Oct 21


Embellishing Cookies – 5 easy ways to add visual interest to your cookies

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Embellishing Cookies – 5 Easy Decorating Techniques to Add Interest or Detail to Your Cookies

Flood icing is perfect for getting that pretty, smooth look for decorated cookies, but sometimes a little texture or special details add an extra bit of charm. I’ve listed a few ways to add some visual interest to your cookies below, which I hope you find helpful.


1. Use different marbling options:

Marbling has always been one of my favorite cookie decorating techniques. It’s fun, easy to do, and the possibilities are endless.

Incorporate the marbling into a small part of the design, like the feathers on the turkey cookies (Thanks to Bridget of Bake at 350 for the adorable idea)…

… or marble the whole design, like these leaf cookies. (Thanks to Lizzy B Bakes for this fantastic idea!).

Even small details like wiping or not wiping the toothpick between each ‘line dragging’, will make a difference in the outcome.

For a video on marbling, click here. For a tutorial, click here.


2. Add texture by letting the icing dry in stages:

Piping icing and letting it dry before you add more icing beside it, is another way to add dimension and texture.

Take this pumpkin cookie I made for The TomKat Studio last Halloween:

Piping the light orange, letting it dry for about 15 minutes to 1/2 an hour, and then piping the deep, tangerine orange, creates slight dips and rounded ridges. It’s a little easier to see the example in this photo below:

Here’s a visual step by step on making the pumpkin cookie:

You can find more information on making the leaf here.


3. Embellish with sanding sugar:

Sprinkling sanding sugar on your cookie is an inexpensive (and sparkly), way to embellish any cookie, and is also a great way to hide imperfections or mistakes!

Cover the whole cookie, or small sections, such as this leaf veining…

or the tops of these acorns.

Change it up by using clear sanding sugar with the varying colours of icing beneath it…

or match the sugar to the icing color.

By the way, I love this great (practical), tip from Bridget; use a coffee filter to catch excess sugar when sprinkling it on your wet cookie.


4. Add texture and dimension by varying piping tips:

Use a thicker icing and change up your piping tip to create height and new textures, like this tip PME #44 for these mini pine cones.

Or this #67 leaf tip for the leaf on an apple cookie.

Something to note – Textured icing needs to have a thicker consistency to hold its shape. To test and make sure the icing is thick enough, dip a butter knife into the it (sitting in bowl), and pull straight up. If the icing forms a stiff peak or stands straight up, it will be thick enough.

Have fun and experiment with tips you’ve never tried before!


5. Packaging:

Play around with different ways to present your cookies once they’re finished.

Besides a cellophane bag or clear boxes, stack them in a mason jar or layer them in pretty gift boxes lined with matching tissue paper.

Even a cute take-out container (found this gold one at Michael’s), is a fun way to hand out a Thanksgiving gift.

If you’re not giving them out right away, wrap in cellophane to keep them fresh.


My Decorating Space Mess

As a little aside, I wanted to share with you what it looks like at home when I’m decorating…

At first, all my piping bags all lined up and ready to go. (Lately, btw, I haven’t bothered putting them in cups while I’m decorating – I just leave them on the table covered with a plastic tablecloth, and resting in a damp cloth).

A large sheet of parchment paper and my decorating tools and sugars around me.


Annnd, at the end. :)

Always a bit of a mess, but so much fun.

And so worth it when I give them away.

Hope you have fun decorating! If you have any tips of your own to share, or would like to ask a question, please feel free to leave me a comment below, or find me on Facebook, twitter or YouTube.



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  1. Erin H.
    November 10, 2013 at 2:16 am | Permalink

    New to your site. Obsessed with it and now it’s bookmarked! I totally love how you photographed your work station with before, during, and after photos – I was laughing when I saw the “aaand the end” photo. Thanks for your honesty and openness (and of course all the amazing wonderful tips!).

  2. Suzanne
    November 10, 2013 at 10:37 am | Permalink


    LOVE your work! Can you freeze the decorated cookies?

  3. Gabby
    November 10, 2013 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Could you please tell me how you made these colours? I use Americolour gels. Thanks so much! Btw, you rock :)

    • Gabby
      November 10, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      Oops! I was asking about the colours on your marbled leaves :)

    • marian
      November 11, 2013 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      Hi Gabby, I used Americolor chocolate brown, Americolor yellow, white, orange, and Wilton no taste red. :)

  4. Gabby
    November 11, 2013 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Thank you so much Marian! Such a quick response :)
    I’m going to decorate my maple leave today, marbling is so easy, fun and very effective indeed.

    Have a fabulous week :)

  5. September 24, 2014 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    I would agree if you have a workforce which rotates and leaves in a short http://lemonde-emploi.blog.lemonde.fr/2012/10/27/regards-croises-festival-de-films-courts-metrages-metiers-et-handicaps-le-palmares/ period subsequently investing in Timberland boots or other premium brands would be ill advised.

  6. October 21, 2014 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    I just love your tips and hints. I especially loved seeing your space. Honestly, mine looks exactly like that. I love, love, love, decorating cookies. Keep it coming, I am learning all kinds of tricks from you. Thanks so much!

  7. Jess
    October 23, 2014 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    these look great! Recipes??

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