Top 5 Must-Have Tools for Sugar Cookie Making

Ever been curious to know what I use to create my fun sugar cookies that you see in featured posts and Instagram? I’ve learned a lot throughout the years and figured out which items are worth keeping in your tool box and what ones just aren’t worth the investment.

You might call me an old school cookie gal, as I keep things pretty simple around here. I free hand all of my work and have (so far) skipped on the airbrush kits and image projectors. Not to say that I don’t absolutely PRAISE the cookiers that do use these techniques; I’m just a busy gal with projects that don’t necessarily call for these tools. I like to refer those specialized projects to the pros!

Anyway, I thought I’d share with you my top 5 must-have tools for cookie making here. These are the items that I cannot live without and is the reason why I can create the kind of cookies I do!

Here we go!

1. Tipless Piping Bags.

These babies are a game changer for me! Tipless piping bags allow me to use different consistences of royal icing without the need of a piping tip & coupler. Simply snip the tip the desired size and pipe away! Icing squeezes out in a nice circular fashion and best of all, no cleaning of any tips! If you do need to use a tip for more detailed work, you can still use these bags and plop one right in.

2. Scribing Tool.

 

The scribing tool is perfect for pushing around those little gaps of icing when you flood your cookie. It’s also great for popping any air bubbles and cleaning out any dried up piping tips LOL! You can always use a toothpick, but I do find after a while that you need to continuously replace it because it can get gummed up with icing. You can also use it to achieve some wet on wet icing techniques like roses, hearts, leaves and swirls!

3. Edible Markers.


Edible markers are a great way to add those little finishing touches to a cookie. Whiskers, eyelashes and wording are just some of the ways you can use them! I also like to outline designs onto a cookie with the yellow marker. It’s noticeable enough for you to trace along with icing yet discreet so it doesn’t bleed through your icing.

4. Basic Cookie Cutters.

You can never go wrong with a set of circle, square and heart shaped cookie cutters. I don’t know how many times I’ve transformed a custom or themed cookie design into one that can be created with a circle, square or heart. There’s something to be said for thinking outside the box sometimes! (Have you seen the heart shaped ninja turtle cookies I recreated? So fun!)

5. Brush Set.

A multi-sized brush set is great for painting on watercolour style images onto royal icing, dusting some edible shimmer dust or painting on gold details. Channel your inner Bob Ross like I did here, and paint some happy trees!

Well there you have it! I hope I’ve inspired you to up your cookie decorating game!

If you are interested in learning more, there are only TWO spaces left for my cookie decorating class next month! Click here to snap them up!

‘Til next time!

Xo, Izabela

 

 

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Make it! Captain America Cookies

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I had such a great time creating these Captain American themed sugar cookies for a birthday order this past weekend! It was such a fun and relatively easy project that I thought I’d share with you how to make them!

I am, what some might call “old school” LOL in that I don’t own a projector of any kind that transfers an image onto a cookie so that you can easily pipe a design right on to it. I love the look that it achieves yet I can’t bring myself to spend the money on one..but that’s for another post sometime!

Here’s what you need to get started:

  • outline consistency royal icing
    • white & red
  • flood consistency royal icing
    • blue
  • scribing tool
  • wax paper
  • pre-printed Captain America shield (just google one and size it to your preferred size)

supplies

Start by cutting up some wax paper squares that are big enough to fit the star in the center of the shield plus a little extra. Place a square on top of your shield “stencil”. With your outline-consistency royal icing in a piping bag fitted with a size 2 tip, pipe a blob onto the center of the star. Use the scribing tool to carefully pull the royal icing into the 5 points of the star, taking care to ensure there is a substantial amount of icing at each tip to prevent breakage when removing. Be sure to make a lot of extras as you will come across some breakage and it’s always best to be prepared for these!

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Allow these stars to dry for about one hour to ensure they have hardened and will peel back easily. While those are drying, cut up some larger squares that will fit the outer shield design. Place the wax paper over the stencil and start with the two red circles and finish off with the white circle in the center. This will allow you to make any corrections if you went over the lines with the red icing. Once again, make a couple of extras in case there is breakage.

