I posted this yesterday, but it seems to have completely disappeared. Sorry if it is a repeat...maybe it is just not showing up on my computer, I don't know!
These are the snowflake cookies that I did for Christmas. It was my first time baking or decorating cookies and I had a blast! I am so excited to do more for Valentine's day now! thanks so much for all of the great posts and ideas...I never could've done it without reading all of those and looking at examples first!
I have a couple of questions that came up while I was decorating them. The main one is about the detailing. Am I supposed to use the thick or thin royal icing for the details (I was using antonia's icing from the article)? I thought that the tutorial said I should use the thinned icing (although I may have read it wrong), but I couldn't get very good details with it. I was using a #2 tip at first like it suggested, but everything was just running together. I switched to a #1 and this is how they turned out. It worked fine for this, but I dont see how I would be able to get really fine details because this is the thinnest line I could get even with a #1. do you think my icing was too thin? should I have been using the thick outline icing instead?
My other question is about the flooding step. I did a few first just to try it out and they looked perfectly smooth...until they dried. then they were so bumpy and the outside was higher than the inside...I thought I had a picture but I can't seem to find it. Do you think that I didn't use enough icing on the first ones? On the next ones (in the picture), I felt like I was putting on a ton but they turned out much smoother. does it look like I went overboard on the icing or is it supposed to be that thick?
My sister has decided that she wants me to do cookies for her wedding favors this summer. I am so scared because she is such a perfectionist..I want them to turn out well but I won't have very much experience by then. I am going to do lots of practice, but wanted you all to take a look at this and see if you think it is a good idea and I will be able to get it looking "professional" enough by then. I know I need to work on smoothing out the lettering. I would do the monogram on a wedding cake cookie or something since a snowflake probably wouldn't be such a good choice for a summer wedding. I was just trying it out for fun since I was doing the other ones anyway.
I would LOVE for you guys to be brutally honest and critique these so that I know where I need to improve on my next ones. I really want to practice a lot so that I can do good favors for the wedding.
I REALLY appreciate the help. I love these boards and am so excited to learn more!
Thanks so much!
I absolutely LOVE these cookies and if I didn't I'd pass this thread up (if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all) LOL Anyhow......these cookies have got to be some of the most beautiful cookies I've ever seen....seriously!!! Once you get used to messing around with the cookies you'll figure out which works best for you.....if I were making these and wanted intricate details like you've got...I would probably use the thicker icing and I would probably put it on after the base icing has set up some so it would have a raised effect. Your monograms are absolutely gorgeous....though they do seem to have spread a tad after piping.....again I would use a thicker icing and then you won't have the spreading issue with the letters. Just play around with the consistencies......it all depends if you want the monogram raised or flat with the rest of the icing as to which concistency you use!!! I think you'll be more than ready by summer and your cookies already look professional.......don't sweat it.........you'll impress your sis even if she is a perfectionist.........as luck will have it (for her) most cake decorators are perfectionists as well LOL
I've never done the cookies so I can't answer your questions but I just wanted to tell you they look great and very yummy to me.
All I can say is WOW Can you imagine what you will be achieving in a year from now ?
Your first cookies??? Geez, and I thought my first time students were good. WOW! You have a definite future in this biz!! Nice job!
Your cookies look really great! I don't think it looks like too much frosting, they look SCRUMPTIOUS!! As far as your favors go, you'll do absolutely great! And just as KHalstead said, just experiment. It's all about the look you want to acheive. The raised letters look good, I also think the ones that "sink in" are great too. People will wonder how you did it. Good luck!
You are well on your way to being constantly asked to do cookies for family, friends and customers!! Those snowflakes are SO much better than my pitiful 1st attempt when I was starting out. The cookie favour sample for your sister's wedding is gorgeous!! As for a critique, I don't even know what to say! They are gorgeous!!
Here are some answers to your questions:
-I use thin icing for detailing lines & dots, sometimes thicker for bigger detailing (but never the thickest royal icing, like just freshly made consistency). The smaller the tip you use (#0, #1, #2), the faster the line dries...so the thinned icing is just a bit easier to use for me.
