Thursday, December 28, 2017

Consistency Is Key

The greatest challenge for me as a novice cookie decorator is icing consistency.
I'm trying to be patient, I can still remember when buttercream icing consistency was a challenge and now I can make it in my sleep .
I tried quite a few Royal icing recipes and found Semi Sweet Mike's Royal Icing recipe to be the best tasting and easiest to work with.
In my quest for knowledge I kept seeing 5 second icing, 10 second icing, 20 second icing ....even with a visual that just didn't make sense to me. I judge my icing consistency by how it pours into the bottle. If it pours in easily it's too thin. If it gets stuck and clogs the bottle opening, it's too thick.
Today I created a quick YouTube tutorial that shows how to mix the icing and how thick and thin royal icing should be to decorate cookies.
I use the same consistency for both outlining and flooding and a thicker consistency for small details and writing.
You can use bottles or tipless bags. Both work great, it's just a matter of preference.


Troubleshooting:

  • Icing gets the dreaded air bubbles once it's on the cookie. -  Let it sit overnight before using.  For the random bubble pop with a scriber needle tool.
  • Icing is running over the side of your cookie. - It's too thin. Add more confectioners sugar and re-mix.
  • Icing has bumps and dimples. - It is too thick, add water . The best way is to use a spray bottle and mix after each spray.
  • Details are running together. The border of the first color is not dry enough. Allow each color / detail to dry at least 1 full hour or more before adding the next .
  • Icing won't come out of bottle. - Bottles get air bubbles. Remove the top and tap the bottle on the table until the bubble reaches the top and pops. Also check the tip for clogs.
My advice for beginners is just to be patient and if it doesn't come out right the first time, keep trying. It took me at least 10 batches of icing before I figured out the consistency that works for me.

Enjoy!