Thursday, December 22, 2011

Tutorial: Flooding Cookies w. Royal Icing

Earlier this week I posted a tutorial on how to make royal icing. In this second part of the tutorial, I will show how to "flood" cookies using the royal icing.

The key to fun and easy cookie decorating (and clean up) is good preparation. Take the time to set up your icing colours, based on the design you're decorating. For my Christmas Cookies, I needed green, brown, red, and white.

Put a coupler and decorating tip into each bag (disposable or cloth) - one for each colour you need. Learn more about couplers and how to do this here. The more intricate the cookie you're decorating, the smaller the tip you'll want. For wider, less intricate cookies you can use a slightly larger tip.

While working, place the decorating bags into a glass with damp paper towel at the bottom. This will prevent the icing in your tips from drying out.

To fill the decorating bags:
  1. Fold down the open end of the bag either over the glass (as shown) or over your hand as you hold it.
  2. With a spatula or spoon, fill the bag with 1/2 - 3/4 cups icing. It's important to not overfill or it will be difficult to use and may be squeezed out of the top of the bag. In my case, I filled each bag only to the top of the cup line.
  3. Close the bag by unfolding and twisting it shut. I also recommend an elastic here, so that it's not as easy for the icing to be pushed upwards and make a mess.

Steps 1, 2, and 3
To flood a cookie:
  1. Outline the shape or area you'd like to fill. The idea is to create a dam that will contain the icing flood.
  2. Fill in the shape or area. If you're decorating large cookies, consider using a bowl of even more thinned out icing (3-6 seconds for a line to disappear) and a spoon to flood, which will be faster.
  3. Shake or tap the cookie lightly, to help the icing settle. Immediately pop any air bubbles with a toothpick. Make sure the inside of the dam is completely filled with icing.  
There you go! It's easy!

Know that you know how to flood, the possibilities are endless. Flood multiple sections of a cookie with different colours, add more layers of colour on top (once the first layer is dry) or integrate colours by adding them while still wet, like my halloween spiderweb cookies:

I flooded circle cookies in white and using a very small tip immediately drew a spiral in black.
I dragged a toothpick through the design to make the web effect.  

Stay tuned for photos of a post of my christmas cookies, which will give some examples of how using royal icing and flooding can create some fun and beautiful designs. 

Happy Decorating!

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