Jun 6, 2011

Basic Icing Tutorial

I've had quite a few requests the last two weeks for a tutorial on how to use glaze icing for cookies. Please keep in mind that this is not the only way to go about glazing, it's just my way of glazing.

What you'll need:

Powdered Sugar
Lemon Juice (IF you are using lemon flavoring)
Light Corn Syrup
Icing Tip #2, #3, #5
Disposable Icing Bags
Squeeze Bottles (optional)
Popsicle Sticks/Toothpicks

Sorry, I forgot to put everything in the picture. I realized that after I was elbow deep in sticky icing. 

So I’ll own up. I’m a bit of a junkie. My husband teases me about my cache of decorating materials on almost a daily basis. But hey, every girl needs an outlet, right? 

I keep all of my materials, popsicle sticks, cutters, sprinkles, muffin cups, couplers, food coloring, you name it, in my "decorating drawer." And the rest either goes into the cupboard with the vanilla and baking soda and stuff, or into my decorating tackle box.

You read right. Tackle Box.

Now that we have successfully established that I'm a nut, we can start the tutorial :)

We're going to use my Glaze Icing Recipe from the Lemonade Cookies for this. Now, like I mentioned above, if you aren't using lemon flavoring then replace the lemon juice with more water, or milk.

Glaze Icing Recipe
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 lb powdered sugar (about 4 cups)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon extract or baking emulsion

Mix together in a medium mixing bowl. Make sure you use a whisk to mix the ingredients together, or you'll be stuck with lumpy icing. Yuck. 

Add either powdered sugar or water until your icing fits the "10 second rule." Dip your finger into to bowl and make a peak. It should take 10 seconds to even out with the rest of the icing. If it takes longer, add water. If it is shorter, add more powdered sugar. Use the same consistency both for detailing and flooding.

Next, when you are adding food coloring, a little goes a loooong way. Especially if you are using Wilton's gel coloring, or AmeriColor's soft gel paste. Start out with just one drop or dip into the pot with a posicle stick and see what that does. It's a lot easier to darken your icing than it is to lighten.

Once you've got the color to your liking, set up a piping bag with a coupler and a tip. Fill it with white icing (or whatever outline color you want.) Then fill either a squeeze bottle or another piping bag (with tip #5) with your flooding color. I like the squeeze bottles because they're a lot less messy, and they have a tip that works great for both flooding and outlining. Also, I use bag clips to close up my bags so I don't leak out of the tops. 

Once you've got your icing all set up, I definitely recommend getting your mixing bowls into the sink to soak. You don't want to go back 2 hours later to wash your bowls and have to fight with them.

Step One: Set out your cookies.

Make sure you have plenty of counter space, and space between your cookies.

Step Two: Outline
For new decorators I wouldn't recommend trying to work more than two cookies at a time until you get the hang of it. Even for experienced decorators, it's best to do tops 5 cookies at a time.
I wanted my cookie to be all blue, so I didn't outline in white. The steps are the same for outlining in a different color.

Step Three: Flood
When you're flooding your cookie, don't worry about getting it perfect and smooth at first. You'll spread it all out so all you need to do is put some lines of icing to start. 
Wait about 30 seconds if you want your border and flood icing to blend. If not, wait closer to 5 minutes. You can either use toothpicks to spread the icing around, or use the tip of your bag or bottle. Make sure you wipe off the tips after each cookie.

Once you have spread the icing around let it sit about 30 seconds and then pop any bubbles that rise to the surface with a toothpick.

Step Four: Detail
If you want nice smooth details on your cookie, you want to add them while the flood icing is still wet. Using your detail color, and the smallest tip you have (the icing will spread a lot), add your details.
They'll start off a little raised and gradually even out with the rest of the icing.

Make sure you let the cookies dry for at least 8 hours, if not overnight, before you stack them.

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