Decorating Sugar Cookies… From Start to Finish- Part 2

Yesterday I posted “Part 1” of a detailed tutorial my good friend (and cookie decorator extraordinaire!) Callye of Sweet Sugar Belle put together exclusively for Glorious Treats readers.  Today I’m back with all the photo how-to’s for the decorating stage. 
You’ll need to prepare a batch of Royal Icing.
Royal Icing
4 Tablespoons Meringue Powder (I use Wilton Brand)
4 cups (about 1 pound) powdered sugar
6 Tablespoons warm water
Beat all ingredients until stiff peaks form. 
*Make sure all bowls and utensils are totally grease-free or your icing will never reach proper consistency.
Spoon some of the thick white icing into individual bowls and add coloring (Callye and I use
For each color of icing, you will want a piping bag (or squeeze bottle) of thick icing and one in the same color of thinned icing.  Once you color a bowl of icing, scoop about 1/2 of it into a piping bag (fitted with a size 2 tip- or other desired size), and then thin the remaining icing in that bowl to create a thinned version of the exact same color.  To thin icing add 1 teaspoon of water at a time and stir, continue adding water by 1/2 teaspoons until desired consistency is reached. 
I will use the terms “thick icing“, this is the consistency before adding extra water, and should be about the consistency of toothpaste.   When I say “thinned icing“, it should be icing that has been thinned to about the consistency of thick syrup (like corn syrup).
Once you have your icing colored, and in piping bags (and/or squeeze bottles) you’re ready to get started. 
Below is a photo I posted in a previous post, but I thought would be a nice reminder.  The more organized your work space is the more efficient you will be.
Candy Corn Cookies
~Candy Corn Cookies Directions~
Step 1.  Pipe thick black icing around the edge of the cookie.   Let that outline dry for at least 1/2 hour before continuing. (You can work on other cookies and then come back).
Steps 2.-5.  Fill in with thinned icing in white, then yellow, then orange.
Step 6.  When icing is completely dry (after several hours) use a black edible marker to add eyes and mouth.
Candy
~Candy Directions~
Steps 1.-2.  Use thick black icing to outline the cookie.
Step 3.  Fill in (as shown) with thinned black icing.
Step 4.  Fill in the appropriate areas with thinned orange icing.
Step 5.  Fill in with thinned white.
Step 6.  Once the cookie is dry (after at least 1 hour), add a small accent of white (as shown). 
Heart Pumpkin
~Heart Pumpkin Directions~
Steps 1.-3.  Use thick black icing to outline the heart shape and outline parts of the face.
Step 4.  Fill in the face parts with thinned black icing.  Then create a stem with thinned green icing.
Step 5.  Fill in the pumpkin with thinned orange.
Step 6.  Use a toothpick as necessary to move the icing where it needs to be. 
Optional final step (not shown above, but shown on finished cookies at the top of the post), accent the green stem (when totally dry) with a green edible marker.
Peace Bat
~Peace Bat Directions~
Steps 1.-3.  Create the peace sign shaped using thinned black icing.
Step 4.-6.  Lay the cookie on a paper plate or tray, and sprinkle with black sanding sugar.  Allow to “rest” for a few minutes.
Steps 7.-8.  Gently turn cookie upside down and shake off excess sugar (do not worry about the excess sugar in the center of the design for now).  As needed, use a clean, dry paintbrush to brush off excess sugar.
Steps 9.-10.  Outline the bat wings with thick black icing, then fill in with thinned black icing. 
Step 11. Once the cookie is dry (after several hours), brush off any excess sugar from the center of the peace sign. 
Step 12.  Add eyes, using white icing first, and then a black dot.
Finally…
With some luck, and several hours of work (or fun, depending on how you look at it!) you may have something that resembles these…
A few final notes for beginners
It would be near impossible to include every detail of how to decorate cookies in one post.  The way Callye and I have developed most of our skills is through trial and error, and lots and LOTS of practice!  We are both still learning new tricks all the time.  Before you e-mail me with questions, please make sure you have read through the several posts I have on this blog on the topic of cookie decorating (see categories at the top of the right side bar).  There are also many resources available by simply doing internet searches on the topic you are interested in, as well as lots of great YouTube videos that show various tips and tricks.  Decorating cookies can be a very rewarding hobby, but it would be unrealistic to think you will be able to sit down and make 300 beautiful wedding favor cookies on your first try.  Maybe that could be a project for your second try! =)
Happy Decorating!
Please note as well… Callye has been very generous to us with her time and knowledge, but her time is not unlimited.  Please feel free to contact her to say “hi” and “thanks”, but she is quite busy raising three young children and can not answer your cookie questions, or make cookies for you at this time. 
All of the important links…
Part 1 of this tutorial– The design inspiration, cookie recipe, and cutting the dough.
Callye’s Facebook page, SugarBelle’s
Flickr page, Sweet Sugar Belle
Thanks again Callye!! 

62 comments

  1. Just great! Thank you for inspiring me everytime I enter your blog. Wonderful work!

  2. Great post and thanks Callye for sharing her tips and tutorial! Thank you Glory for putting together such a wonderful tutorial too!

  3. Thanks to you both for sharing your amazing talents!

  4. luv & follow both of you! Great tutorial! hugs!

    hugs! Kim @ Frost Me!/Party Frosting!
    party inspiration

  5. INCREDIBLE tutorial!! Thank you soooo much!

    Kisses from the WhipperChicks

  6. Great tuto! Thanks for sharing Glory & Callye!! You rock girls!!

  7. So much fun to see how you work! Love you!

  8. You both do beautiful work! I've tried this a couple of times and my cookies are getting better with practice! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Both of you did a wonderful job! Can't wait to see what you to come with next!

