Cookie Decorating Tips

Haven’t got a clue about how to decorate cookies? Here are some tips to insure your cookie decorating success.

Applying Decorations Before Baking

Many types of cookies can be decorated before baking. This includes most sugar cookies and cookie cut outs. Decorating cookies before baking is the easiest way to decorate cookies. Watch out for cooking times though, if you overbake cookies even slightly, this can affect the appearance of the decorations negatively. For instance, you may find candy coating may have melted and bled into the cookie. Keep a watch on your cookies and adjust temperatures and cooking times, if needed.

Consider the following decorations:

  • Candies like M&M’s, Red Hots, chocolate kisses
  • Raisins and golden raisins
  • Dried cranberries
  • Coconut
  • Any kind of nut, whole, chopped or in pieces
  • Chocolate or chocolate sprinkles and chocolate chips/pieces
  • Granulated white sugar
  • Colored sugars
  • Sprinkles of any color or shape

Decorating With Icing and Frosting

Cookie frosting is like the type of frosting you see on a cake. It can be applied from a tube, cylinder or with a spatula and can be formed into shapes. Frosting typically holds its shape well, but is still quite soft when you touch it. Icing is very different, where it is much thinner and is usually spread by a spatula or piped over the top of a cookie and then hardens almost to form a shiny, candy like shell on the top of the cookie.

Both frosting and icing is applied after the cookies are baked and cooled completely. Both can also be colored with food coloring to virtually any shade of the rainbow. Simply add drops of liquid food coloring, then mix until you attain your desired color. You can make frosting or icing, then divide the icing into separate bowls for however many different colors you want to apply to your cookies.

Cookie Frosting Recipes

  • Easy Buttercream Frosting – This recipe is perfect for frosting cut outs and sugar cookies and can be made in chocolate or vanilla, with or without coloring.
  • Sugar Cookie Frosting – Another buttercream style frosting that’s not too sweet but still a nice consistency for sugar cookies and cutout cookies.
  • Cream Cheese Frosting – For a little extra kick, try this cream cheese frosting. This frosting is best for spreading on bar cookies or brownies.
  • Peanut Butter Frosting – Another alternative to buttercream frosting, this is great for spreading on bar cookies and brownies but can be used on other types of cookies.

Cookie Icing Recipes

  • Sugar Cookie Icing – This is a great type of icing for sugar cookies, but not if you want that frosting look, this is much thinner and is great if you want your cookies to have a smooth and shiny look.
  • Royal Icing Recipe – This type of icing can be used to cement pieces of gingerbread together to form gingerbread houses. It dries very hard, but it can also be used for piping decorations and lines onto cookies or for setting some other type of decoration onto the cookie.

Even more ways to decorate your cookies:

You don’t have to use frosting or icing to decorate your cookies. Here are two more alternatives.

Decorating With Chocolate

Melt chocolate chips or chocolate pieces in a double boiler or in a microwave and use it to dip cookies in, just one end or even the whole cookie. Place dipped cookies on a cookie tray and then into the freezer for a few minutes to harden the chocolate. You can also pipe chocolate onto cookies. A simple and cheap method is to melt the chocolate and then spoon it into a plastic baggie, then cut one of the ends off the baggie and use that to squeeze out the chocolate onto your cookies. Make sure not to cut too large a piece off of the end of the baggie, or it won’t work well.

Painting Your Cookies

This should be done before you bake the cookies. Mix some egg yolk with your desired food coloring and paint the mixture onto your cookies with a paintbrush. This method has a nice shiny glazed effect that is as colorful as you want.

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