Homemade cookies just about always taste better than the cookies you can buy at the store, but there are many times when store-bought cookies look a lot better because a lot more time has been put into decorating them to give them a fun or seasonal look. Decorating cookies is both more fun and easier than you might think, especially when you have a good basic recipe for icing and a few techniques to help your designs look picture-perfect, and once you start you will find that you have a hard time going back to plain old sugar cookies. In Decorating Cookies: 60+ Designs for Holidays, Celebrations & Everyday, you’ll find everything you need to know about the techniques and tools that will allow you to make your homemade cookies look more impressive than anything you’ll find at a bakery.
The book starts out by listing the equipment, supplies and ingredients that you will need to become a skilled decorator. This an important part of the book because you really want to have the right tools for the job if you want your finished product to look as good as possible. This introductory chapter also outlines the most basic frosting techniques – such as outlining and flooding – that you need to know to get started. The next section in the book introduces four all purpose cookie recipes and one royal icing recipe that will be used throughout the rest of the book. Of course, as you progress, you could use other cookie recipes in the future, but these have been carefully developed just for these dressed up cookies and you can’t go wrong with any of them.
The rest of the book is dedicated to decorating. There are seasonal designs, holiday designs and designs for almost every other occasion that you can imagine. From classic Valentine Hearts to adorable owls to edible cookie coupons that, there is something for everyone. The techniques aren’t difficult, but decorating these cookies does require some patience and a steady hand, so take your time as you practice. Towards the end of the book, a few “guest bakers” offer suggestions for even more advanced techniques that can take your decorating skills even further. There are plenty of fantastic photos showing not only the finished products, but how the decorations were put in place step-by-step, so that you can see – and reproduce in your own kitchen – how everything comes together for a great decorated cookie.