Okay so here we have my first ever cookie decorating tutorial for you. There's something about sitting down at the kitchen table, after little miss has gone too bed and whipping out my piping bag and decorating a batch of cookies that i find comforting and relaxing.
This is just a really simple but effective way of jazzing up those yummy cookies you have, that you'd like to look a little more impressive.
So when i was told of a rather early Christmas party with a certain group of lovely ladies, I thought 'Awesome' now I have a chance too practice my snowflake decoration before the Christmas boot sale in my town and not be left with a truck load of cookies to devour all by myself.
Yes, I probably could have managed it but it doesn't mean that I should! (Unfortunately)
The cookie i have used as the base is my gingerbread cookie (With the baking powder removed from the original recipe) but you can used a sugar cookie if you prefer, aslong as it can hold the royal icing and has a smooth surface your all good, but since it was a Christmas party I had to go for the gingerbread.
Also i did commit a little sin and use shop bought royal icing as time constraints only allowed this option but if you wish you can certainly make your own, I was just feeling damn lazy.
These cookies take a couple of days to decorate and that's only due to the drying time of the icing between certain steps but don't be put off, this just gives you 2 nights of cookie induced relaxation.
So here we go......
Step 1: In a bowl mix your royal icing with a little water and whatever colour you choose to use so that it is at a stiff consistency (but not so stiff that it won't come out of the piping bag) and pipe the outline of the cookie. I find it easier to have the nozzle a centimetre or so away from the cookie but do what ever feels comfortable. Make sure there are no gaps in the outline.
Step 2: If you are using the same colour on the inside as the outline of your cookie all you have to do is add a little more water to your bowl so you'll have a slightly softer consistency of royal icing but if you're using a different colour you'll have to mix up a new batch of icing. Now to flood the cookie. Pour a generous amount of your icing onto the cookie and give it gentle shake to get the icing to the edges, you can also use a toothpick if your icing needs a little extra help getting to the edges.
Step 3: Using a toothpick, pop any visible air bubbles or once the icing has dried you'll be left with little craters all over the surface of the icing and that's not the look we're going for. Now leave your cookies overnight to set, the longer you can leave them the better so i try to leave them for about 24 hours but you can let them set for as little as 8.
Step 4: Now the base icing has set it's time to work on the snowflake itself. Mix up another lot of stiff icing in whatever colour you choose and pipe on your snowflake design. Now you can either make this up as you go aslong as i did, or if you don't trust your imagination enough just pop a picture of a snowflake infront of you and copy it. The way i did it was just 2 lines of icing crossing over one another and then another 2 smaller lines of icing crossing through the centres of those lines, don't forget too add the extra little snowflake details or you'll just have a few lines on a cookie. Not as impressive.
Step 5: Now you can stop before this stage if you like but if you want to add further decoration you can, before the icing had dried i added some decorative balls. You can add a variety of sprinkles, lustre dusts or edible colour sprays. The only limit is your imagination. Once you have the look of cookie you like you'll have to leave them overnight again to set fully.
Here are a few pictures of my completed cookies as i tried a variety of decorations.