What Are Some Easy Cookie Decorating Ideas? | Dear Test Kitchen

can also get out some anger managementthis is one of my favorite things to dowelcome to the food 52 Test Kitchen myname is Josh on the Test Kitchendirector here today we're talking aboutcookies we're talking about decoratingand making cookies tastes even betterthan they look with us in the kitchentoday is Erin McDowell hey she is ourat-large pastry expert gonna be doingall things cookie decorating with ustoday I'm excited too now I'm actuallygonna step out and you and Ella aregonna be working together on cookies andthen at the end I'm gonna come back andtaste and like see what you guys didawesome can't wait so we're gonna talkall things cookies and I'm gonna bringin somebody who's gonna help meso Ella come on in here come stand righthere next to me introduce yourself toeverybody hi I'm Ella I'm a food writerand recipe developer here and I am veryexperienced at baking cookies but havenever decorated them before awesome andthat is just fine because all of thesetechniques we're gonna do today arereally easy and the kind that you knowyou can really kind of play around withso first I wanted to just tell you alittle bit about this dough because ifyou're if you love to bake cookies thisis a really great cookie dough and Imade it up already so I could focus onthe decorating so this recipe is sogreat because it allows you to make acouple little changes to it and end upwith actually two different cookieflavors you can add hot and vanillafirst thing we're gonna do actually isI'm gonna get cold dough from the fridgeso it needs to chill so it's a littlebit firmer for us to roll out you knowright now it'd be kind of squishy butalso it helps the gluten relax so thatyou know when we roll it out it doesn'tjust spring back on us so I'm gonna grabthe dough from the fridgeso I have a few dos here and you can seeI've got two different colors it's oneof my favorite things about this doughyou can swap out some of the flour forcocoa powder but the same recipe andjust end up with a chocolate dough whichis really fun so the first thing we'regoing to do actually is make marbledcookies which are looks sort of like myfavorite part about this is that it'syou don't even need icing you don't needto really mess around with anything withthis because they look so pretty kind ofjust as is gorgeous they've got reallygood flavor because you've got twodifferent flavors going on and that's alot of fun so it's a little bit likeplaying with play-doh in a good way sowhat we're gonna do is now I'm justgonna start pressing it in in fact I'llgive you some of this start pressingcertain kneading some of these piecestogether a little bit now when you getto a certain point it's starting to getsofter like mine is you can actuallylike tear it apart and even put thepieces back together just so you'rereally encouraging more mixing togetherand more randomness this is also areally interesting dough because itreally doesn't need flour you should berolled out it's pretty flexible so Ijust roll it out between two pieces ofparchment paper and so I'll just sort ofroll it out and we'll pull this off youcan already know how cool is thatthat's gorgeous and they're not even tothe best part yet so we'll keep liftingit off because it will get stuck to theparchment paper eventually uh-huh and ifthe top sheet of paper is giving youtrouble you can actually just use thebottom and roll it out like this if youwant it to Marble it more could you putmore pieces totally we could just putlike a piece of chocolate in right thereand keep going but you also are gonna beable to reroll the scraps of the doughso in some ways it's good not to mix ittoo much like actually you shouldprobably stop and I'll give you a pieceof parchment if it sticks like this Ijust pick up the whole piece and turn itover but you can achieve it by withanother piece of parchment and kind offlipping it over that way you can justhold both pieces of parchment like thisand flip itsee this is an example of a cookie fromthe beginning and this is an example ofa cookie from the end oh god they'reboth beautiful oh this is so beautifulbut that way you just get the maximumamount of your your cookie dough whichis awesome so I'm trying to get to abouta quarter of an inch thick and you'vegot the fancy rolling pin that will tellyou exactly when you get to the rightthickness I do which is great and butand then you can also you can if youlike your cookies a little bit chewy oryou can make them a little bit thickerno worries this is the best part justmash it back together it's verymalleable dough it's part of the patternis planned okay so then the fun partabout this is you can kind of look forthe prettiest parts of the marble whenyou get there so like I really like someof these streaky bits and I have acouple different cookie cutters hereI've got some rounds and some stars hereit's okay if you kind of just focus onthe parts that you like the best andwhat I like to do with a cookie cutteragain you can flower the cookie cutterto make sure you get really clean cutsbut this dough is so malleable andflexible that the best key is to justmake sure it's dry and clean and thenput it right where you want it and pressdown from straight above in one firmmotion so now that I've cut all theprettiest marbling bits out I'll kind ofpull the scraps away and you can eventurn them over and see