Holiday cookie decorating made easy with these simple steps
The holidays are full of delicious goodies like peanut brittle, chocolate toffee and peppermint fudge, but don’t forget about decorating cookies yourself, which adds a personal touch to your gatherings.
You may be thinking you need an art degree or you have to be Martha Stewart to pull this off, but decorating cookies-and making them look good-can be achieved by following a few simple steps.
We caught up with Natalia Gray, a custom artist with Gray Atelier, to get some tips. Gray was teaching a cookie decorating class at the Belmont Deli in Edwards on Monday, Dec. 10.
The first thing to think about is the type of cookie you will make. Although sugar cookies work, Gray recommends a gingerbread cookie. “I think gingerbread works best at Christmas, it’s very fragrant with the spices, the molasses and ginger. The smell reminds me of the holidays,” Gray said. “The icing really pops on the darker background color, too.”
When rolling out the gingerbread dough, aim for about 1/8 of an inch thickness so when it bakes, it will be think enough to handle being frosted. Allow time for the cookies to cool before attempting to frost them.
Speaking of frosting, Gray says this is the most important part. “I like to use a royal icing, it’s a combination of egg whites and powdered sugar. You can use an egg substitute as well. Whip it together until it’s at the consistency where you can outline your cookies, which is called piping,” Gray said. For colored frosting, Gray recommends the gel colors. Add a drop at a time since a little goes a long way.
Gray has some tricks of the trade she teaches to help your cookies achieve Pintrest-worthy status. Simple dots can be changed into hearts with the use of a toothpick, and for the younger artists, they can dress up the cookies with various shapes of sprinkles or by “marbling” the frosting. “The kids can blend two colors of frosting together in a swirling motion and it looks like a piece of art on the cookie. It’s very easy and boosts their confidence in their cookie decorating skills,” Gray said.
Your works of art will be preserved once the royal icing dries, making them easy to transport to a party or cookie exchange. Watch today’s video to get more instruction and ideas, but the best part is, you can’t fail at cookie decorating. “If you make a mistake, get rid of the evidence by just eating the cookie,” Gray said.