there a good recipe for cutout cookies?
Cutout cookies require a recipe that has very little
"spread". You want that Christmas tree or fire truck to
look like a Christmas tree or a fire truck. I've tried lots of
recipes but my favorite is my No
Fail Sugar Cookie Recipe. It holds it shape for even the most
there any secrets for baking cutout cookies?
Baking great cutout cookies is not rocket science but it can be
frustrating for beginners. I've put together an entire page on
mixing and rolling cutout cookies. Click
Here to find it.
do I get my cookies even when I roll them out?
Getting your cookies even is important when you are baking.
Uneven cookies will bake unevenly. There are two really cool
products that will guarantee that your cookies are perfect! Check
out the Dobord --
my personal favorite and the Accu-rolling
pin which is also great (I just got used to my dobord).
are my cookies getting bubbles when I bake them?
If your cookies are looking like air bubbles are forming inside them
while they are baking chances are your oven isn't hot enough. This
frequently happens to even experienced bakers during their first batch
-- they forgot to let the oven warm up long enough. Allow your
oven at least a half hour to preheat. Don't rely on the oven
sensor. If your second or third batch produce the same results you
might invest in an oven thermometer to check the internal temperature of
your oven. Adjust your oven temperature setting accordingly.
do I keep my cookies from breaking when I move them to the cooling rack?
Most cookie breakage is due to moving them from the baking sheet to
the cooling rack too soon. Remove your cookies from the oven when you
just begin to see the tiniest bit of brown on the edge of one of the
cookies in the back of the oven. Set the baking sheet on the
counter and leave it alone for 5 minutes. The cookies will
finish baking and begin to cool. The cooling will allow the dough
to contract making your cookies sturdier when you do move them to the
Do you have a good recipe for buttercream icing?
Yes! Check out the page I put
together on Buttercream
Icing. If you'd rather avoid the mess, check out Dixie's
Whipped Icing. All the work is done for you and it is a
perfect piping consistency.
How do you make
Royal icing is what has been used on most of
the cookies you see on Kitchen Collectables' web pages. It dries
hard and can be frozen -- unlike buttercream. I have three recipes
for you for Royal
should I use royal icing instead of buttercream?
As Julia Child frequently said, "Everything tastes better with
butter!" That aside, royal icing is much more versatile
than it's buttery counterpart. If you add flavoring such as vanilla,
almond, lemon etc. royal icing tastes pretty darn good!
Royal icing hardens so that you can stack your cookies for
storage. Cookies iced with royal icing can be frozen without the
icing separating. Royal icing keeps for up to two weeks so you can
make it ahead of time -- frequently recommended if you are making dark
colors. Royal icing can be thinned to a flow consistency so you
can create smooth finishes on your cookies. Check out these two
pages that I put together on using royal icing to decorate
do I know my royal icing is the right consistency?
Consistency is everything with royal icing. Making your base
consistency -- see the recipes on the Royal
Icing Recipe page -- and then work from there. Practice make
perfect. For flow consistency icing, the icing you'll use to coat
your cookies, you'll want your icing to be the consistency of
heavy cream. Here's a good test -- take a small teaspoon of icing
and drop it onto a sheet of waxed paper. Count to ten. The
icing should flow, flatten and stop creating a quarter sized circle
within that time. It should be smooth. If it isn't, add a
drop of water at a time until you get it there. If the circle is
bigger than that you may need to thicken your icing with a little
confectioner's sugar. The icing that you use to add decorations to
your cookies will be slightly to a lot thicker than the flow
consistency. Again, practice until you get it where you want it.
Practice on waxed paper before you start on your cookies. Royal
icing is VERY forgiving.
long do I need to let my cookies iced with royal icing dry?
Royal icing is funny. If you put it into a pastry bag it will
dry in the tip within seconds. If you leave a bowl of it,
unsealed, on the counter it will dry within minutes. But, once you
put it on the cookie it needs 8 to 12 hours to dry completely.
This may cause you concern that your cookies will be stale, but trust me
on this, there is enough moisture in that icing to keep your cookies
fresh. Once you put the base icing on you can safely add details
within a hour or so.
do I make red icing?
