I have really been wanting to try decorating cookies with royal icing for a long time. I have seen so many absolutely beautiful cookies - works of art, that I probably couldn't eat and I wanted part of it. So I started off - somewhat optomistic. How hard could it be right? Well the process was harder than I thought and I had to keep reminding myself of one of my favorite quotes:
"If you're not failing, you're not trying hard enough."
Not sure who said it, but I love it. So I kept repeating that qoute in my head and referencing the amazing blogs that give instructions on how to decorate with royal icing.
So much to tell you...............
The Cookies. I used a sugar cookie recipe I found on Sweetopia's blog. I made the dough, refrigerated it and then got it out of the fridge to cut my shapes. The dough warms up very quickly and becomes very sticky. So sticky that I couldn't work with it and had to put it back into the fridge to try again later. I didn't like this - it is not what I am used to. The dough I grew up using wasn't sticky. But I had my dough so after many trips to the fridge and back my cookies were done. The cookies tasted excellent and I think with more time this dough could have worked better, but next time I might try a different recipe.
The Icing. I used a royal icing recipe I found on The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle's blog. I liked the recipe. Easy to make, thin out and color. I used disposable decorating bags and closed them with bands at the top. I had a wet paper towel at the bottom of a glass I was keeping the decorating bag in to help the icing not dry out. But I did run to the store and buy caps to cover the decorating tip to keep the icing from drying out. It was easier for me than using the glass.
I outlined my cookies first. I used a number 2 tip and then let the icing set for at least 15 minutes. Then I used the same tip to flood my cookies or fill the outline with icing. I liked using the same tip for both because it is easy!
I wanted the leaves to have more of a fall look so as soon as I flooded them with icing I put brown icing on top of the red or orange. Then I used a toothpick to drag lines thru the icing to give it more of a fall look. These cookies were inspired by Lizy B's Fall Cookies. I loved the look of hers, although she used two shades of brown I only used one. I was trying to keep it relatively uncomplicated for myself!
I like my final results although I am not sure they are "artwork"! I did pick up some important tips to remember for next time - which for me will probably be Christmas cookies!
1. Buy multiple tips so you don't have to keep washing them when you want to change colors. I bought three number 2 tips!
2. The tip closers are a life saver because you don't have to keep the wet paper towel at the bottom of your glass.
3. If you are just starting to decorate cookies with royal icing like me, start with only a few shapes of cookie and only a few colors of icing. It gets crazy quickly. I had also done moose and truck cookies. But those didn't turn out so great!
Hope you enjoy the cookies!! Most importantly they were yummy!!