Last weekend my granddaughter, hubby, and I decorated cut-out cookies. I think I have the best recipe in the world. I’ll include it at the end of this post.
Anyway, I have a new respect for all of you who do a good job of this. It’s a lot of work and requires a lot of patience. My husband and I have decorated cookies every year but we’ve never really tried to do the fancy stuff, like outlining and “flooding”. My hands are not very strong so I have a hard time using the pastry bags.
I’m already looking forward to next year so I can continue to hone my decorating-cookies-skills.
Here’s some notes to myself. Maybe you’ll find them useful as well.
- Have nothing on the table but the essential supplies.Do not mix up frosting, tint frosting, or fill pastry bags on the table. Do this on the countertop.
- Make sure you have enough tips and disposable pastry bags so when inspiration strikes, you are all ready.
- Decide in advance which colors will be for outlining and which for flooding. In other words, design your cookies, colors, and designs ahead of time.
- Make sure your consistency for outlining and flooding are appropriate for the task, thicker for outlining, thinner for flooding.
- Place pastry bags in a glass for filling and tie off tightly at the top.
- Outline first and let the frosting harden before flooding. Have lots of cookie sheets available for this.
- Take your time!
- Keep the area where you are decorating free of clutter at all times. When you start to notice “clutter creep”, take a few minutes and re-organize.
- Decorate all the same shapes first.
- Have fun!
I have a lot to learn but it was so much fun. Last year my mom helped us. She hated decorating but I loved doing it with her none the less. I miss her this Christmas season.
Anyway, here’s some pics.
My husband’s design. Cute, huh?
Here’s the link to the butter cookie recipe. Be sure the dough is chilled and only work in small batches at a time leaving the rest in the refrigerator. We roll them out on a plastic tablecloth rather than parchment paper as the paper seems to move. Remember, it’s my husband who rolls them out and this is his preference. Also, if you are slow at cutting them out and they have gotten to room temp, put them back in the refrigerator for a few minutes (maybe ten?), to chill them a little. We learned that if you don’t, they have a tendency to puff up a little.
Also, I did not have the butter mixed up really good this time and there were chunks of butter that didn’t get dissolved which caused holes in a couple of the cookies. I usually completely melt the butter because I freeze the dough anyway. This time I didn’t. That was a mistake.
I mix all my cookie doughs about two weeks ahead of when we are going to actually be making them, day one. Hubby cuts them out and we bake them on one day. That’s day two in the process.
Day three, we outline them. If we put them in the garage, they harden up quickly and we can flood them right away. But if you live in a warm climate, you would probably have to flood them on day four.
If you’re going to go all fancy on them and add lots of detail, that would be day five.
Anyway, hope this helps. As I said, this is the best recipe ever and the frosting is even better. It’s the corn syrup in the frosting that keeps it shiny.
We have all the steps down to perfection, except for the decorating. But every year we are learning more.
God bless and have a great day.