  10. Wow, this makes me want to give it all a go. You are so inspiring and do such beautiful work. Love it!

  11. I want those bottles! Are those special just for frosting?

  12. I have been practicing my decorating and you are a big help. Thanks for your great tips.

    Plan B

  13. Thank you so much!! I loved the way you girls did this tutorial!!

  14. Love you tutorial it fantastic and easy to follow… thank you for sharing your talent and inspiring us beginners to make cookies like a pro..
    The Scrapbooking queen

  15. thank you for visiting and following my blog 🙂
    your tutorials look amazing and detailed! wow and well done

    Betty Bake Blog

  16. Thank you both so much for the tutorial. I do have a question….where did you find the bottles that you can put tips on? Would love to purchase.

    Happy Baking,

    Lisa

  17. Lisa- Thanks for the comment. I've found the bottles that you can put tips on at Sur La Tab, but I'm sure there are sources on-line as well. I haven't bought any for a long time, so I'm not sure where to direct you on-line.

    Happy Decorating!

  18. Absolutely amazing work that the two of you share here! I just couldn't stop looking at the beautiful designs. You are so sweet to share any ideas with those of us inspiring to be a fraction of your talents. Thanks again. I'll be back soon to look to see what you've posted.

  19. Glory,

    Thank you so much for the response and I will look at their website.

    Happy Baking,

    Lisa

  20. This is so fabulous. Thanks for sharing! I must try this one day; I always just use the easy option of icing sugar, egg white, and lemon juice.

  21. Where did you get the squeeze bottles that have tips attached? I want some?

  22. found this post via the Twinery. THANK you so much for the icing recipe and tutorial!

  23. Nicole- I have found the small bottles that you can fit tips on at Sur la Table.

  24. love your tutorial! I've been making cookies for a while but I love how your use bottles! Do you find it easier? AND if so…where did you find those lovely one's you have posted on your blog??
    Kelli 🙂

  25. whoops! you may have answered that already in one of your comments! Sorry if you did!

  26. The Kuhn Rikon (Swiss-made) bottles are offered at Sur La Table, The Chef's Resource, & Factory Direct 2 You, according to the Kuhn Rikon website. And I just found the set on Amazon for a little cheaper than Sur La Table.
    Wow! Kuhn Rikon even makes a battery-operated frosting decorating pen if you feel like shelling out $30 for it.

  27. This is a great post! Thank you so much for this info. I will definitely use it in my future cookie decorating projects. Happy New Year to you!

  28. I can't pinpoint what I did wrong with the royal icing. The cookies tasted okay. A little dry, but maybe next time I'll try 8 minutes instead of 10. But the royal icing tasted REALLY chalky. I used Wilton brand meringue powder and measured it out using a flat edge to level it and did the same with the sugar. Only thing I did differently was sifted my sugar before mixing everything together. Is royal icing supposed to taste chalky? I'll try it again if someone can tell me what I did wrong. Thanks!

  29. Hi Gloria,
    Love looking at your blog all the time. Just wondering the squeeze bottles haven't seemed to have made it to the shops in Australia. Do you know where I can purchase some from online in America. Cheers, Kylie

  30. Anonymous (Royal icing question)- I like the taste of royal icing, but like any food, I guess that comes down to personal preference. You may want to try another brand of meringue powder, or try a corn syrup glaze style of icing.

    Travling Foodie- The squeeze bottles are available here, http://www.karenscookies.net/Squeeze-Bottles_c_103.html
    I also checked, and it looks like they do international shipping as well.

  31. Your blog is just fantastic. Thank you so much. I am going to try and do my first cookies for Valentine's day.

  32. Love these tutorials, the receipe and the how-to. Thanks so much for sharing; The result looks so great.

  33. Any suggestions about food colouring… I used Wilton Gel Colours to get a true black like yours. The only problem was that kids got extremely messy with the black iced cookies. Maybe this is just part of the fun 🙂

  34. thanks for the detailed steps! im thinking about making apron sugar cookies for a kitchen bridal shower as favors and wasn't sure how to decorate them or what cutter to use. thanks!

  35. You are amazing!!!!

    I am just getting into decorating and u r a true inspiration!!!!!!!!! I cnt express this enough

  36. Not sure if you already answered this but I was wondering if you use certain icing in bags or bottles. Like if you use thicker icing in the bags and thinner icing in bottles??

  37. Sue- I often use piping bags for both thick and thinned icing, but if you would like to use bottles, they would be best for the thinned (flood) icing.

  38. Yes, I'll have 2 dozen please! Your cookies are amazing.

    Pat

  39. Can the icing be stored and used again?

  40. Is it possible to substitute a flavor such as vanilla for some of the water to give a different flavor or will that mess with the consistency?

  41. Is it just me but isn't it the icing is killing the cookies? I mean the cookies taste great without the icing.While the icing makes them look gorgeous i feel like i cant eat them because of the icing…what am i doing wrong??

  42. Hello, i must say your blog is AMAZING!! One thing though… the meringue powder- which i have come to the understanding is eggs powder? i live outside of the US, and that product is not availble ANYWHERE, is there something i can substitute is with? will corn syrup do the trick? thank you so much! Inbal

  43. Thanks to you and Callye for sharing tips and turorial 🙂

  44. Your blog makes me want to make christmas cookies NOW!! But there are so many other ideasYou are ama I like too. You are amazing!

  45. thank you so much for this wonderful step by step procedure! I love your tutorial!

  46. Pingback: Set 2 Squeezable Water

  47. Excellent tutorial. You do great work! Love your designs 🙂

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