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Topic: Cookie Decorating Tutorial: Part 1 (image heavy)  (Read 2451 times)
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cackle
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« on: May 08, 2011 07:01:59 PM »

Here is a brief tute on the first part of how to decorate cookies. What I'm starting with is run-out frosting. (the smooth frosting you see underneath all the decorations)
First, make a batch of royal icing (recipe is in the spring cookies thread)
It should look like thick marshmallow cream when beaten.



Make sure you cover the bowl of your mixer with a damp cloth. This frosting air dries and will become crusty within a few minutes.  



Next, prepare a frosting bag. I use the Wilton disposable bags with a coupler (not disposable!) and a number three tip. Cut the bag open at the bottom just enough that the large coupler piece will fit through the opening just up to the threads of the screw. Place the tip on the out side of the bag, over the couple. The tip should also fit over the plastic bag. Screw the other end of the couple onto the threads, fold the top of the bag down and tip it into a glass.



Next, scoop out about half a cup of icing (or however much you determine you need for a specific color) and put into a small bowl. Add food coloring. Remember, less is more. If it's too pale you can always darken it up. Too dark, and you waste a lot of icing trying to lighten it up!
Add a few drops of water and mix.



When you are happy with the color, keep adding water in small amounts until the icing becomes fluid enough that it will self-level. Not too much liquid. Just enough that it is still thick, but when you dribble a thread of icing back into the bowl, it will slowly sink into itself and become smooth again.



Carefully pour your icing into the icing bag. A little will leak out the tip, but it won't matter. Unfold the top of the bag and twist it closed above the frosting line. (You don't want to squirt frosting over the top of your bag.) Secure it with a twist tie. A word about filling bags. DON'T overfill your bags. You will exhaust your hands and an over full bag will always ooze out the top.



Place a damp cloth in a large boll with tall enough sides to support your bags. Place your frosting bags TIPS UP in the bowl with your twist-tied bottom in the bowl. Cover the tips that are sticking out the top with another damp cloth. Make as many colors as you need, storing them all as directed as soon as you make them.



I know, all this prep work just to get to this simple instruction. But believe me, it is worth the effort to get this right. It will save you a lot of frustration with crusty, blocked tips and oozing messes. (eew, that sounds awful)
So magically appearing are the cookies you baked off, ready for icing.  Cheesy



Pick a cookie and start an outline with your chosen color. Don't get too close the edge or your run-out will run off! You can use different colors for different flower petals like I have here.



When you've done an outline, fill in the color. This is where you can start to get creative and play. You can even dot another color over a run-out to make smooth polka dots. Just don't wait too long to do it or it won't smooth out. When you get all your run-outs done, wait at least three to four hours in a dry climate and over night if you live in a humid climate for your run-out to be dry enough to take decoration. I'll post another tutorial on some basic decorating tips when I do my next batch of cookies. I hope this helps anyone who has always wanted to do a run-out, but didn't know how. If anyone has a question, please feel free to pm me. There is so much more to say, and I'm sure I've forgotten something. If I have, please forgive the oversight. I'm sure the mods are groaning about the length of this post!
 
« Last Edit: May 08, 2011 07:10:59 PM by cackle » THIS ROCKS   Logged

kcartwright856
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2011 07:56:55 PM »

Wow, thanks for this tutorial! I've always wondered about that smooth icing. Great job!
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« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2011 10:21:47 AM »

awesome! i've tried this before but i couldn't get the cookies right. can you share the recipe for the cookies you made? i used a martha stewart recipe and they came out way too hard. maybe i'm doing something wrong lol.
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« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2011 02:21:35 PM »

awesome! i've tried this before but i couldn't get the cookies right. can you share the recipe for the cookies you made? i used a martha stewart recipe and they came out way too hard. maybe i'm doing something wrong lol.


Here is the butter cookie recipe I love to use. Have fun!

1lb butter
1.5 cups sugar
4 egg yolks
1 tablespoon GOOD vanilla*
4 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
* Use good ingredients...the freshest eggs you can get, good butter and good quality vanilla. This is a simple recipe with very few ingredients and it shows when you use the good stuff!

Cream sugar and butter 'til fluffy. Add egg yolks and vanilla and blend. Add flour and salt and mix until incorporated. This is a very thick dough and works best if you have a hands free mixer like a Kitchen Aid. If not, I suggest cutting the recipe in half and making two batches.
This recipe does not need to be refrigerated before use. Roll the dough out onto a floured surface to about 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick. Place cookies on a sheet pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for approx. 10-12 minutes or until cookies edges turn golden. Do not over bake or they will get brittle.

Tips:
1. Using a floured spatula, run it under your dough before you cut out your cookies. This will un-stick you dough from the surface it's on and allow you to transfer your cookies easily.
2. Use a spatula to transfer your cookies instead of your fingers and they will hold their shape much better.
3.These cookies are a shortbread style cookie and will have a shelf life of about one month if stored in an airtight container.
4. If you are using big cutters and are struggling with transferring your cookies to the sheet without mushing them up, roll out the dough and move that onto your cookie sheet. Smooth it out and cut the cookies on the sheet and pick up the excess dough from around the cookies. No distortion!
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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2011 02:41:59 PM »

thanks so much! i'm going to try it out. Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2011 02:48:21 PM »

thanks so much! i'm going to try it out. Smiley

Excellent! I hope you have fun. If you have any problems, please feel free to pm me and we will figure it out. Cheers!
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Niblett
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2011 03:04:48 PM »

Thanks so much this is really helpful - can't wait to try it!
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« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2013 09:17:30 AM »

This will come in really handy over the holidays.  Thanks so much for posting this tutorial.   Smiley
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