-It should feel as though you are putting on more icing than need be. When you shake the cookie, it will settle perfectly. Your piping pressure should be consistant from start to finish though, not thicker on the outsides or inside...but really, after you shake it, it should all meld together.
You obviously have real talent for this. Your cookies look great.
I've been making quite a few cookies with the holidays and it does seem that you do put on quite a bit of icing, but you need to--enough that you aren't always spreading it around with your tip. It should flow together with just a little assistance.
After trying all kinds of methods of flooding the cookie, I have found that simply using a disposal bag with the tip barely cut off works the best for me. I don't have to mess with tips or couplers and it flows out easily. You have to play around with the consistency of the icing to get it to where its thick enough where it won't run down the sides, but thin enough that it still flows together. I like to get as close to the edge as possible because I think it looks nicer. Cleanup is much easier as well. Just throw it away if you want.
I use royal icing for the detail work. It should be thick enough that it maintains it shape, but not too thick that it breaks when drawing a line or causes you to have to exert a lot of effort to get it out of the tip. I like to use the #1 tip to get a nice fine detail.
I usually let my cookies dry quite awhile before putting on the detail because sometimes I have a tendency to touch the surface with my fingers and that can leave prints or dents. Also, if they're not pretty dry, they might crack when you move them.
I look forward to seeing more of your cookies.
All I can say is WOW! Your cookies are beautiful!! I wish my first cookies looked that great! This is definitely your calling!!!
You guys are all WWAAAYYYY too kind! Thanks so much for all of the positive comments...I really appreciate everyone taking the time to write! When I look through some of your galleries, I can't believe that people who make such incredible cookies and cakes would say such nice things about mine. You are all very generous! I have to say that I love this board (not just because you said nice things!) because I received responses when I posted. I've been on other boards a little bit and since I'm not an established member with thousands of posts, my questions seemed to be ignored. It seemed like people only really responded to those that were well-known on the forum, regardless of what they were posting about. I'm glad to see that it is not like that here....especially since I think I will be spending lots of time here now..it's so much fun and there is so much to learn! sorry..that was totally off-topic but something I was thinking about!
back to the cookies:
I think I just need to play with the icing consistencies a little bit. I can't believe that some of you are able to do such fine detailing with the thinned icing..that is incredible! I need lots more practice! I'm so clueless about decorating that I didnt even know that a #0 tip existed! I think that I should be able to get the detail that I want with a #1 with practice though, from what you all have said and from looking through your galleries.
I think what happened with the first bumpy cookies was that I was going slowly on the outside to try and get an even line, but then I got going faster on the inside since it was easier to follow the icing...therefore the icing on the inside was mcuh thinner. hopefully that is what happened cuz then I know how not to do that again!
A few more questions..Hope you all don't mind:
How do you get your icing so close to the outside without it flowing over the edge? does that just come with lots of practice? I wish I could see how thick the icing you are using is in person so that I would know if I am even starting with the right consistency. I'm trying to follow the tutorial but it's hard without seeing it in real life. I would LOVE to take some decorating classes but we live in a little town in a rural area so they don't exist around here. thank goodness I have you all to answer questions...that is sooo very helpful!
I'm a little confused about the raised detailing versus the flat. I just let the base coat dry and then put the detail on top. For flat, would you put the details on while the base coat is still wet (right after you pipe it or after it has set up a little)? do people do this often..I don't know if I've ever seen it (or probably just didn't notice). do the colors run together? I think for now I will just stick with doing it after it dries, but it might be something I want to try just for fun to see the different effect.
I was thinking about trying the little gumpaste flowers like I saw on the wedding cake cookies in the tutorial. I think they could be fun to learn. Are they difficult? what would I need to order to give those a try?
sorry for the long, long posts with so many questions!!!
Thanks again or all the comments and help! I am in awe at how kind everyone on here is! Look forward to learning lots more from all your amazing work!