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Allow these rings to dry for about 1-2 hours. Using a consistency of royal icing that is slightly thinner than outline consistency, pipe a circle onto the sugar cookie. This will serve as the “glue” to secure the ring to.

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To remove the royal icing transfers, simply (and gently) peel back the wax paper from the royal icing. I found it best to work my way around the transfer so that I didn’t apply too much force to any side of the circle. Once removed, place it on top of the cookie and with your fingers, carefully press down with a little wiggle to ensure the “glue” has fully adhered to the ring. If some of the glue oozes out, simply use your scribing tool to scrape off any excess.

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Finally, with flood consistency royal icing, pipe the blue center of the shield onto the cookie. From there, remove the wax paper from a star that you piped earlier and gently place it onto the center, using your scribing tool to guide it so that it’s centered. Apply light pressure to the star to ensure each point is almost completely touching the wet blue icing for maximum adhesion. It’s not going to be exactly flat, but I don’t think theres a way around it!

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Allow cookies to dry for 2-3 hours before transferring into bags.

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Voila! Captain America shield cookies! I hope you’ve enjoyed learning how to make royal icing transfers! ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy decorating!

 

Pretty Kitty Party

Last week I had the pleasure of creating a lovely kitty cake and matching cookies for a “purr-fect” birthday party celebrating a sweet little girl.

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The ever-popular and sassy closed-eye kitty cat took the main stage for the look of the desserts and I was super excited to hop on board with it! I mean who doesn’t love some pretty lashes, right?!

The cake I created was inspired by local fellow baker Lindsay of @cococakeland from Vancouver, BC. Her fuzzy piped animal cakes are totally adorable and I was pleased how mine turned out!

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Using Wilton tip #233, I started piping the “fur” of the cat one vertical row at a time, starting from the bottom and working my way to the top. Practicing on a scrap piece of wax paper is helpful to determine the right amount of pressure needed to achieve the short “hairs”.
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(photo cred: What Dreams May Become)

One thing I realized almost immediately is that you need to work very quickly with the icing in the piping bag because once your buttercream becomes too soft, you don’t achieve those defined hairs -they end up smooshing together. To prevent the melting, I placed my bowl of buttercream in the fridge (only while I was piping) so that it would only warm up to room temperature while in the piping bag. Success!

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(photo credit: What Dreams May Become)

The sugar cookies were just too cute I almost couldn’t handle them. Pretty kitties with floral crowns?! Come on!! After outlining and flooding the kitty and heart shaped cookies with white royal icing, I used my favorite baby star tip (Wilton #16) to create the rosettes in dusty rose (also my fave color!). I left some spaces between the rosettes so that I could add in the green leaves (Wilton #352). My favorite color to use for green as of late is avocado as I think you can achieve a really nice light mossy/sage-y green if you add just the right amount.

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In order to draw on the face of the kitty onto the cookies, the royal icing had to be dried for several hours. I used a black fine tipped edible marker to draw on the lashes, whiskers and mouth. They’re not pictured, but the heart shaped cookies had the birthday girls’ name written on it in the same edible marker. Such a lovely way to make a cookie personal!

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Michele of What Dreams May Become sure knows how to throw a lovely party and she’s blogged all about it here! Check out the dreamy photos of the party along with the fun DIY projects she incorporated to make this birthday extra special!

 

 

And the award goes to..

This time of year always marks two things: New Years resolution checks and the Oscars!

While I hope all of your are still on track with this years goals I’ve got a little sweet treat that you can make to reward yourself AND eat while you’re judging the best and worst dressed on the red carpet this year!

The Academy Awards is one of my favourite things to watch as I love rooting for actors or movies that I’ve seen -or I learn about movies that I WANT to watch. (maternity leave kinda leaves you in a bit of a bubble LOL)

Here are some adorable sugar cookies you can bring to your Oscar themed party this weekend or just to nibble on at home!

Start off with my fave cookie recipe. Remember to add one less teaspoon of baking powder so your cookies don’t puff up too much! Using your award cookie cutter, cut out your shapes, bake and cook to room temperature.

