This time of year, let your artistic side really shine when it comes to decorating cookies. If you’ve been watching baking shows or perusing Pinterest, you’ve probably seen some really gorgeous plates of snowmen, bows, ornaments, and more. How do they do it? You don’t need fancy equipment and years of experience. Just some patience, and these eight tips can transform your cookies this holiday season:
Get the dough right
Embrace unique shapes
Before baking, you roll out the dough and cut out your shapes. You could go with the usual circular shape and decorate the cookies to look like snow globes or ornaments, but that’s about all you can do. Unique shapes will really make your cookies stand out. You can find tons online, like Christmas trees, snowflakes, sweaters, alphabet letters, envelopes, different ornaments, hexagons, and more. Check out Pinterest or even just Google Images to get inspired.
“Marble” two doughs
If you don’t want to decorate and frost every cookie, one of the easiest ways to make your cookies look interesting is to marble two dough flavors together. For example, vanilla and chocolate, which results in a pale and darker final product. The cookies look beautifully-rustic and complicated, though all you’ve done is roll two doughs together before cutting out your cookies.
Use a frosting tip
Once your cookies are out of the oven and cooled, it’s time to frost! Royal icing is the best icing for holiday cookies because it’s easy to make, easy to work with, and settles hard. If you want your decorations to look really nice, spring for a disposal pastry bag, a coupler, and a Wilton $3 tip (or any superfine tip that will fit on your coupler). These supplies are cheap, but they make a big difference.
Experiment with different frosting colors (and flavors)
You could also just stick with the basic red-and-green combo for your cookies, or white if you’re doing something snow-themed, but your cookies can still be holiday-friendly if you use other colors. Think pastels, gold, and silver. Pastels in particular will give your goodies a sophisticated look. Check out Lila Lola’s post on how to make pastels using AmeriColor. Add some flavor extracts to your icing, too! After all, people will be eating these cookies. For white frosting, peppermint extract and other clear flavors will keep the icing nice and white.
Powdered sugar is the perfect finishing touch
If your cookies look a little incomplete and you aren’t sure what else you can do, dust them with powdered sugar. It looks like snow and adds both beauty and a final sweetness. Put the sugar in a sieve and lightly tap to better control how much goes on.
You probably bake more than sugar cookies around this time of year. Check out these unique tips that can kick your baking up a notch!