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Christmas cookie decorating 101 - cooking-tips

 

Many bakers ask for tips and directives on decorating cookies. Well that's a tall order for the reason that there are as many ways to award cookies as there are cookies! Here are a few guidelines for novices and skilled bakers alike to help you engender your own ideas for cooking decorating.

DECORATING COOKIES Ahead of BAKING

Cookies can be bedecked ahead of baking with equipment that endure the heat of baking. Some belongings that you can place on your cookies already baking are:

-colored sugars or actual sugars such as pearl sugar
-jimmies, non-pareils, silver and gold dragées, and other sprinkles
-raisins and dried fruits such as cranberries
-nuts

These items can be positioned on top of more or less any cookie to dress it up a bit and give it a more celebratory appearance.

Paint a masterpiece
You can also paint your cookies beforehand baking them. Make an not poisonous food paint out of an egg yolk mixed with a few drops of food pallor and paint the cookies with a clean paintbrush. The paint will dry while baking and give the cookie a colorful, faraway appearance. This is a fun bustle for kids!

A bit of trompe l'oeil
The folks at Beat Homes and Gardens have a creative recipe for Painted Cream Dough ( http://www. bhg. com/bhg/story. jhtml?page=2&storyid=%2Ftemplatedata%2Fbhg%2Fstory%2Fdata%2F11429. xml&catref=SC1407 ) which is a dough of frosting constancy that can be piped onto cookies with a tartlet bag built-in with a copy or star tip, and then baked. The consequence is a cookie that looks like it has been frozen but the frosting is baked on and hard.

DECORATING COOKIES AFTER BAKING

Decorating cookies after baking them requires that you apply some kind of liquid-based substance that will adhere to the baked cookie, or that will act as a glue to affix other items. Usually, this takes the form of frosting, icing, or melted chocolate.

Frosting vs. Icing
There is a big alteration connecting frosting and icing. Frosting is thick and holds shapes like rosettes and shells like those you see piped about the edges of a birthday cake. It corpse soft to the touch and has a buttery texture, and most citizens think it tastes change for the better since of the buttery creamy flavor. Icing, on the other hand, is a thinner, more liquid substance, and as it dries it thins out, becomes very downy diagonally the ascend of your cookie, and hardens. This is the icing to use for the most beautiful, expert results.

Working with frosting
You can use frosting in two ways. One way is to basically use a knife or rubber spatula to allot the frosting crossways the whole appear of your cookie. The other way is to place the frosting in a tartlet or decorating bag integral with a small tip and piping out thin lines or rosettes of icing onto the cookie. Also way, once the frosting has been functional to the cookie you can then auxiliary adorn it by using dyed sugars, non-pareils, or any of the decorating items mentioned in the Decorating Ahead of Baking division above. Christmas-Cookies. com has a delicious recipe for Buttercream Frosting at http://www. christmas-cookies. com/recipes/recipe. php?recid=306. See full directions on piping frosting from Beat Homes and Gardens at http://www. bhg. com/bhg/story. jhtml?page=3&storyid=%2Ftemplatedata%2Fbhg%2Fstory%2Fdata%2F11430. xml&catref=SC1407

Working with icing
Icing is a a small amount more awkward to work with but its charming become known produces the most exquisite results! Icing ought to all the time be piped onto a cookie since it will run off the edges if broaden with a knife. Once iced you can apply silver dragées, or other sprinkles just as mentioned with the frosting above, beforehand it hardens. Christmas-Cookies. com has an first-rate recipe for Royal Icing at http://www. christmas-cookies. com/recipes/recipe. php?recid=42. There is also a recipe for Milled Sugar Icing ( http://www. christmas-cookies. com/recipes/recipe. php?recid=288 ) that dries less hard than Royal Icing and has a shiny surface. Martha Stewart's website skin an first-rate critique on how to pipe icing onto cookies for professional-looking domino effect ( http://www. marthastewart. com/page. jhtml?type=content&id=channel172011&catid=cat258 ).

Melted chocolate
Just about any cookie can be blown up basically by falling it in chocolate or damp chocolate over it. You can even dress up the everyday chocolate chip cookie for gift-giving or plateful at parties. Melting chocolate is a clean process, but a few rules must be followed in order to make it a success. For Easter, try using white chocolate highlighted in muted shades with food coloring. Use the gel, paste or milled kind of food color, as the liquid drops may make the chocolate seize up.

What you need
You can both use chocolate chips or baking chocolate (the kind that comes in 1-ounce squares) and the same administer applies whether you use dark chocolate or white chocolate. A small total of shortening must be added at the ratio of 2 tablespoons shortening for 1 cup of chocolate chips or chopped up baking chocolate.

Double boiler
Place chocolate and shortening in the top half of a alter ego tank or in a metal bowl that has been positioned on top of a pan crammed with hot water. The water must be very hot, but not boiling, as the steam generated by boiling water could get dampness into the melting chocolate which makes it curdle. Allow the chocolate to melt over the hot water and stir it rarely until it has achieved a liquid consistency.

Microwave
Place your chocolate and shortening in a microwave safe bowl and microwave it on form power for 1 minute. Stir. Carry on microwaving 20 seconds, stir again. Keep doing this until the chocolate is more or less melted. Cut off it from the microwave and stir it until finally melted.

Dipping
Dip one end of your cookie, or half the cookie, or even the whole cookie into the melted chocolate. Set the cookie on a wire rack to let the chocolate harden. If you wish, you can dash chopped nuts, coconut, or non-pareils over the melted chocolate beforehand it hardens.

Drizzling
Scrape melted chocolate into a ziplock baggie. With a sharp scissors, snip off a very small bend of the baggie. Drip top of cookies with zig-zags of melted chocolate. Cool until chocolate is set.

Using these austere techniques will help you churn out a array of beautiful-looking cookies at Christmastime and during the year.

Copyright 2004 Mimi Cummins. All Human rights Reserved.

Mimi Cummins is co-author of the book "Christmas Cookies Are for Giving: Recipes, Stories, and Tips for Creation Gratifying Gifts. " This book, "enthusiastically recommended" by Midwest Book Review, is full of baking tips and hints, together with just about 50 recipes each with a full-color photo. For more in sequence visit http://www. christmascookiesareforgiving. com/ or order from your beloved online bookstore.

[Note to webmasters: you may consist of a link to the book using your belong to code (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or other) if you wish. ]


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