This post contributed by the cookie designers at Cookie Bouquets.
With the expertise we’ve gained here are five hacks to perfecting icing designs when you bake cookies. These tips are for a baker of at any level! One of the most popular cookie trends today is high-detail icing designs, but despite the intricate process, anyone can become a master icing decorator.
Consistency is key!
The most important fact to consider in cookie decorating is icing consistency. Achieving the right icing consistency will prevent the designs from sliding off or melting together, which is a common mistake for beginner decorators to make. Before you start the really detailed part of your icing decorations. You need to make sure that consistency of your base or royal icing is perfect so the decorating icing sticks and keeps it’s shape through the whole process.
“Your royal icing for decorating must be a good consistency,” Ashley Heffner, a decorator at Cookie Bouquets, said. “If the icing is too thin, the decorations won’t hold up on your cookie. If the icing is too thick, you might have trouble squeezing the icing out of your tube.”
It’s important to be aware of the amount of milk you use while making your icing. A little bit too much could mean runny colors, which might cause any perfectionist want to pull their hair out! If you keep the amount of milk used consistent across all of your colors, then you most likely won’t run into this issue.
Be careful with your colors
It’s extremely important to be aware of your colors and how they will go together. If you don’t have the right consistency, the colors can blend and change the way the design will look.
“When you glaze a cookie with two different colors, you must glaze with one color first and allow it to dry before using the next color to avoid the two colors bleeding.”
Patience is a virtue, even when baking cookies.
Many icing designs can get very detailed quickly, and you’ll need to be ready for anything! To get the best results, try using a coupler for precise decorating.
“Using a coupler with your bag of royal icing is helpful because it allows you to change your tip and create different designs with the same color without making a new bag,” Cookie Bouquet's decorator Brenda Morris said. “Also, a bag tie helps to prevent icing from coming out of the top of your bag while piping.”
We highly recommend using an icing bag rather than zip lock bags that people commonly use instead.
“Some people use zip lock bags instead of an icing bag, but this is a common mistake amateurs make,” Heffner said. “The quality of the icing designs will improve dramatically because icing bags are made to withstand the consistency and force needed to properly decorate your cookies.”
Couplers and icing bags will make decorating much easier and allow you to apply more designs with the most possible precision.
Be patient, it takes some time
Many cookie bakers have incredibly delicate designs for their cookies, but one common misconception people make is that it only takes a couple of hours to finish these designs. However, it’s quite the contrary.
“It takes longer [to place icing] than most people think,” Morris said. “Some cookies are a three-day process and some designs require more work.”
During this process, it’s imperative to keep your cookies covered with foil or wax paper and held in a sealed container. You can keep the cookies stored in the refrigerator or at room temperature, but the most important thing to remember is icing will melt, so make sure to keep your cookies away from any source of direct heat.
Don’t try to rush your cookies; this will shift your focus from quality to quantity and your designs will suffer.
“The glaze must dry for 24 hours before putting the decorations on top,” Morris said.
Remember, don’t stress out over perfecting icing designs if a cookie or two didn’t turn out how you wanted! No matter what occasion, your cookies will be a great addition to any party, and people will appreciate the work that
“Icing designs are important because it makes the cookie more fun,” Heffner said. “People enjoy getting a cookie with fun designs on it.”
I hope you try these 5 hacks for Perfecting Icing Designs. Need the perfect birthday or holiday gift and don't have time to make your own? Cookie Bouquets has a wide selection of decorated, gourmet sweets that are perfect for any occasion!