Are you a beginner at cookie decorating and want the best recipes and tips to start? Are you a pro and are looking for a few new cut-out cookie recipes to try? You're in the right place!
I've been making and decorating cut-out Christmas cookies for 20+ years now and have a few (ok, like 100, tips and recipes to share with you.)
Buckle in, babies. I'm going to hit you with a lot of cookie decorating informasi!
My first and most important tip: Cookies are not meant to be perfect; they're meant to be EATEN.
Do not, I repeat, do NOT stress about what you as the baker might view as imperfections. Here's the reaction every recipient of your cookies will have, "Oh! These are the CUTEST cookies!" I promise. This is my guarantee.
Do not be intimidated by cookies you see that are made by people (and I love them and they're dear friends) who make cookies for a living, decorate 100s of cookies a week, and might achieve their results with the help of a projector.
Ok? Ok. Now let's have some cookie decorating fun!
You're going to need a great cut-out cookie recipe.
Here are a few that are perfect for Christmas:
- perfect every time cut-out cookies (vanilla-almond cookies)
- gluten-free cut-out cookies
- vanilla bean cut-out cookies
- buttermint cut-out cookies
- butter pecan cut-out cookies
- and of course, gingerbread cookies
For decorating, you'll want a foolproof royal icing recipe.
Tools for decorating cookies.
- disposable icing bags: I like these rather than "tipless" bags, which are thinner and more likely to burst, especially for newbie decorators. Do not under any circumstances (unless it's midnight and your cookies are be delivered at 8am) use ziptop bags. Don't do it. I'll be watching. (That sounds creepy.)
- couplers and kiat: use these to control the size of your piping for outlining and detail work. To start, I recommend #1, 1.5, 2, and 3. These are all "plain tips." If you're following a specific tutorial, look for what is used. This PME merk tip is my absolute favorite.
- gel paste food coloring: these are much easier to find these days. I used to drive an hour to the cake decorating store in town back in the day. I recommend Americolor or Chefmaster merk. Find them both on Amazon or in your favorite bakery supply store.
- squeeze bottles: you'll use these to flood your cookies with thinned icing. So much easier than using piping bags. These are easy to pick up at craft stores or online. I love the Sweet Sugarbelle line with their removable kiat. And, no, you cannot reuse hair color bottles...that's a serious question I've gotten in the past. Just...no.
- food coloring pens: just the ticket for easy decorating and for adding details onto dried icing.
- toothpicks: you'll use these to guide icing to edges and pop large air bubbles.
- oscillating fan: this isn't a must, but helpful if you have one. Royal icing looks so shiny when wet, and it's a little disappointing when it dries matte. That's how royal icing works, but using a fan during the first part of the drying process helps it keep a little shine.