Five Cookie Decorating Tips By Isabel espinosa and ava Millman

Use these five tricks to step up your cookie game for show-stopping decorated sugar cookies this holiday season.

When you fill a piping bag, place the empty bag, with your desired piping tip, into an empty glass and scoop your icing into the bag. If you do not have piping bags, a plastic bag will work just as well; all you need to do is turn the bag on its side and place the piping tip in the corner of the bag.

To improve the details on your cookies hold your piping bag at the top, apply pressure with your dominant hand until the icing comes out and use your non-dominant hand to guide the icing through the design.

Treat each cookie like it has its own personality; use different designs on each one. If one does not turn out how you imagined, just remember that it still tastes good and try something new on the next one!

When preparing your icing, make a large batch of white icing and then separate into several different containers. Dye each container a different color, this will give your cookies an extra dimension and make the details pop! When dyeing your icings we recommend you use gel food coloring over liquid food coloring, this will give you more control of your icing color and keep the icing from getting runny.

If you are decorating your cookies using royal icing, try using a flooding technique. To do this just pipe a solid line around the edge of your cookie and then flood the shape using a thinner icing. Finally, use a toothpick to spread the icing into any remaining gaps or bubbles.

For the perfect royal icing, we use the following recipe:


  • 3 ounces pasteurized egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar


Pour egg whites and vanilla into a large bowl, then beat with a mixer until light and frothy. Decrease the speed of your mixer to ‘low’ and gradually add the confectioners’ sugar until it is completely incorporated and the mixture looks shiny. Turn the speed of your mixer to ‘high’ and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form — about five to seven minutes. Finally, dye your icing and fill your piping bags.


Isabel Espinosa

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