Decorated cookies are one of those subtle ways to honor any kind of event: a holiday party, a bridal shower, and even a birthday. Regardless of whether you're preparing cookies for an event or just looking for a kid-friendly activity, can be fun — but a little difficult considering the cookie's size. When it comes to keeping that icing in control, try using a squeeze bottle instead of a piping bag or plastic bag.
While cutting the corner off of the plastic bag is an option, a squeeze bottle offers much more control over how much icing can flow. The more you squeeze it, the more icing will be released, but if you don't squeeze it all, the icing remains in the bottle; you don't have to stress about it going all over the place. Plus, controlling how much icing is released makes for neater, more precisely decorated cookies and can allow you to create more complex designs without necessarily having the skills of an artist.
The process is simple: Just add your favorite icing to a clean squeeze bottle and get to decorating. This method is especially great if young kids will be decorating the cookies, since this type of bottle tends to leak less than a traditional piping bag.
For cookie decorating, you'll probably want to use royal icing. It's easy to make yourself using just egg whites and powdered sugar; you can also use pasteurized egg whites or meringue powder to avoid any risk of . This type of icing is smooth, easy to use, and will become hard when it dries, which will help set your design. You can also use a store-bought cake icing for ease, but you might want to add just a small amount of water to thin it out and make it easier to squeeze. Once you're done decorating the cookies, just rinse the squeeze bottles out; they should be dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup.
If you want to make the nicest design, you will most likely want to use . Since they don't have any add-ins like oats or nuts, they are smooth cookies, so they have a perfect decorating surface. Plus, they're mild in flavor, so the sweetness of the icing will get to shine. Since sugar cookies don't have any chocolate chips or other toppings that could melt, they also maintain their shape while baking.
To make the cookie decorating process even easier, you can purchase break-and-bake or slice-and-bake cookies from the grocery store, which are pre-made. This is a great idea if you're using cookie decorating as an activity for young kids; it saves the baking step and prevents a messy kitchen. Whatever style of cookie you're using, make sure to the cookies cool completely on a baking rack (this will take at least 30 minutes) before you start decorating to avoid melting the icing.