if you like themarbling better on one side over theother do you have any really fun cookiecutter shapes that you've ever possiblysome small animalsoh yes exactly so the more of those inthe trunk Oh totally I love that so themore of that kind of stuff there is themore detail there is you may want to tryflowering it just to make sure you get areally crisp line on those details gotit also the more complicated the shapeis chilling it for a little while canhelp keep the shape firmer so chillingit on the sheet pan like this before youbake it can help that shape stay soactually what we can do is I think wecan I've got some cookies that arealready baked so I'm gonna show onedecor technique for the ones that we'vealready rolled and then we can kind ofjump into decorating some of the alreadybaked ones right you're downokay so the first decorating techniquewe're gonna do couldn't be easier and itinvolves my favorite thing out aresprinkles so you can just pick yoursprinkly poison here I've got lots ofdifferent ones to choose from and you'rebasically just going to sprinkle them onto the cookie uh-huhwherever you want them and then justsort of press them in oh so that theystay and then when you are done you canjust transfer to the baking sheet andwhen they bake that'll really help themto adhere and you can do it with bigsprinkles like here I've got some snowflaky ones that I can put on how hardshould I press press pretty firmly whenyou put them on but you can also kind oftell when they're adhered and whenthey're not you know what I mean andthese are so prettythose kind of more sparkly sprinkleslike that they're so shiny yeah it feelsand it feels just as pretty as puttingicing on it I went up to my sprinkleshelf this morning and I picked all ofthe prettiest ones I love that I have adesignated wrinkled shelf I know weshould dwell on that how many tights areon that oh my gosh I can't even beginbut when I moved into my new house hesaid to my fiance that all I wanted formy kitchen was a shelf for all mysprinkles so that I would know what Ihad because I would always go out andbuy more and so there is a shelf but ofcourse now it is definitely I could usea second shelf it's multiple get for theholidays this year is a secondsprinkle shop oh I love that it's a verynice gift idea so even with bigsprinkles like this you can see you canjust kind of do like more of aparticular you know you can place them alittle bit and like I said then whenthey bake the cookie a--sort of rise uparound the sprinkles my dough is tearinga little bit these pieces are fallingoff that's okay when that happens youcan just kind of smush them backtogether this is a very easy to workwith dough but it's usually a sign thatyour dough's getting too warmokay I'm gonna bake these while we doour last decorating greatokay so the last thing we're gonna do issome piping ooh does that make younervous or excited it makes me nervousbut in an excited way like first day ofschool vibe oh I love that well it'sgonna be easier than you think I hope sothis just has royal icing in it ifthere's a recipe for royal icing on thesite and we're just gonna cut a reallysmall opening I advise doing is justcutting it as small as you possibly canat first because you can always make ita little bit more but you can't kind ofgo back once you do got itI'll just pipe someone to here this is agood that's about the whip beautifulthere it is there it is so a couple oftips take the top of your piping bag andtwist it really firmly and then takeyour hand mm-hmm so twist it and thengrab it at the twist between your thumband forefinger okay and then you cankind of even wrap this and hold it withyour fingers oh and that way it's reallygonna stay shut right yeah okay so forsnowflakes one of my favorite things todo is just kind of like draw lines withthe piping bag and that sounds scary butthe nice thing is every snowflake isdifferent right so it doesn't reallymatter if the lines are straight itdoesn't really matter if you mess up alittle bit right it just kind of playsinto it so the first thing I do is Ijust draw a straight line from one endto the other okay and when you get closeto the end you can actually just stopsqueeze it and see like right now I'mnot squeezing okay I'm just holding itand that wayicing stops flowing to the bag yeah justlike thatwhen you get to the end stop squeezingand then you can sort of like touchshoot the tip of your bag to the commandthat'll break it up beautiful and see itdoesn't really matter that the linesaren't totally straight none of thatreally and then if you want you can adda little flair by piping a little V upat the top oh just to make it look alittle bit more snow clicky and all ofthis just comes from royal icing you dowant the icing to be a little bit on thethicker side because if it's too runnyit's just gonna like pour out everywhereon you mm-hmm but that's a pretty cutelittlelike so if you ever end up with one thatlike is a little bit messier than youlike the answer to that is alwayssprinkles oh and just put the sprinkleslike especially on the parts like thatyou want to you know what I meanyou just a little concealer yeah exactlyand it just sort of now suddenly thewhole cookie is like more balanced Ijust also like adding sprinkles me toothere was nothing wrong with thesnowflake cookie it was a beautifulsnowflake cookie it's the most improvedsnowflake cookie so here we've