cookie decorating Posts

Christmas Cookie Decorating 101

Christmas Cookie Decorating 101

Many bakers ask for tips and instructions on decorating cookies. Well that’s a tall order because there are as many ways to decorate cookies as there are cookies! Here are a few guidelines for novices and experienced bakers alike to help you generate your own ideas for cooking decorating.

DECORATING COOKIES BEFORE BAKING

Cookies can be decorated before baking with materials that withstand the heat of baking. Some things that you can place on your cookies before baking are:

colored sugars or natural sugars such as pearl sugar jimmies, non-pareils, silver and gold drag饳, and other sprinkles raisins and dried fruits such as cranberries nuts These items can be placed on top of almost any cookie to dress it up a bit and give it a more festive appearance.

Paint a masterpiece
You can also paint your cookies before baking them. Make an edible food paint out of an egg yolk mixed with a few drops of food coloring and paint the cookies with a clean paintbrush. The paint will dry while baking and give the cookie a colorful, glazed appearance. This is a fun activity for kids!

A bit of trompe l’oeil
The folks at Better Homes and Gardens have a creative recipe for Colored Cream Dough ( http://www.bhg.com/bhg/) which is a dough of frosting consistency that can be piped onto cookies with a pastry bag fitted with a writing or star tip, and then baked. The result is a cookie that looks like it has been frosted but the frosting is baked on and hard.

DECORATING COOKIES AFTER BAKING

Decorating cookies after baking them requires that you apply some kind of liquid-based substance that will adhere to the baked cookie, or that will act as a glue to attach other items. Usually, this takes the form of frosting, icing, or melted chocolate.

Frosting vs. Icing
There is a big difference between frosting and icing. Frosting is thick and holds shapes like rosettes and shells like those you see piped around the edges of a birthday cake. It remains soft to the touch and has a creamy texture, and most people think it tastes better because of the creamy buttery flavor. Icing, on the other hand, is a thinner, more liquid substance, and as it dries it thins out, becomes very smooth across the surface of your cookie, and hardens. This is the icing to use for the most beautiful, professional results.

Working with frosting
You can use frosting in two ways. One way is to simply use a knife or rubber spatula to spread the frosting across the whole surface of your cookie. The other way is to place the frosting in a pastry or decorating bag fitted with a small tip and piping out thin lines or rosettes of icing onto the cookie. Either way, once the frosting has been applied to the cookie you can then further embellish it by using colored sugars, non-pareils, or any of the decorating items mentioned in the Decorating Before Baking section above. Christmas-Cookies.com has a delicious recipe for Buttercream Frosting at http://www.christmas-cookies.com/recipes/recipe.php?recid=306. See detailed instructions on piping frosting from Better Homes and Gardens at http://www.bhg.com/bhg/

Working with icing
Icing is a little more difficult to work with but its smooth surface produces the most beautiful results! Icing should always be piped onto a cookie because it will run off the edges if spread with a knife. Once iced you can apply silver drag饳, or other sprinkles just as mentioned with the frosting above, before it hardens. Christmas-Cookies.com has an excellent recipe for Royal Icing at http://www.christmas-cookies.com/recipes/recipe.php?recid=42. There is also a recipe for Powdered Sugar Icing ( http://www.christmas-cookies.com/recipes/recipe.php?recid=288 ) that dries less hard than Royal Icing and has a shiny surface. Martha Stewart’s website features an excellent article on how to pipe icing onto cookies for professional-looking results ( http://www.marthastewart.com/page.jhtml?type=content&id=channel172011&catid=cat258 ).

Melted chocolate
Just about any cookie can be embellished simply by dipping it in chocolate or drizzling chocolate over it. You can even dress up the everyday chocolate chip cookie for gift-giving or serving at parties. Melting chocolate is a simple process, but a few rules must be followed in order to make it a success. For Easter, try using white chocolate tinted in pastel shades with food coloring. Use the gel, paste or powdered kind of food color, because the liquid drops may make the chocolate seize up.

What you need
You can either use chocolate chips or baking chocolate (the kind that comes in 1-ounce squares) and the same process applies whether you use dark chocolate or white chocolate. A small amount of shortening should be added at the ratio of 2 tablespoons shortening for 1 cup of chocolate chips or chopped up baking chocolate.

Double boiler
Place chocolate and shortening in the top half of a double boiler or in a metal bowl that has been placed on top of a saucepan filled with hot water. The water must be very hot, but not boiling, because the steam generated by boiling water could get moisture into the melting chocolate which makes it curdle. Allow the chocolate to melt over the hot water and stir it occasionally until it has achieved a liquid consistency.

Microwave
Place your chocolate and shortening in a microwave safe bowl and microwave it on medium power for 1 minute. Stir. Continue microwaving 20 seconds, stir again. Keep doing this until the chocolate is almost melted. Remove it from the microwave and stir it until completely melted.

Dipping
Dip one end of your cookie, or half the cookie, or even the whole cookie into the melted chocolate. Set the cookie on a wire rack to let the chocolate harden. If you wish, you can sprinkle chopped nuts, coconut, or non-pareils over the melted chocolate before it hardens.