Red icing can be tricky to make. Many professional decorators
avoid it because it is kind of a pain. To make red icing you need
to plan ahead. You'll need to make it at least one or better yet,
two days in advance. If you try to make it the day you need it
you'll either (a) not be able to get it dark enough, or (b) you'll add
so much food coloring that it will turn blotchy after it dries on the
cookies. To make red icing, take the amount of royal icing you
anticipate you'll need -- maybe a little more just to be safe -- and add
food coloring -- I like our
gel colors -- to get it to a nice dark pink. Now, put it away
for two days. It will darken over time. When I make red
icing I use maraschino cherry juice instead of water as my liquid and
almond flavoring. This takes the icing to a nice pink and it
tastes good. Then I add enough gel color to get my dark pink
icing. After two days I have a dark red icing.
do I make black or brown icing?
This is definitely a frequently asked
question. I've done a whole page on this for you. Go
I freeze my cookies? Can I freeze my iced cookies?
Yes! You can freeze uniced cookies or cookies iced with royal
icing. Make sure your cookies are stored in an air tight
container. When removing them from the freezer do NOT open the
container until the cookies are back up to room temperature. This
will prevent condensation on the cookies. How long? This
depends on your thoughts on how long you like to leave things in the
freezer. Stored in an airtight container I'd say up to a
month. If your life is so busy that you need to make the cookies
more in advance than that you definitely need to slow down a bit.
far ahead can I make/decorate my cookies?
If you are freezing them, see the question above. If you don't
want to freeze them or you have used buttercream icing I'd say two to
three days. Keep them tightly sealed in the meantime.
I package my decorated cookies to mail them?
Carefully! If your cookies are decorated you'll want to take
special care to see that they arrive at their destination safely.
Bag each cookie individually. At your local UPS store or similar
packaging/shipping store purchase some thin bubble wrap. Wrap each
cookie in bubble wrap. Put the cookies in a box lined with peanuts
or bigger bubble wrap. Pray. If you are shipping a large quantity
of decorated cookies you might consider talking your local pizza shop
into giving or selling you pizza boxes. Wrap the cookies as we did
above and put the pizza boxes into large boxes with tons of
do I make cookie bouquets?
I got so tired of answering this question I did an entire web page on
it. Go to: www.kitchengifts.com/makingcookiebouquets.html
Ever since we were little we have all loved to decorate our cookies
with those little gold and silver balls. (They
now come in pearl and pastel as well) Are they edible?
This depends on who you ask. According to the FDA, no. In
Europe, yes. In our newsgroup we have discussed this question
quite a bit. We pretty much agree that as kids we all ate them and
didn't get sick. We also agree that we probably wouldn't recommend
that anyone eat them. Use them to decorate and then pick them off
-- it will save your teeth.
causes air bubbles in my icing?
Air. Are you mixing your icing with an electric mixer? If you
have a free standing mixer use the paddle, not the whip. When your
icing is mixed, tip the bowl to a 45 degree angle, take a large spatula
and stir it slowly in a back and forth motion. This should
eliminate most of the bubbles. When you add the liquid to create
your flow consistency icing let the icing sit, well sealed, for an hour
or so. If a pesky bubble shows up on your cookie, take a tooth
pick and pop it.
causes blotchy icing?
Blotchy icing is a phenomena that occurs after the icing is dried and
could be caused by several things. Here are some things to
consider. First, did any oil come in contact with the icing?
This could cause your icing to separate. Second, occasionally oil
from the cookies leeches up into the icing. Putting on very thin
coat of royal icing -- a glaze coat -- and letting it dry before adding
the icing may help to seal the icing. Third, did you use more food
coloring than you needed? Dark colors are more prone to this than
other colors and we suspect that this may be an issue. See "How
to Make Red Icing" above. Fourth, was your flow icing thin
enough to flow but not too thin? Too much liquid may be a
factor. Finally, humidity affects icing. Try to keep your
cookies in a cool dry place while they are drying. Hope this
How do I add sparkling sugar to iced cookies so that it sticks?
This question has been asked so often that it too merited it's own
web page. Go to: http://www.kitchengifts.com/usingsugar.html
I want to pipe designs on my cookies. How do I know which
decorating tip to use?
Good question. Check out: http://www.kitchengifts.com/decoratingtubes.html
want to color my icing but I can't find the color I need?
Creating custom icing colors is fairly simple. Check out this
chart for creating custom colors. http://www.kitchengifts.com/colorchart.html