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Decorating Sugar Cookies

post #1 of 58
Thread Starter 
Can anybody share their secrets with me for decorating sugar cookies? Doing the outlining works fine but it seems like when I decorate the centers with the very thin, liquid-like icing it makes such a mess and is so hard to work with in the bag. I end up dripping everywhere and ruining at few three or four cookies. Does anybody have any secrets to share?

post #2 of 58
go here and see if this can help you.
Jennifer Dontz Sugarpaste flower class - Hollister, CA 10/12 & 10/13/13 contact me or
Jennifer Dontz Sugarpaste flower class - Hollister, CA 10/12 & 10/13/13 contact me or
post #3 of 58
Try to make it a bit thicker consistency and after you apply it, wet your finger and smooth it out. Wait a few minutes between colors so that they don't bleed into eachother. And most importantly...have fun!
post #4 of 58
I know what you mean. I tried to make some last weekend, and it was a HUGE mess. I swore I'd never do it again. I got SO frustrated. I'd like to learn some tips too!
post #5 of 58
Not to go against previous advice, but i absolutely will say do NOT wet your finger and try to smooth royal icing. Use a wooden skewer or a pin to ease the icing into place. A wet finger will change/lighten the colour of the icing right where you have placed it.

Your thin royal icing should be the consistency of pancake batter. thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif
post #6 of 58
Maybe I'm doing it wrong. How thick should the outline icing be? When I filled in the outline, it kept going over the sides of the cookies onto the table.
post #7 of 58
The outline icing is the stiffest. Check out the recipe I posted called Royal Icing for Decorated Cookies. THAT it the outline icing, thin it to use for filling cookie shapes.
post #8 of 58
I usually outline my cookies with stiff consistency royal icing using about a tip 3, depending on the size of the cookie.
When I fill with the thinned royal, I use the parchment bags and cut a really tiny bit off the tip so that it doesn't flow too fast.
This works for me! icon_smile.gif
post #9 of 58
Antonia...that was the recipe I used. I stripped two hand-held mixers making it and then the cookies didn't even turn out. I was SO frustrated. My problem was that when I only added the few spoons of water like the recipe says, it just became this big clump. You wouldn't even have been able to put it on a cookie with a spatula! What did I do wrong? Your cookies always look so beautiful.
post #10 of 58
I made the royal icing but didn't beat it as long as it said . I used a thicker consistancy for the outline and then thinned it down for the filling in.. I thin it down a little at a time and test it out as I go till I get the desired consistancy..If yours is too thin and is running all over maybe just add a little icing sugar to thicken it up a bit.. Good luck icon_smile.gif
post #11 of 58
When the icing sugar is first mixed in, the consistency of the icing should be thin and honey. When it is mixed for 10 minutes at the lowest speed (I use a KitchenAid) with the paddle attachments (you don't want to be adding air with the whisks!) it is thick and peanut butter. THAT is the stiff consistency...for outlining and assembling gingerbread houses, etc.

It should never be stiff enough to strip a handheld mixer at all? I'm confused.

I do have a complete step-by-step article coming up VERY soon (next week?) check that out. It will have the photos of making the icing and seeing the consistency for decorating cookies.
post #12 of 58
antonia74, I used your royal icing for decorated cookies recipie today and LOVED IT! Am making/decorating 200 "back to school" cookies for PTA meeting Monday night, it flows in beautifully. I read that you dont outline, and I can see why, this icing , if just right, will hold the outline and fill both, my question is, what do you use to do it all? do you use a large tip to fill an area, I wound up spooning mine in, it was just to messy in a bag. Thanx so much for working on a tutorial. I am really looking forward to it. heather
"The Confectionist"
"The Confectionist"
post #13 of 58
Alot of the times if I need to get into small spaces I use a dampened decorators paint brush to get it to where I want. You have to make sure that your brush is not wet, just damp or like Antonia said, it changes the color of the icing when it dries, I know from experiance icon_sad.gif
I too also use the cookie decorators icing recipe and I love it, it works very well. Maybe the icing fell apart and was runny because there was grease remaining in your bowl or on your mixing attachments?

don't give up, try again cookies are wonderful to do icon_biggrin.gif
post #14 of 58
Here is how I decorate my cookies (you can see some pics of some Christmas cookies I made in my profile):

I find it easier (and a bit cheaper) to make my icing with powdered sugar and water. For the outline, it should be pretty thick. As you stir, lift some up with the spoon and drizzle it into the bowl - it should not sink into the rest for a few seconds. For filling in , it should be thinner - it should sink in quickly. I just use a paint brush to fill it in and it works great.
Hope that helps and good luck icon_biggrin.gif
post #15 of 58
Fancymcnancy I just looked at your cookies and they are beautiful. Excellent work! icon_smile.gif I was using royal icing on my cookies but found that it dried them out so now I am using a sugar glaze. Icing sugar, corn syrup and water and I add almond extract. It doesn't dry as hard as royal icing but hard enough to stack the cookies and it tastes really good..
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