In another bowl combine 2 cups of icing sugar, 2 tbsp of meringue powder, a splash of vanilla extract and water a few teaspoons at a time until you reach a thick ribbon consistency.

Separate your icing into 2 bowls. Using a couple drops of gold food colorย dye one bowl gold and the other black.

Sometimes I like to trace out my design so it’s easier to pipe it out with icing. I use an edible marker in yellow so that it’s easily hidden. Don’t use black or it could bleed through your royal icing!

I love using tipless bags for projects like this and I’m working on getting some custom ones to sell in my upcoming shop. Stay tuned!

Begin by piping the black “stand” first so that it sets and the gold crystal sugar doesn’t adhere to it. Allow the black icing to set for a couple minutes before piping the gold.

Once the black is dry to the touch, set up a sanding station so that once you’ve piped the gold icing you’re ready to sand the gold crystals. Once the gold icing is covered in crystals, allow to dry for a couple hours in a room temperature set room. A small fan at low speed can help if you’re in a hurry!

For a more sophisticated look you can brush some edible gold dust onto the cookies! To do this you need to allow your gold icing to set for a couple hours so that it’s at least dry to the touch. Make sure that the labels on the gold dust you are using specifically say “edible” and not just “non-toxic” as it’s not necessarily intended for consumption. Safety first!

And there you have it! I hope you try making these this weekend, if you need to pick up supplies to make them, you can find everything you need locally here.

Happy Oscars weekend!

Kitty Cookie Pops

Last month, I had the pleasure of contributing to a black and white kitty themed birthday party for Codi Lynn of Creative Wife and Joyful Worker‘s daughter Sophie!

Codi Lynn requested some cookie pops to go with her monochromatic theme and I was more than happy to replicate a design she had created.

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Starting with my classic sugar cookie recipe, I cut out circles using a plastic cup that was the perfect size. I then used Wilton’s lollipop sticksย and placed them onto the centre of the cookie. With a small piece of cookie dough, I “glued” the stick on by securing a piece of cookie dough on top, then placed the cookies onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

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Once out of the oven, I used my fondant smoother to gently press down any imperfections on the surface of the cookie before decorating with royal icing.

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The great thing about the lollipop sticks is that they can go in the oven without the concern of burning or changing color. To keep with the black and white theme, I cut into paper straws and created a “sleeve” to hide the white sticks. The paper straws were slightly longer so I did have to trim the bottoms so they were a perfect fit. Imagine the possibilities with different coloured straws and treats on a stick!

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Codi Lynn wanted a black kitty silhouette, a polka dotted and number 3 cookie for her daughter’s guests and I think they turned out so darling!

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What an adorable little party! It’s been featured over on 100ย Layerย Cakelet today! Be sure to ย check out the full article with all the details!

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Photos from party by Julie Christine Photography

Xo,

Jzabela

Swan Lake


A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of collaborating with Carmen from Little and Livelyย for her sweet daughter’s birthday.

Carmen came to me with a lovely vision: a Swan Lake ballerina party! The soft color palette she chose and the inspiration she shared couldn’t have been more perfect.


So off I went to design some soft pink meringues, swan shaped sugar cookies, a darling doll cake with a frilly white dress and cupcakes.

For the mini cupcakes, I used a 1M tip. Some may think it’s too big for such a small cupcake but I love the big swirl it gives! I finished them off with gold sanding crystals for that touch of sparkle.


I used a heart shaped cookie cutter for the swans and then used edible marker to draw the swan onto the cookie before I began piping. I also used the brush embroidery technique to get a feathered look on the wings. Don’t they look adorable!


For the meringues I used my trusty 1E star piping tip to achieve those whimsical puffs of deliciousness!


Finally, to decorate the doll cake, I used Wilton’s 104 petal tip to create the ruffles in buttercream.ย 


The birthday girl looked like she had a wonderful time and I hope the guests enjoyed the treats!

Special thanks to Jayme Anne Photography for the darling photos!ย 

Xo,

Jzabela

The Cake Mama

Ps. To read about the details of the party itself, pop over here!