Christmas Cookie Decorating 101

Many bakers ask for ideas and directions on adorning cookies. Effectively that’s a tall order as a result of there are as some ways to embellish cookies as there are cookies! Listed here are a number of pointers for novices and skilled bakers alike that will help you generate your individual concepts for cooking adorning.

DECORATING COOKIES BEFORE BAKING

Cookies could be adorned earlier than baking with supplies that stand up to the warmth of baking. Some issues you could place in your cookies earlier than baking are:

-colored sugars or pure sugars resembling pearl sugar

-jimmies, non-pareils, silver and gold dragées, and different sprinkles

-raisins and dried fruits resembling cranberries

-nuts

These things could be positioned on prime of just about any cookie to decorate it up a bit and provides it a extra festive look.

Paint a masterpiece

You may as well paint your cookies earlier than baking them. Make an edible meals paint out of an egg yolk combined with a number of drops of meals coloring and paint the cookies with a clear paintbrush. The paint will dry whereas baking and provides the cookie a colourful, glazed look. It is a enjoyable exercise for teenagers!

A little bit of trompe l’oeil

The oldsters at Higher Properties and Gardens have a inventive recipe for Coloured Cream Dough ( [http://www.bhg.com/bhg/story.jhtml?page=2&storyid=%2Ftemplatedata%2Fbhg%2Fstory%2Fdata%2F11429.xml&catref=SC1407] ) which is a dough of frosting consistency that may be piped onto cookies with a pastry bag fitted with a writing or star tip, after which baked. The result’s a cookie that appears prefer it has been frosted however the frosting is baked on and exhausting.

DECORATING COOKIES AFTER BAKING

Adorning cookies after baking them requires that you simply apply some type of liquid-based substance that can adhere to the baked cookie, or that can act as a glue to connect different gadgets. Normally, this takes the type of frosting, icing, or melted chocolate.

Frosting vs. Icing

There’s a massive distinction between frosting and icing. Frosting is thick and holds shapes like rosettes and shells like these you see piped across the edges of a birthday cake. It stays mushy to the contact and has a creamy texture, and most of the people suppose it tastes higher due to the creamy buttery taste. Icing, however, is a thinner, extra liquid substance, and because it dries it thins out, turns into very clean throughout the floor of your cookie, and hardens. That is the icing to make use of for probably the most stunning, skilled outcomes.

Working with frosting

You should utilize frosting in two methods. A method is to easily use a knife or rubber spatula to unfold the frosting throughout the entire floor of your cookie. The opposite method is to position the frosting in a pastry or adorning bag fitted with a small tip and piping out skinny strains or rosettes of icing onto the cookie. Both method, as soon as the frosting has been utilized to the cookie you may then additional embellish it by utilizing coloured sugars, non-pareils, or any of the adorning gadgets talked about within the Adorning Earlier than Baking part above. Christmas-Cookies.com has a scrumptious recipe for Buttercream Frosting at http://www.christmas-cookies.com/recipes/recipe.php?recid=306. See detailed directions on piping frosting from Higher Properties and Gardens at [http://www.bhg.com/bhg/story.jhtml?page=3&storyid=%2Ftemplatedata%2Fbhg%2Fstory%2Fdata%2F11430.xml&catref=SC1407]

Working with icing

Icing is a bit more tough to work with however its clean floor produces probably the most stunning outcomes! Icing ought to at all times be piped onto a cookie as a result of it can run off the sides if unfold with a knife. As soon as iced you may apply silver dragées, or different sprinkles simply as talked about with the frosting above, earlier than it hardens. Christmas-Cookies.com has a superb recipe for Royal Icing at http://www.christmas-cookies.com/recipes/recipe.php?recid=42. There may be additionally a recipe for Powdered Sugar Icing ( http://www.christmas-cookies.com/recipes/recipe.php?recid=288 ) that dries much less exhausting than Royal Icing and has a shiny floor. Martha Stewart’s web site options a superb article on how you can pipe icing onto cookies for professional-looking outcomes ( http://www.marthastewart.com/page.jhtml?type=content&id=channel172011&catid=cat258 ).

Melted chocolate

Nearly any cookie could be embellished just by dipping it in chocolate or drizzling chocolate over it. You possibly can even gown up the on a regular basis chocolate chip cookie for gift-giving or serving at events. Melting chocolate is a straightforward course of, however a number of guidelines have to be adopted to be able to make it successful. For Easter, strive utilizing white chocolate tinted in pastel shades with meals coloring. Use the gel, paste or powdered type of meals shade, as a result of the liquid drops might make the chocolate seize up.

What you want

You possibly can both use chocolate chips or baking chocolate (the type that is available in 1-ounce squares) and the identical course of applies whether or not you employ darkish chocolate or white chocolate. A small quantity of shortening ought to be added on the ratio of two tablespoons shortening for 1 cup of chocolate chips or chopped up baking chocolate.

Double boiler

Place chocolate and shortening within the prime half of a double boiler or in a steel bowl that has been positioned on prime of a saucepan stuffed with sizzling water. The water have to be highly regarded, however not boiling, as a result of the steam generated by boiling water may get moisture into the melting chocolate which makes it curdle. Permit the chocolate to soften over the new water and stir it sometimes till it has achieved a liquid consistency.

Microwave

Place your chocolate and shortening in a microwave secure bowl and microwave it on medium energy for 1 minute. Stir. Proceed microwaving 20 seconds, stir once more. Maintain doing this till the chocolate is sort of melted. Take away it from the microwave and stir it till fully melted.

Dipping

Dip one finish of your cookie, or half the cookie, and even the entire cookie into the melted chocolate. Set the cookie on a wire rack to let the chocolate harden. If you want, you may sprinkle chopped nuts, coconut, or non-pareils over the melted chocolate earlier than it hardens.

Drizzling

Scrape melted chocolate right into a ziplock baggie. With a pointy scissors, snip off a really small nook of the baggie. Drizzle prime of cookies with zig-zags of melted chocolate. Cool till chocolate is ready.

Utilizing these easy methods will enable you produce a wide range of beautiful-looking cookies at Christmastime and all year long.

Copyright 2004 Mimi Cummins. All Rights Reserved.