do it? Like put frosting into containers and have them color their own, mix it up, fill up bags, etc. I'm hesitant to do that because food coloring is so messy and i would need to supply my small americolor bottles which i use myself (don't have time to order anymore and i dont want to buy the wiltons in the store just for this; not worth the money).
And, do i need to supply a ton of tips for each bag? Do you see my dilemma? I could either waste the time on prep materials or maybe think of other things they can do to decorate. I can definately cut out shapes from fondant and have them color with edible markers or decorate with RI.
I may be thinking into this too much as well. I've never done it before and if it works out well, i may just advertise but i need for it to be well planned out.
How would all of you conduct this sort of class, for this age, and for that amount of time. Step by step is appreciated.
I'm sorry I couldn't be of more help, but my class was 3 days long. I had the kids outline and flood sugar cookies the first day, pipe decorations the next, then we had a mini-graduation party the final day. So, I have no advice for a one-hour session except the rubber band hint I already shared.
I hope someone else can give you the help you need.
Thank you so much. The rubber band tip is a great one and i will use it.
If there are 30 girls then one hour will be just fine. You want to be able to go around and look at each childs work as you do each element. You might have to help several of them understand the concept of certain piping techniques (like a shell border) Do buttercream, it tastes better and is easier to work with especially on a cookie cake. As one of the other posters above stated, have the bags filled and ready to go. With so many kids however you might want them to share bags maybe 2 kids per set of bags, especially if you are using at least 3 colors (which is best) If you do each kid 3 bags then you will have to have 90 bags ready to go...let them share it also eats up a little time because they have to wait their turn. Make sure you have lots of RI or fondant decorations and sprinkles on hand to help decorate them too. Kids love putting those things on their creations. Let them choose from a figure piped flower, rainbow, or balloons design. They will have a blast! And the time will go much faster than you think!
I guess you're right about the sharing deal. That means i should probably go out to Michael's and get more star tips for the shell borders. I guess i'd need a bunch decorating bags as well.
Maybe i'll just prepare 30 bags with 10 of each 3 colors. That way everyone will have a bag in front of them but will need to share and wait for other colors. Great idea. (i would make some more to keep with me just in case).
Should i just show them a shell border for the outside of the cake? What should they do for the middle?
Should i prepare RI decos? I will get sprinkles, non-pareils, mini chocolate chips, and colored sugars. What else should i add to this? Will it be too much to get jellybeans, cut up some licorice? I don't want it to get too overwhelming or expensive for me.
I taught at my kids' school last year and I was in a classroom with 5th and 6th graders and I made little 5" round cakes for mother's day and they all decorated them.
We took about an hour from start to finish too. Here's what I did
1. used an icing tip to put a band of icing around sides of cake and filled in top, handed cake to student with a plastic knife, they smoothed the icing as best they could and left the cake to crust
2. while cakes were crusting, I talked to them about the viva method and demonstrated on my cake and then showed them a couple different rolls of paper towels (with patterns) and let them all choose what look they wanted and then they smoothed with the towels
3. I walked around with a box of premade bc roses that I made at home 2 days before. They were firm enough to peeel the wax paper off the back and set on the cakes (the kids LOVED this)
4. I passed out decorated bags, I have 3 or 4 different colors (pastels for Mother's day) and about 2 or 3 bags of each color so they could circulate the room, tied the ends of with rubber bands and had star tips on all but 1 of each color, on those I put a number 3 tip (for writing).
5. showed them a couple of different borders and decorations ( rosettes, fleur de lis, with the star tip, small 5 petal dot flowers and hearts with the round tip)
6. Put small bowls of different sprinkles on each table (I used flowers, etc. but you could do candy cane sprinkles, holly leaves/berries, different colored jimimies)
7. let em rip!! Then walk around and assist anyone that needs help.
When there was about 10 min. left I had everyone bring over their cakes one by one and we put them in a bakery box. They were sooooooooo thrilled and so were their mothers!
Thank you so much for sharing. It sounds like the kids had a ton of fun!!
