I’m not yet a pro when it comes to decorating but I love learning more about it. I started learning more about how to decorate when I decided I wanted to make a cake for Levi’s 1st birthday. But the first time I actually practiced decorating was in June, a week before Levi’s birthday, when I made a cake for my sister-in-law’s graduation. She loved it and I wanted to learn more.
In September I came across these onesie cookies at Annie’s Eats. It was so adorable! I decided to learn all I need to know so I could make them for my upcoming sister’s surprise baby shower. I’m so glad I did. She loved it! Since then I’ve decorated a lot of cookies and I love how it looks so nice and how happy it makes people.
Decorating with royal icing isn’t as hard as it sounds. It is a little time consuming but well worth the effort because your cookies will look professional!
First off, here is the recipe for Royal Icing from Annie’s Eats:
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tbsp. meringue powder
5 tbsp. water
Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the sheen has disappeared and the icing has a matte appearance (about 7-10 minutes). Transfer the contents of the mixing bowl to an air-tight container. This will be the stiffest consistency of the icing, and at this point it is still too stiff to use for decorating. Add water a very small amount at a time and stir by hand until fully incorporated. Continue until the icing has reached a consistency appropriate for piping. (Remember, if you are having any difficulty piping, it is still too thick. Add a little more liquid and try again.)Using a pastry bag, pipe around the edges of each cookie. Let stand so the icing will set. Make sure to keep the leftover icing covered at all times when not in use so that it does not begin to harden.
Once all the cookies have been edged, transfer some of the remaining icing to a separate air-tight container. Thin out by incorporating a small amount of water at a time, until the icing drips off the spoon easily when lifted and then smooths in with that still in the bowl. If you go too far and the icing is too thin, add more sifted powdered sugar to thicken it again. Once the icing has reached the desired consistency, transfer it to a squeeze bottle (or a plastic bag with a hole in one corner), and flood the area surrounded by the piping on each cookie. If it does not completely spread to the edges, use a toothpick to help it along. Allow to set.
Use the remaining thicker icing for piping decoration as desired. Gel icing color is best as it does not add a significant amount of liquid. Liquid food coloring can be used as well – add powdered sugar as needed to compensate for any thinning that occurs.
This is Meringue Powder. You can find it at craft stores such as Michaels or Hobby Lobby.
These are icing colors. Basically it’s the same thing as food coloring just instead of liquid it is gel so it doesn’t thin out the royal icing. Again, you can find this at any craft store.
First step, after you have made the royal icing and tinted it the color you want, pipe on the edges and wait until dry.
The next step is to flood the cookie. To do that you take the icing and add a small amount of water at a time until the icing runs off the back of the spoon. Let stand 10 minutes to let the air bubbles come up then pop them and add to a squeeze bottle. Squeeze on the icing then take a toothpick to spread out the icing to the edges.
The last step is to let dry and then either decorate them or they are ready to go! I made these Y cookies last weekend for the BYU game. It wasn’t much work and it was a hit!
Once you master decorating with royal icing the possibilities are endless. Here are some things I have made:
The first ones I made for the sister’s surprise baby shower. I gave it as part of her gift.
I made these for a friend’s baby shower for all the guests.
A sweet note for Derek. 😉
For Derek’s siblings.
One more note, since it can be a bit time consuming I like to make the cookies the day before I decorate so it doesn’t take up too much time. The cookie is still soft and then you don’t get tired of it and it makes it more fun.