Drizzling
Scrape melted chocolate into a Ziploc baggie. With a sharp scissors, snip off a very small corner of the baggie. Drizzle top of cookies with zigzags of melted chocolate. Cool until chocolate is set.

Mimi Cummins is co-author of the book Christmas Cookies Are for Giving: Recipes, Stories and Tips for Making Heartwarming GiftsBy Mimi Cummins
Published:

Posted by admin in Articles and tagged with christmas cookies, cookie articles, cookie decorating

The History of Cookie Decorating

The History of Cookie Decorating

We can thank the Swiss for bringing the cookie decorating tradition to life. Their now famous springerle cookies were the very first decorated cookies. These sweet, but hard, cookies are pressed into molds and pop out featuring the most intricately designed cookies you have ever seen. The first molds were discovered from the 14th century and are now considered national treasures and held in Swiss museums.

The Swiss also used rolling pins cleverly carved with designs to roll out highly ornate cookies. The images on these cookies rival the finest artwork of the master painters and sculptors. Decorators soon realized that they could combine egg yolks and food dyes to paint these cookies. Some even paint the cookies for decoration only with paint. Of course, you can’t eat these beauties, but they will last and last and become a favorite holiday decoration.

The first scenes on cookies were from the Bible. Because people were largely illiterate in ancient times, these cookies served as a way to tell important Bible messages to everyone. Even if you couldn’t read the words, you could look at these beautiful images and understand the concepts they portrayed.

The Germans were next to promote cookie decorating. Back in medieval times, they made gingerbread, called Lebkuchen. The cookies were so revered that a guild of artisans called the Lebkuchen Guild banned together to make a law that only their members could bake gingerbread. The ban was lifted each year for the high holidays of Christmas and Easter. The common people, if they could afford the ingredients, were allowed to make their own gingerbread at these two times of the year.

Gingerbread cookie decorating spread throughout the world and during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I gingerbread cookies adorned with gold were given to court visitors. Master gingerbread decorators started to promote their gorgeous creations as Christmas ornaments.

In 1812, the Grimm Brothers published their now famous story, Hansel and Gretel. This classic tale of two children who encounter a witch who lives in an ornately decorated gingerbread house in the forest inspired a new love of the gingerbread cookie. Soon tinsmiths couldn’t keep up with the demand for cookie cutters and molds designed to help bakers create elaborate gingerbread houses of their own. German cookie cutters are still prized today as among the best made and highly sought after by collectors.

Today cookie bakers can’t imagine the holidays without decorated cookies. The popularity of Royal Icing has made home cookie decorating fun. It’s easy to create interesting and realistic motifs on cookies using Royal Icing. This confectioner sugar-based icing dries rock hard, so once its set, it won’t smear or run. This makes it ideal for decorating cookies that need to last through the season on the tree or that need to travel. You can eat Royal Icing, of course, but most cookies that are heavily decorated in Royal Icing tend to be treasured as ornaments rather than eaten.

If you’re looking into cookie decorating this year for your own holiday celebrations, you have more resources than you could ever imagine at your disposal. Visit a craft store and browse their cookie and cake decorating aisle. You will marvel at the tools and colors available for you to get started with.

Betty Ann Sherman is a mother and a baker of tasty treats. She has a special passion for baking cookies, pies, cakes, and everything wonderful. Check back for updates from Betty on her delicious treat adventures.

Posted by admin in Articles and tagged with cookie articles, cookie decorating

Cookie Decorating Book: Learn The Art of Decorating

Cookie Decorating Book: Learn The Art of Decorating

Cookies are delicious to eat and can be eaten any time of the day. Why not try making delicious cookies all by yourself. Today there are different types of cookie decorating book that can help you prepare delicious and yummy cookies. These books provide you with not only mouth watering recipes but also different ways of decorating your cookie.

Everyone likes to eat cookie especially children who may love to eat every day. Don’t you want to give tasty and decorated cookies to them or have it yourself? This book gives a different look to your cookies that attracts the attention of your guest. Moreover the tips provided in this book are simple and easy to understand.

Cook decorating book provides you essential tips and guidelines that can help you in decorating cookies. With the help of this book you can give an attractive look to your cookies. Purchase cookie decorating book to decorate cookies for Christmas celebration, birthday party or a picnic trip.

Cookie Decorating Book: Features
The main feature of this book is that it contains some of the best tips to decorate your cookies. Even though it acts as cookie decorator it is available at a very reasonable and affordable price. It contains step by step instructions and attractive pictures so as to render special guidance. It contains easy and simple project work for its user.

Cookie Decorating Book: Advantage
Cookies decoration book not only contains cookies decoration tips but it also provides various cookie making recipes, which is an added advantage. With the guidance of this book you can decorate the cookies in a unique manner.

You may have tried Cake Decorating Book or some other Decoration Books but it is the best time to try Cookie Decorating Book as it is available at best reasonable prices that make up your cookies. You can get wide collections in Cookie Decoration Book that makes your purchase beneficial.

If you are a professional cookie maker you can extract much greater benefits that enhance your professional skill. Decorate your best cookies just like your grandma use to decorate.

About the Author – By Isabella Rodrigues
Published: 5/22/2006

Posted by admin in Articles and tagged with cookie articles, cookie decorating