Help Me Think Through Assembly Line Of Cookie Decorating

Baking By GinaGGG Updated 6 Sep 2010 , 3:18am by frankdiabetes

GinaGGG Posted 30 Aug 2010 , 2:25pm
post #1 of 10

Please. icon_smile.gif

So I obviously know how to make cookies. lol But now that I am getting larger orders, I just want to take the best approach when it comes to making all of my royal icings.

I am decorating a set of baby cookies today so I'l have at least 3 colors going. What is the best way to make all of these without them drying out? Would you make all 3 icings stiff, fill bags and pipe outlines first? Then water them down and flood them? What if I want the outline and flood to run together and need to do those steps sort of back to back? Do you fill 3 bags with stiff piping, 3 bags with flood, keep the bowls covered with wet paper towels so they don't dry out? This just seems so overwhelming when I think about cookie orders that could contain 6 or 7 colored icings. Maybe I am missing some helpful tips.

Do you have a method t your cookie madness that you'd like to share icon_biggrin.gif Thanks!

9 replies
Amylou Posted 30 Aug 2010 , 5:40pm
post #2 of 10

When I have a cookie project, I write down all the cookies I'm going to need, with respective colors next to each cookie along w/ an "F" for fllod and an "O" for outline.

Then on a separate sheet of paper I write down all the colors I will need to mix, again, with an F and an O next to each color. When I go to prepare the colors, I get my bottles ready to go for as many as I need for the flooding colors, and I get disposable bags w/ a #2 tip ready for the outline colors. For the bags, I put a coupler and tip in, and then I use those sandwich bag clips and attach it just above the coupler so the icing stays fresh and doesn't go down to the tip until I am ready to use it.

I get my bowls, and mix one color at a time. I put some into a bag, and then I thin the remaining down and put that into a bottle. I do this for each color. I try and make more than I need b/c it's hard to match colors to what you've already made. Then if I need to do details, I still have the thicker consistency and can put on a #1 tip for those details. I would never make a color for outlining and then thin it to flood; you never know when you might need it for lines again. To me, it's much easier to get all the colors you need prepared before sitting down to decorate.

DianeLM Posted 30 Aug 2010 , 7:03pm
post #3 of 10

I do pretty much the same thing as Amylou. I'm pretty conservative with the amount I make into flood consistency. It's a lot easier to make more flood from the stiff stuff than the other way around. icon_smile.gif

I never cover my bowls with wet paper towels. After getting each batch to the perfect consistency, why add more moisture? I have a set of glass bowls with plastic lids that I use for royal. Before that, I used plastic bowls with lids.

I use disposable bags exclusively - no bottles. The bags with the stiff icing are kept nozzle down in a mug lined with scrunched up damp paper towel. The flood bags are on their sides, tips covered with damp paper towel.

Yeah, cookies can be a big mess. Nice thing about royal icing is there's no grease so everything is a breeze to clean. icon_smile.gif

GinaGGG Posted 30 Aug 2010 , 11:00pm
post #4 of 10

Ok cool. This is all very helpful. Thank you!

I guess I wouldn't need my wet paper towel idea if I am filling all of my bags from the get-go. That makes sense (and seems way easier once decorating starts!)

I hate cleaning buttercream when I do cakes so the royal is a real treat now. icon_smile.gif

GeminiRJ Posted 31 Aug 2010 , 12:40am
post #5 of 10

I use glace, instead of royal, so maybe my tips won't help! I use one consistency of icing. I pipe a line of icing around the area to be iced (#4 for larger areas, #2 for smaller ones). I immediately fill in the area with the same icing using the same tip, usually in a zig zag pattern. (It leaves a good part of the cookie with no icing.) I immediately use a tapered, off-set spatula to smooth out the icing over the area. I then move on to the next color. Once all the cookie has been iced, I will do the outlines or details. I use the same icing, but add enough powdered sugar to thicken it to the consistency of peanut butter and use a #1s tip.

When not using the icing (like when I'm smoothing the icing on the cookie), I place the bag in a wide-mouth glass, tip up. If I won't be using it right away, I'll insert a toothpick in the tip to keep the icing from crusting.

Good luck with your cookies!

GHOST_USER_NAME Posted 31 Aug 2010 , 1:18am
post #6 of 10

You really don't need different consistencies for outlining and flooding. If you don't make it too runny, it will work just as well for both. I make my icing (I use for my SC and RI recipe-it's awesome!) in my KA mixer, then I thin the entire thing to the consistency that I want; I do a few tablespoons of water at first, mix, and then one tablespoon more at a time. That way, all your icing is the consistency you want and you don't have to thin every color (which can be time consuming!) A good tip for the consistency is the "ten second rule": dip a spoon into the icing, lift it and let ribbons of icing drop back into the bowl, count how many seconds it takes to make that surface flat again, 5-10 seconds. I usually stop at 5 or 6 since it will be too runny otherwise.

I definitely use a wet paper towel to cover my unused icing otherwise I've found that it crusts and then I can't use it. I use a #2 for each color, but to flood you can use a bottle (it comes out faster and is less messy). Make sure when you flood if you want other colors on top of your flooded color you'll need to work quickly so that your icing doesn't dry on you. HTH! icon_smile.gif

gingerbreadtogo Posted 31 Aug 2010 , 1:24am
post #7 of 10

I use royal icing, with GeminiRJ basic technique. ( I do lots of cookies and gingerbread house kits). I usually mix a couple pounds of royal at a time and put in a lg plastic storage container.I make the colors I need and put them in separate "glad/ziploc" type plastic containers. When I put colors in container I adjust the consistancy at that point. I use the same consistancy for border and fill. I then fill parchment bags (usually no tip) with the different colors I need. I line up similiar cookies and fill.. I use a small damp paintbrush to spread icing if necessary..then when dry I'll do next color or detail. If I need to thicken for final outline I have a container of sifted PS I use to add to the royal and make a new bag. After a few big orders you'll figure out what works best for you. I agree It is so much nicer working with and cleaning up royal icing than BC.

frankdiabetes Posted 31 Aug 2010 , 1:32am
post #8 of 10

Gemini, what is the consistency of your flood icing? Because I would love to use one thickness of glacé, but if it's loose enough for me to flood without my hands cramping up, it's too runny to stay within the cookie, and if it's thick enough to hold a border, it's too thick to comfortably flood.

GeminiRJ Posted 31 Aug 2010 , 1:43am
post #9 of 10
Originally Posted by frankdiabetes

Gemini, what is the consistency of your flood icing? Because I would love to use one thickness of glacé, but if it's loose enough for me to flood without my hands cramping up, it's too runny to stay within the cookie, and if it's thick enough to hold a border, it's too thick to comfortably flood.

The consistency is along the lines of white school glue...or honey. I mix my icing in a bowl, with a spoon, and I can tell by the feel of the icing as I mix it when it reaches the correct consistency. I only have a problem with hand cramping if I have a lot of outlining to do at the end. It's probably why I cringe whenever a friend calls up wanting 4 dozen cookies.

frankdiabetes Posted 6 Sep 2010 , 3:18am
post #10 of 10

I didn't get a notification that you'd responded. icon_redface.gif Thank you! That does help...I think my outline icing is thicker than that and my flood is usually quite thinner, so I'm going to try it with the consistency of honey to see if I can get away with keeping one consistency on hand of each color rather than 2.

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