Sugar Cookie Decorating 101

This is a tutorial for how I apply my glaze icing to sugar cookies.

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To make my special version of royal icing, (glaze icing)  these are the ingredients I use. (click the link for full recipe)

1 cup powder sugar (confectioners sugar)

1 tablespoon milk

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

1 drop lemon juice (can be fresh)

Why do I use Lemon Juice?  The acidity helps create a better tasting glaze!  You dont actually taste the lemon AT ALL… it is purely used to counter all the sweet, sweet sugar!

This will outline and fill approximately one dozen cookies in one color.

(In the tutorial below, I will be making the recipe twice, or enough for two dozen)

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And here are the supplies. You can find most of these at your grocery store, however the coupler set and disposable pastry bags can be found at Michaels and Walmart.

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Place one cup of powder sugar in sifter. Try not to skip this step! Lumps in icing are hard to fix.

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Add one tablespoon milk, one tablespoon corn syrup, and one drop lemon juice.

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Mix everything together. This looks pretty dry still, so I am going to add a little more milk, about a teaspoon at a time.

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Much better. Still pretty think but perfect for outlining.

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Now remember these guys? You want to take the large piece in the coupler set and insert it into the bag. Really get it as far into the tip of the bag as you can without stretching the bag.

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Place bag into a tall glass.

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Pour icing into bag. When it is filled about half way just give your bag a twist, then put a rubber band on it so no icing can spill out the end.
Now put this bowl in the sink and rinse it out! Dried icing is a PAIN to clean up. :)

 

Next we are going to cut off the tip of the bag. Just cut straight across.

Place your decorating tip on bag, then place the ring of the coupler set on top of the decorating tip. Tightly screw it on and you are all set!


Before you start icing your cookie, just get a piece of wax paper or use a cookie sheet and practice using your icing bag. Practice making lines… dots… learning the texture and consistency of your icing and how it looks.

Then just start at any corner, apply light pressure to the bag, and begin slowly moving your tip down the side of your cookie.

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(sorry about the poor quality of these shots… it was REALLY hard to take a picture while icing!)

Its ok to have a little slack in your line… let the icing flow a bit!

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Just make your way around the cookie. If you make a wobbly line or have a ‘break’ in the line just wipe off the cookies and start over. Easy!

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Next you are going to want to ‘spill’ or ‘flood’ your cookie. So I made another batch of icing, the same way as before, only this time I added more milk to get a runnier consistency.

Once combined, run your spoon along the bottom of the bowl. You will want to be able to see the bottom of the bowl for at least a few seconds. If ten seconds pass and you can still see the bottom of the bowl you will need to add a little more milk.

 

Now grab another bag. Since I am just using this icing to flood the cookies, I am not going to use a coupler or decorating tip.

 

Just fill up the bag, twist it, and wrap a rubber band around the top. Then cut off the tip.

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When I flood I generally run a ribbon of icing around the edges then fill in the center a bit. If you flood your cookie completely, as in, have no dry space, there will be too much icing and it will overflow.

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Now we will go back in and smooth everything out.

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Just grab a toothpick and start moving the icing into the corners. Make sure you cover all the dry cookie!

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There will most likely be bubbles. Its a good idea to get rid of them if you can!

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Just use your toothpick as a spear an pop them. There! All gone.

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And here is the ‘finished’ cookie. I have finished in quotations, because now is when I normally start decorating!

Hope that answers any questions you may have about glaze icing!

Here are some examples of some decorated sugar cookies as well as some essential tips and tricks!

Christmas Cookies (and the best sugar cookie recipe ever)

Sugar Cookie Troubleshooting

How To Package and Ship Cookies

Ugly Sweater Christmas Cookies

Fathers Day Sugar Cookies

Its a Boy! (New Baby Cookies)

Rainbow Bus Cookies (VW Bus Cookies)

Peeking Baby Cookies

Sports Themed Wedding Cookies

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  1. Megan says

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!! This was just intime for me to do my son’s bday party cookies tonight! :) I made your icing last week from the recipe you had up, but the detail helps me out a million times more! I LOVE your blog! I will show you the cookies when im all through!

  2. Alicia says

    I really enjoyed this tutorial! I need to make a stop at Michael’s or WalMart for those little gadgets!!
    Thank you so much!

  3. says

    That seems like an awful lot of work for one little cookie! :) lol Was thinking of making Sugar cookies for Valentine’s Day today – may have to try your method – we will see how ambitious I am feeling! :) lol
    Have a great day!

  4. says

    I made your cookies last night for a valentine’s party at my son’s daycare. First off they are delicious. I started decorating all of the cookies after spilling the royal icing. But quickly lost patience with that…it’s a lot of work. I think I had my decorating batch a little to thin because it wasn’t working so well. But he ended up with heart shaped cookies covered in pink, red, or white icing. However, I look forward to playing around so more next time…when it’s not so late. Your cookies are beautiful and inspiring. Sorry about the long post.

  5. Kim S says

    Amanda, Thank you for saving the day. Now if I can only follow the directions correctly, Valentine’s Day may have cute cookies yet ;) ~Kim

  6. Casey says

    Oh please tell me you didn’t wash the icing out of that bowl!! Please tell me you cleaned the bowl with your finger first!! Umm… not that I would know anything about that. Cause I would neeeeevvveeeerrrr do something like that.
    Lovely tutorial. Now if I could just get someone to make me some… *ahem, cough cough*

  7. Katie says

    It’s great to see a recipe that doesn’t use meringue powder or egg whites. Sometimes I’d like to make cookies but am out of meringue powder and it’s hard to come by around here!

  8. Jana says

    Oh wow. Now I think I can try this and not be so intimidated by your wonderful creations. I *think* I can do this. Don’t have the tools on hand or else I’d do this for an open house on Sunday. :(

  9. says

    Yeah! I was just popping over to write down your recipe (AGAIN) because I’m about to make some Valentine’s cookies…your tutorial is perfect timing! Thanks!

  10. Janet Hanson says

    Yay, great tutorial! I think I might try to make cookies for a wedding shower next month…I’ve been elected to help with the food :) I used your method to make Halloween cookies, so maybe it will be a little easier this time around. And if they aren’t as beautiful as yours, then I’ll just have to eat them here at home!

  11. Lorie says

    I can’t even tell you how excited I am every time I get an email saying there is an update on your blog! I love EVERYTHING you post!!!
    I love the flooding method for decorating cookies, but your frosting recipe looks like it works better than my own. I am going to have to give it a try!

  12. says

    Wow. Seeing this tutorial makes me appreciate even more the beautiful pictures I’ve seen of your other finished cookies. You do this process for all of them! That’s amazing. Especially the toothpick part.
    Thanks for sharing!

  13. says

    I am cracking up because I made your cookies and icing today and I saw that there was an update, but didn’t have time to read it. Wishing I had read it first!
    But my family enjoyed the finished product. I love this tutorial, it really cleared up a few of the questions I had this evening making your cookies.
    Thanks again!

  14. says

    Your cookies and icing are beautiful!
    I was wondering what is the consistency used for decorating on top of the flooded icing? Not even sure if I asked that question correctly??
    Blessings,
    Suzanne :)

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