Were they able to pipe the decorations you showed them or did it get frustrating?
I am not good with roses and stuff, it's been a while since i took the Wilton classes and i've only really made cookies, not cakes. I definately need time to practice. I'll see if i can whip up a batch of buttercream and practice before this party. Or, maybe i'll order a bunch of RI roses or decos to give them to put on.
Do you think it would be nice to maybe make RI or fondant plaques with the birthday girl's name on them, or even each girl's name on it, for the center of the cookie cakes? Or is it overkill?
my kids are completely obsessed with fondant shapes (cutouts).
You might ask the mom/hostess about the theme of the party and make some cutouts that go along with that. they are much easier and less fragile than bc roses!
If you decide to use and RI, you could always put it in those little squeeze bottles. They are so easy to write with!
Thanks! I'm definately going to put colored RI or glace into a bunch of squeeze bottles.
I am also making a bunch of fondant shapes in keeping with her theme as well. Just gotta make the fondant!
love the idea of the fondant shapes...........polka dots are SO BIG with girls it seems like right now.......bet they would love even some different sized dots cut out?
I just posted about my experience with several 10 & 11 year olds a at sleep over cookie decorating party. I made sugar cookies in cute girlie shapes (NFSC). I decorated several cookies ahead of time to give the girls some inspiration and ideas. Then, at the party, I showed them how to flood cookies and pipe on decorations.
They loved it. I made 4 colors for flooding and filled enough bottles to have 1 bottle per girl and they just took turns with the colors. It really was never a problem - some girls were flooding while others were decorating, etc. I made 10 colors in piping bags and just put them in a bowl in the center of the work area. They were great about sharing. A good tip I got was to give each girl a handi-wipe to wipe their fingers and the tips. Also, I put a small clamp (or rubber band) at the top of the bag at the frosting level and then a 2nd rubber band at the very end of the bag -- to keep and flecks of RI from falling out and also to make it easier for the girls to control.
I would say an hour is just about right. After I showed them how to flood -- they took the bottles and toothpicks and went to work. I got to sit back and enjoy watching them.
Have fun!!! Jane
Thank you. I made chocolate chip cookie cakes (9-inch ones), so i need to use buttercream for the most part. I think i'll add in a few cookies per child to decorate the way you described. Did it matter that the RI was not dry? What did they put the cookies into to take home so that they didn't get ruined? That's my fear with decorating cookies; no time to dry. Did you show them how to outline first or just ice the cookie? Did they just decorate with toothpicks?
OMG. i didnt even think about that! I was concentrating on theme cutouts but polka dots and different sized circles and other shapes are great ideas! Thanks!
as for boxes......if you have a cake deco. store near you or even your local wal mart might sell you some.........pie boxes are perfect for cookie cakes. I believe most pie boxes are 9" squares as well, although my cake dec. store carries 10" ones as well....but they're only about 2" high instead of 4-6" high like a reg. cake box.
oh and just wanted to addd..........you can get the different colored (neon colors, which are huge right now with young girls too) circle garage sale stickers 100's of them for a dollar or two and they can decorate the boxes too!!
I just used some small shirt boxes (new ones) that I bought after xmas last year -- cheap, cheap, cheap -- probably 50 cents for 10. I put waxed paper down on the bottom. When the girls were done with the cookies, they put them in the box to dry. The icing was fine -- the boxes were about an 1.5 in high. I only loaded the bags with a #2 tip for outline decorating, so no roses or other fancy stuff.
KHalstead, that's a brilliant idea! Having to decorate the box would take up some time too. Awesome!!!
canyongal, that's also a brilliant idea. I always see those shirt boxes in the dollar store (like 3 for a dollar) and would've never thought to use them for that.
So what i'll do is put buttercream into decorating bags with various tips i have on hand and let them make a border. Then i'll put RI or glace into small squeeze bottles and let them decorate using different toppings (chocolate chips, sprinkles, non-pareils, shredded coconut, m&ms, etc). I will prepare fondant shapes for them as well. I'll get boxes and have them decorate those. Great. Hope it works.