Are you new to decorating sugar cookies? You are not alone. Where do you start? Here’s how. Get some good cookie cutters in the shapes you want to make. Luckily, the list is endless these days. And if you can’t find what you want, you can buy a simple kit that will allow you to make your own cookie cutters in minutes.
Do you have a good, sturdy and delicious recipe for sugar cookies? If not, don’t worry. Do a Google search and you’ll find millions of sugar cookie recipes.
Once the cookies are baked and cooled, you’ll probably be standing in front of them thinking about how to make them look like the designer cookies you’ve seen in various bakeries, at a party, or online. If you opt for a quick and easy design, you can save yourself the stress and have fun decorating.
Make sugar cookies with fondant coating
To start decorating, use a food safe paint brush. Take some piping gel and place it in a small container. This is the “glue” between the fondant and the sugar cookie. Hold your cookie in one hand and lightly paint the inside of the cookie, leaving the edges clean. You should barely see the piping gel on your cookie. This is important because the fondant cutout is not as large as your sugar cookie. Set this cookie aside.
Before you roll out the fondant, make sure your entire work surface is clean. Have a white cotton cloth handy to clean your non-stick mat and rolling pin between color changes of fondant. Use a non-stick mat so the fondant doesn’t stick to the mat or warp when removed to place on the cookie. Do not use powdered sugar if your fondant sticks to the mat or rolling pin. Rather, use some Crisco on the rolling pin to alleviate this problem.
Start by rolling out the fondant in one direction, lift it completely off the mat, turn it 90 degrees, roll it, lift it and turn it 90 degrees, roll it, lift it and turn it 90 degrees until it reaches the desired thickness. A quarter inch (1/4″) thickness seems to be the standard, although some people use 1/18″ thickness. Find out what works best for your design.
Not sure which fondant to use? Try several brands, as they all taste different. Don’t like the taste? Add some of the concentrated flavors available at sweet shop or online. Choose a variety that suits your cookie taste. Fondant available at craft stores has improved, so try it out for your sugar cookies. Use coupons to save money. Need a lot of fondant? Buy the 5-pound container. Some companies offer fondant that pairs well with decorated sugar cookies. It comes in many different delicious color and flavor combinations. You can order samples online. Another company offers fondant in bold colors like purple, red, yellow or black, which is available at most pastry shops and online retailers.
Once you’ve rolled out the fondant, take the same cookie cutter you used to bake the cookies (make sure to clean it with a dry cloth) and cut out the fondant. The best technique to get a clean cookie cutter is to press firmly on the cutter, hold your hand all the way up, and then turn it slightly. I call this technique “press down and wiggle”. This clean cutting at the beginning saves time because you don’t have to remove the frayed edges. Remove the cookie cutter, lift the fondant cutout and place it on top of the piping gel covered cookie. Run your finger over the cookie, being careful not to press it down or leave fingerprints. Now you have a smooth surface on which to create your design.
Decorating is the best part! Use simple tools to get started and save time and money. The first set you should buy is the Designer Pattern Press Set. It is available at most craft stores. In this package you will find some very elegant presses. The symmetrical swirl, the small and large lilies, the corner ornament, the flower, the heart bow, the scroll and the scrolls. These presses can be used for cake decoration. Whether you want to decorate a wedding cake, a baby shower or any other cake, you