Top 10 Practical Tips for Decorating Cookies

Posted on January 26th, 2010 in Decorated Cookies, Sugar Tools, Tutorials

These ideas aren’t ones that necessarily help the actual decorating of cookies; they’re the practical tips that make the preparation and overall experience faster and easier.  Hope you find them helpful!

If you’re interested in tips on the decorating process itself, I’ve got an in-depth tutorial here and my top 10 decorating tips here.

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Practical Ideas for Decorating Cookies – Top 10 Easy Tips

1. *Cloth – Keep a damp cloth nearby to wipe royal icing off your piping tip.  The key for me is to use a microfibre or lint-free cloth, otherwise little teensy fibres from other types of cloth get into the icing or onto my decorated cookie.

I found these at the dollar store!

2. **Clear beading containers – I use these storage stacking containers to store my piping tips.  Originally used for beads, they’re great for all sorts of small objects.  The only drawback is that they can sometimes be finicky to close.

You can find them online or at any craft store (usually in the beading aisle).

3. **Piping tips and couplersHaving lots of piping tips and couplers available makes the decorating experience much easier because you can prepare many bags of icing at once and change tips easily without having to stop and wash them.

I keep my couplers in a box also found at the dollar store.

4. **Elastic bands – Have them handy to tie off the ends of your piping bags so that icing doesn’t escape when you aren’t paying attention!

5. **Clear disposable piping/pastry bags (See a few pics above) – Although they might not be as strong as polyeurthane piping bags, disposable ones are my favorite.  They’re clear so you can easily pick out the color you need and they’re washable and re-usable.  If you’re wondering about using parchment triangles; some people do swear by them, I however, am useless at shaping them and feel dread whenever we have to use them in a cake class.  ;-)

The squeeze bottles are another option, especially great for kids.  I find piping bags easier to fill so use those instead.

6. 88Toothpicks or pins – Always keep a toothpick or pin nearby; they’re great for popping air bubbles in piped icing, unclogging tips and marbling your icing.  (If you’re not sure what marbling is there’s a definition in this glossary).

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7. **Glass of water – Keep a glass of water near your sink so that you can drop piping tips in there to soak a bit until you’re ready to clean them.

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8. **Place for piping bags – Arrange as many glasses as you have piping bags with a damp paper towel or cloth at the bottom of each.  Rest your piping bags in them between uses.  Wilton has a special stand for this purpose but I still prefer using the glasses.

9. **Spatulas only for royal icing -  Grease (fat), from buttercream for example, can affect the texture of royal icing, so the spatulas I use with it are designated only for royal icing.  I also keep piping tips used for buttercream separate as well.  No worries if you can’t do this (I’m playing it extra safe); just wash utensils well with vinegar and then soap and water.

10. **Tip cleaning brush – The purchase of this tiny brush, specifically designed to clean out your tips, is one you won’t regret.  Cleaning tips kind of drives me crazy for some reason, and this little brush makes the job so much easier!

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Hopefully these tips help you.  I’d love to hear more ideas!  If you’d like to share, you’re welcome to leave a comment below.

xo,

Marian

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