Yesterday, I posted about making sugar cookies for the Creative Cookie Contest I entered at work, last month. Today we are going to talk about decorating with royal icing. First off, be prepared to spend in excess of $20+ to invest in icing gel colors. You can find them at your local craft store. I went with the 12 color pack ($14 but half with coupon). You will also want quite a few squeeze bottles to decorate the cookies with. That or you can use small pastry bags fitted with a tiny round tip. I did this for the outlining portion which I later realized that I didn’t like the way the outlining came out. In any event I digress…
Disclaimer: I am not including a prep or cook time because it merely depends on how long you have to dedicate to icing cookies and how complex your design is!
I followed Annie’s directions to a “t and piped the outline of the yellow around the edges of my cookies. As you can tell I do not have a steady hand and therefor at times it looked like a kindergartener had piped the lines! Once the outline dried (roughly 10-15 minutes) I began the “flooding” process.
*The picture above was photographed one-handed (on my big girl camera–that’s a challenge in its self)!!!
To flood the cookie you will take your royal icing and thin out the icing with a little bit of water. Take a spoon and gently poor into the outlined area. I then smoothed the icing with the back of the spoon, and used a toothpick to fill in the crevices. After flooding these had to dry for a few hours…
A few days later I decided to pick up where I left off. I opened up my container of pre-made white royal icing and scooped a little bit into a bowl. I then added literally a small toothpick full of brown gel coloring.
A little goes a long way!
I then mixed it all together, and filled it into a squeeze bottle.
I began to experiment once more with royal icing. This time I decided I would outline and then fill in aka, “flood” the outline all at the same time. I was much more happier with the consistency of my approach, although my way still took about an hour to dry!
I only bought two squeeze bottles which meant I had to be very conscious of what colors I was using and decorate ALL of that color at once *as long as it was permissible. I highly advise you have a squeeze bottle or pastry bag and tip for each of the colors you wish to decorate with… it will make your life so much easier!
Here is a semi close up of the cookies laid out and drying after their final decorating. I will admit I got a bit lazy toward the end and instead of washing out yet another squeeze bottle I decided to use a black gel icing from my baking cabinet. BIG MISTAKE! The black gel never dried hard, so if anything touched the eye it would smear. I had to strategically place the cookies so that none of the eyes would smear!
A designer and I called my submission “Creative Peeps”. Although they are cookie cutter they were my creative cookie and they pushed my creative boundaries, both mentally and physically!
Thankfully we have a wide variety of baskets in our attic, so I was able to use one I already had. When I made my initial trip to the craft store I made sure I bought some Easter grass to set the tone of the cookies. As you can tell I pretty much followed the cookie cutter packaging for design use.
This is where the “Creative Peeps” rested until they were brought into work to be judged and consumed! If you have any questions about royal icing I will attempt to answer them. I am not a pro at royal icing, but will try to find you the correct answer if I cannot answer the question!
So, I’m sure some of you are wondering if I won the contest… the answer is “no”. But in my book I won–I learned a new amazing skill that will stay with me for the rest of my life! I can’t wait to make more amazing sugar cookies–the opportunities are endless!