How To Decorate Sugar Cookies

Decorating Sugar Cookies

decorative sugar cookies

Successful cookie baking is an achievement in itself, but isnt it more fulfilling when you have ornamentally decorated the cookies that you have baked so they look as good as they taste? If youve ever seen beautifully iced sugar cookies with delicate swirls, sparkly sugars, and other designs, you may be a bit intimidatedhow do they get it to look so good? Icing and decorating sugar cookies may take a little practice, but its not that difficult to get the hang of it and create an impressive tray of cookies for any occasionholidays, birthdays, or just a Saturday afternoon snack.

Decorating baked cookies can be done in many different ways. There are just so many ways that baked sugar cookies can be decorated. To help you out, here are some of the tips and guidelines that you can opt to follow on how to decorate sugar cookies.

Frosting

frosting

Some people like to add a touch of color and additional flavor to the cookie with frosting. The frosting is a thick, creamy consistency that gets smeared onto the cookie with a spatula or piped on with a bakers bag for more precision. Frosting stays soft, so you cant really stack the cookies if you frost them. Theyre best reserved for really big cookies. Buttercream (heavy cream whipped until it passes thewhipped creamstage but before it completely breaks down into butter) is the most popular type of frosting.

If youre frosting your cookies, you only really need to make one plain base frosting, or just buy regular vanilla frosting. You can divide your batch, add flavors such as mint, chocolate, or almond, and use food colorings to tint the frosting to your desired color.

Icing

icing

Icing is made with pasteurized raw egg whites and confectioners sugar to make a thickened liquid. Icing is much thinner than frosting, and the big difference is that itsetsand hardens so it wont smear. You can actually stack, box or bag the cookies once the icing sets, so you dont have to worry about space. Its piped on with baker bags and decorative tips, which can produce some very beautiful and artistic results.

You can use and layer different colors topaintyour cookies and give them real style. Just let one color set before starting with another.

Toppings

topping

After you frost or ice your cookies, before the icing sets, you can top it with additional decorations:

  • Sprinkle chopped nuts on the cookies, or put one large nutsuch as almondon top.
  • Raisins add a bit of chewy, natural sweetness to the cookie. If you prefer, try other dried fruits, such as dried cranberries.
  • Colored, shimmery sugars give a beautiful finished, sparkly look when you sprinkle them lightly over ice cream. For me, no winter holiday cookies are complete without it, because it reminds me of snow and ice.
  • Licorice string can be used to line a cookie or to make distinguishing features, such as smiles on gingerbread men.
  • Chocolate chips are great for adding a bit of chocolate, and other kinds of decorative elementssuch as buttons or eyes on a snowman cookie.
  • Sprinkles are festive, especially for parties and birthdays.
  • Edible pearls are stunningthey look like real pearls and come in a variety of colors, but theyre made of sugar and totally edible. They give a cookie quite an elegant look.

Cookie Icing Tips

icing tips

  • Divide up your icing into different bowls and tint them to the desired color. Blend well so you dont get any streaks.
  • Distribute your icing into different bakers bags. Use fine tips if youre planning to write with them or make details, and use broader tips if youre planning to use that color to fill in large areas
  • Put out a tumbler cup for each baker bagthat way when youre not using that bag, you can set it in the cup, and if it leaks it will leak into the cup.
  • Put your cookies on a big baking tray when youre ready to decorate. That way, if some icing dribbles off the cookie or some sprinkles miss the mark, all the mess will be in the tray. Just move the finished cookies to a plate, and dump the mess when youre done.
  • Keep some clean skewers nearby to pop any air bubbles or scrape away any mistakes.
  • Trace the area you want to fill in with an outline first, then fill it in.
  • Let one color dry orsetbefore you start using another color. That will keep from them smearing and blending.

Theres norightorwrongway to decorate a cookiejust get creative! Practice makes perfect

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