I'm not much help with the Royal Icing - I only use it for detailing on rolled buttercream . . . I tried covering cookies one time with it, and I did a terrible job, found it tedius, and my hand was hurting (I think I thinned it too much, and ended up pouring the icing over the cookies!). I've heard that you use pancake batter like consistency - maybe others can give better input on that. For decorating and doing details, I use thin, but not runny - a good way to test is to see if you can pipe a rosette, have it come out easily but still hold its shape. Depending on the detailing, I will use different consistency icing . . . lines and dots can be a bit thinner sometimes than rosettes.
As for the monogram sinking in, here is a link to a great example I saw here: http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=coppermine&file=displayimage&meta=search&search=cookies%20wedding&cat=0&pos=30&search=cookies%20wedding
Hope that gives you a sense of what it looks like! It isn't my cookie, but I thought it was pretty, and there was a great discussion thread about how to do this cookie as she was practicing. Yes, you pipe the letters on while the base is still wet, don't shake, and the letters will sink in . . . I've never done it myself, though. Good luck! You are doing great work.
I usually test my consistency by moving a knife through it will it's still in the bowl and then counting to see how long it takes for it to flow together. I like mine at about 7-10 counts.
The one problem you might run into if you add detail when your icing hasn't had much time to dry is that it will probably run together or at least fade together. I don't think you'll get the sharpness that I like to have for detail. But it's probably worth a try because you might like the look for some occasions.
I think getting close to the edge does take practice, but it also takes a little courage just to do it. If you icing is thick enough, it won't go over the edge unless you're too close. Sometimes, I'll use the tip of the bag to push it just a little closer to the edge. The more you do it, the easier it will become for you.
joquita, Your cookies are too beautiful to eat! Amazing!
these are absolutely gorgeous! I wish my first ones looked like this
Your cookies look beautiful!
Your cookies are gorgeous!!!
I think the most important thing to decorating cookies is icing consistency.
Once you get the hang of it, everything will fall into place.
As for going to edge or not, I prefer going to the edge. It's so quick, I just paint the icing on to the edge of the cookie. (I can't believe I used to outline every single cookie) You will know if it is too thick and bumpy or too thin and running over.
I used to have raised details on my cookies (my valentine hearts), but now, I prefer the details to be smooth with the flooded icing (my recent christmas cookies.)
Keep making gorgeous cookies, I can't wait to see what you do next!
Stunning!!! those are gorgeous! LOVE YOUR COLOURS and the shapes!!!
It looks like you have been doin them for years!!!
I am sure you will do a fabulous job at your sis's wedding. Gorgeous!!!
Thanks again for all of the kind comments...You all are too sweet! I have been browsing the photos when I have a chance and you all have some absolutely amazing cookies!!!
I really appreciate the input on the icing consistency. I think I will just have to practice until I get the hang of it...right now it just feels like such a guessing game but I'm sure that the more cookies I do the more I will become confident that I can get the right consistency of icing. I'll try and be brave and go closer to the edge of the cookie as well...I was just so scared of it running over.
Tkeys- thanks for the visual example of the monogram sinking in. I think I will try it just to see it in person and see if it is something I might want to use on certain cookies. I cant wait to make my next batch to try out all of the tips I have gotten!
Karensue-thanks for the "count" example for the icing. I'm pretty sure that mine was much thinner than that. I thought that the line was supposed to disappear almost immediately so I kept thinning it out. I'll try a little thicker icing to see if I can get finer details...I think a lot of that will jsut come with lots of practice though!
Is that about the consistency that most people use (the knife through the icing example- 7 to 10 counts) or is a lot of it just trail and error and personal preference? sorry so many questions about hte same thing...I'm just trying to learn as much as I can before I start the valentine cookies. My little sister wants me to make some for her class nad cookie bouquets for her teacher so I'm a little nervous about them turning out.
Thanks again for all of the help. I REALLY REALLY appreciate it!
Those are awesome cookies! I can't believe this is your first time - I was anywhere close to you on my first time decorating cookies.
Keep up the good work!
You have talent! You got your best reply from Helen herself!
Keep up the wonderful talent!