Follow a recipe and make some royal icing. (Krieg Barrie)

Follow a recipe and make some royal icing. (Krieg Barrie)

Put the icing in bags and snip off a tiny corner. (Krieg Barrie)

Put the icing in bags and snip off a tiny corner. (Krieg Barrie)

Make a sketch and practice your icing skills on paper. (Krieg Barrie)

Make a sketch and practice your icing skills on paper. (Krieg Barrie)

Pipe around the cookie’s edge. Then use thinner icing to flood the inside of the design. Don’t be afraid to mess up! (Krieg Barrie)

Pipe around the cookie’s edge. Then use thinner icing to flood the inside of the design. Don’t be afraid to mess up! (Krieg Barrie)

If you practice a lot, maybe someday you’ll be able to decorate cookies like Ms. PoÓr! (Mézesmanna)

If you practice a lot, maybe someday you’ll be able to decorate cookies like Ms. PoÓr! (Mézesmanna)

How To: Cookie Design

Posted: November 1, 2020

How many kinds of cookies can you make?

Sugar cookies. Peanut butter cookies. Whoopie pies. Sandwich cookies. Butter cookies. Pinwheel cookies. The classic chocolate chip. Cookies you cut out. Cookies you drop onto the pan by the doughy spoonful. Cookies you slice and bake.

The varieties seem endless! Throw on some glaze, a sprinkle of powdered sugar, a dab of frosting, and you’re good to go.

Or . . . you can buckle up and make Judit-PoÓr-level cookies. At least, you can try.

Start small. Begin with two bowls of royal icing. (Look up a recipe first. You’ll need powdered sugar and pasteurized egg whites or meringue powder.) Make one bowl of icing thick like toothpaste for piping around the edge of the cookie. Add extra egg whites to make the other icing a little thinner. The thin icing can fill in the cookie’s middle. That filling-in part is called “flooding.”

Want color? Split the frostings into more bowls and stir in food dye. Pour the colored icing into plastic bags (the kind with a zipper on top). Cut a tiny corner off each bag to squirt the icing through. And we mean a really tiny corner. The smaller the tip on your bag, the better you’ll be able to draw.

Practice! Use a pencil or crayon to sketch out some designs on a piece of paper. Trace your sketch with the frosting. Start with straight lines. Learn to maneuver the bag and turn. You can always scrape the frosting off, put it back in the bag, and try again.

Now you’re ready to get to work on the cookie itself. Treat your cookie like a coloring book. Pipe around the cookie’s edge. Then use the thinner icing to flood the inside of the design. Do this step quickly to keep the decoration smooth. Once you have a good coat of frosting on, let the cookie dry for at least an hour. (Twenty-four hours would be better and give the icing time to grow rock hard. But who can wait a whole day to decorate a cookie?)

After that, add your designs to the cookie. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. You can always eat them!