got yoursnowflake cookies you did two alreadyand I've only done one so the next onewe're gonna do we're gonna just embracerandomness and imperfection which is Ilove you I think that when you're pipingit has to be perfect and all its be evenand it totally doesn't so in this casewe're just gonna hold it straight up anddownover the cookie okay we're gonna squeezeand just sort of let the icing fall andwe'll just move it around while theicing and you just kind of want to stayaway from the edge a little bituh-huh but we're just kind of piping allrandomly all around cookie this is sosoothing it's like right over here youcan also apply some sprinkles to thatand then it's just kind of this it's away to ice the cookie without having thewhole cookie be ice so it's not like toosweetyou can layer different sprinkles onit's just like a fun other thing to dookay so the last thing we're gonna do isjust classic dots because I feel likedots always look really cute and againinstead of focusing on making them allthe same size we can actually just havedifferent sizes of dots and then maybethe piping is a little less scary soagain you hold the bag more straight upand down okay and you'll just sort ofpipe again when you get to the size ofdot that you want stop applying pressureand then you can just sort of pull thebag away just like they've got it and soI like to put like a little onesometimes next to the big ones and youcan just kind of go all the way aroundthe cookie as many or as few dots as youwould like and then if you want you candip the cookie into sprinkles and it'llonly adhere to the dots that soundsthrillingand I would love to do that well greatwe'll grab some sprinkles and do thatanother great thing to do with thescraps sprinkles left on your mat to mymom when I when we would do cookiesgrowing up she would always say like Ijust feel like it's such a mom thing todo she would save all the sprinkles fromwhen we were done with a project likethis mm-hmm and put them in a bag likethey were their own sprinkle blend butthey was usually like the weirdest mixof colors and textures and we would ofcourse rarely like I appreciated theeffort so I put some sprinkles on thatone and you can see it turned out prettycute on my little dots there okay Ithink we're ready to call Josh in for atasting are you ready I'm a littlenervous I kind of am too but we get toeat cookies right so it'll be a positivea conflation cookie will call him in OhJosh come here it's cookie o'clock sowhat happened what'd I misswe decorated all these cookies okay I'min tiny Burt now yes she can do allsorts of thingspiping sprinkling it works in multipleways yes and we be anything like we gota lot of mostly that you shouldn't giveup if you know it doesn't turn outperfect there's lots of it's the truthof the matter is we're gonna eat all ofthese right I mean maybe we won't eatall of these but someone's gonna eat allof these so if they taste good lookinggood as sort of secondary and in thiscase all of these decorating techniquessort of add another flavor component orthey are tasty like rather than spendinghours you know I'm trying to make ityeah yeah if you're gonna add somethingvisual it should alsototally so we did our marbled cookieswhich are two flavors vanilla andchocolate marble together and then wedid some piping and we did sprinkles butthe real question is can you tell whichplate is mine and which plate is herswe mix those up those are all of theones I haven't Aron Mebius I did he'sright he's rightbut you had to really inspect Hatchinapp really closely like if you know whatif I had done like like one of theselike quick like a quick glance andthey're gonna taste really really good Iwant to try a marble yeah yeah I'mfractured I picked it out and I said Ihave to tell you though I did do thisone with my left hand like you said yeahokay I'm gonna eat a marble turkey yeahmmm I love the chocolate swirl thiscookie recipe like a blank slate for youtotally gonna add a pinch of cinnamon toit you can add some spices to make likemore of a spice cookieyou could definitely even work this intokind of a more classic gingerbread it'sa really sturdy kind of multi-purposecookie which is a road recipe is whereit's like a base that you can layerstuff on top of it you to make allowsyou to be creative yeah and you knowthat that one recipe works so you kindof are free to play with it a little bitwhich is really fun especially aroundthe holidays well thanks for tastingwith us rightCheers Thank You Josh let's enjoy thecookies of our laborcheers Cheers so today we talked aboutthree really easy ways to decoratecookies one that doesn't even involveicing you just marbled two colors ofcookie together yeah which is really funand tastes good too we press sprinklesinto the cookies before they were bakedwhich just makes them adhere and thenyou get these shiny sparklywith like no effort and then we did acouple basic piping techniques that wereeasy enough that someone who'd neverreally piped before could pull him offyeah these look great and they are makefor great gifts but fun projects forkids great for the family awesome formaking your holiday cookies this yearget inspired[Music][Music]

Baking expert Erin McDowell shows us some easy cookie decorating ideas, including a simple marbling technique and quick and easy icing styles! SUBSCRIBE TO FOOD52 ►►

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