When it comes to decorating cookies, there are two different things you should keep in mind. The first one has to do with the types of utensils you use to perform this activity. In many cases, people tend to use what they have around the house in order to decorate their cookies. This is not the recommended option for a clean result. You should make a small investment in quality utensils considering the amount of time and effort you put into icing cookies. From the cookie cutter you use to the icing pouch you buy, everything will make a difference in the final result.
The second one has to do with the consistency of your royal icing. In many cases, people fail to decorate their cookies properly because they don't adjust their royal icing the right way. If you don't want to spend time learning how to do it, you should opt for glaze or rolled fondant (which can also be sectioned with a cookie cutter in the shape you want) instead. Royal icing is made of confectioner's sugar and egg whites. Without the egg whites, the icing would be runny and dry very slowly.
You will learn more about each of these things by reading the information listed below.
What Decorating Tools Do You Need?
First of all, you need a good cookie cutter. A cookie that has clean edges is easier to decorate. Then, you should invest in icing bottles, which can be found in most kitchen-related shops. These will help you add details to your cookies. Decorating pouches will work just as fine, but they are disposable. For both the decorating bags and pouches, you can add decorating accessories that fit the project you have in mind. For instance, if you are going to decorate a fish cookie, there are a lot of details to be careful about - the tail, the fins, the fish's body. In order to get it right, you will definitely need to use a finer tip for the bottle or pouch. Depending on the shape and size of your fish cookie cutters, you might also need a spatula to place the royal icing directly onto the cookie and work your way from there.
How To Get The Perfect Icing Consistency?
Egg white royal icing should be elastic and rapid in terms of drying. The best consistency can be obtained by combining just the right quantity of powdered sugar (2 lb.), tartar cream (one teaspoon, to keep the royal icing white for a longer period of time) and egg whites (from 5 eggs). You can also use meringue powder instead of egg whites, but it might make the royal icing spongier, which is a result you want to avoid. When you mix the ingredients together for the first time, you might think that the consistency is too thick. Mixing it for a longer time and letting air bubbles inside will make the consistency just right. The more you mix the ingredients, the whiter it will look and the better the consistency will get.
That should take around ten minutes of mixing. Once you get the consistency right, you should move to flavor it. You can use your favorite flavor, one that also goes well with the ingredients in your dough. Don't use liquid food coloring because it might ruin the consistency of your royal icing. High-concentration, pastry food coloring is the one you should opt for in this situation. Look for no-flavor food coloring. Depending on the cookie cutter you use, the area you need to cover might be larger, so you need a thinner consistency for your royal icing. To make the consistency thinner, you simply need to add water. When you add water, stir gently to avoid air bubbles from forming. According to the purpose of the royal icing, these amounts of water should be added:
- Outlining - 1/2 Tsp
- Coating - 1.5 Tsp
- Flooding - 2 Tsp