How to Decorate Cookies with Icing


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How to Decorate Cookies with Icing

Recipes adapted from : foodnetwork.com

INGREDIENTS


  • 1 batch sugar cookies, gingerbread cookies, or other cut-out cookies for icing


For the border icing:

  • Food coloring (optional)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla or other flavoring extract
  • 2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons milk or water



For the flood icing:

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla or other flavoring extract
  • 2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons milk or water
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Food coloring (optional)


EQUIPMENT

  • Squeeze bottles - 1 for the border icing and 1 for each color of flood icing
  • Small mixing bowls
  • Mixing utensils
  • Small funnel
  • Parchment paper

INSTRUCTIONS


  1. Clear some counter space. Iced cookies need at least 24 hours to dry, so clear a good amount of counter space or table space where you can ice the cookies and leave them undisturbed. Cover the counter with parchment paper.
  2. Arrange the cookies for icing. Let fresh-baked cookies cool completely, then arrange all your cookies over the parchment paper. You might find it helpful to leave a small workspace clear in front of you where you can move each cookie as you're working on it.
  3. Prepare the border icing. Place the powdered sugar, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of milk or water for the border icing in a medium bowl and stir together with a spoon or a fork until smooth. It should be quite thick, and if you drizzle a little from your spoon, the ribbon should hold for a few seconds before melting back into the icing. This border icing should be just thick enough to pour easily. If desired, add food coloring to this border icing now.
  4. Transfer the border icing to a squeeze bottle. Insert a small funnel into the mouth of a squeeze bottle. Spoon some of the border icing into the funnel and let it drip into the bottle. Since this icing is so thick, it can be difficult to get it to drop into the bottle — you can squeeze the bottle to suction the icing and start it flowing. If it still won't start flowing, add more milk or water one teaspoon at a time until just barely thin enough to pour (be careful of adding too much or else the border icing will pool instead of maintaining a border). Once flowing, it can still take a few minutes for all the icing to funnel into the bottle. Prepare your flood icing while you wait.
  5. Prepare the flood icing. Place the powdered sugar, vanilla and 2 1/2 tablespoons of milk or water for the flood icing in a bowl and stir together with a spoon or a fork until smooth. This icing should still be fairly thick, but it should drizzle easily and a bit of drizzled icing should sink immediately back into the icing. If desired, add food coloring to the flood icing now.
  6. Transfer the flood icing to a squeeze bottle. Clean and dry the funnel and insert it into a clean squeeze bottle. Pour the border icing into the bottle; this icing should be thin enough to funnel easily into the bottle. If necessary, add milk or water 1 tablespoon at a time until a thin, pourable consistency is reached.
  7. Prepare as many batches of flood icing as needed to decorate your cookies.
  8. Draw the borders around the cookies with border icing. Begin with the border icing and trace the outline of each cookie with icing. Hold the bottle vertical with the tip of the bottle slightly above the cookie. Squeeze gently and with consistent pressure so the border is the same width all the way around. Think of this border icing like drawing lines with a pen. If desired, you can draw inside the cookie — thicker lines are better than thin lines for separating areas of flooded icing.
  9. Allow border icing to dry slightly. The border icing doesn't need to be completely dry, but the next step (flooding the cookies with icing) works better if the borders are at least dry to the touch. If you draw the borders on all your cookies before moving onto flooding, the first cookies will be dry enough to start flooding once you finish drawing the borders.
  10. Flood the interior of the cookie with flood icing. Using a bottle of the flood icing, begin filling the interior of the cookie with icing. Use the nose of the bottle to push the icing into the corners and against edges. Think of this flood icing like using a paintbrush.
  11. Allow the cookies to dry. Leave the cookies undisturbed for at least 24 hours to fully dry. Depending on the thickness of your icing and the layers on the cookie, it may take longer. When the cookies are dry, the surface of the cookies will be completely smooth, dry, and resistant to nicks or smudges.
  12. Store the dried cookies. Once dry, you can stack the cookies between sheets of parchment paper in an airtight container at room temperature for several weeks.

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