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  • Writer's picturemarti mcginnis

Online Live Cookie Decorating Event

Cookie Zoom

Wednesday December 23 - 1 - 3pm Central Time

email Marti for login info!

I was chatting with one of my sisters the other day and the topic of the 2020 holiday season naturally arose. We reminisced a second on the good ol' days then marched through that right on to what to do for this year's festivities. The idea of having a cookie baking zoom call popped into my head which lead me to research how to decorate sugar cookies using royal icing, which lead me to offer a quick cookie decorating demo in an open house zoom event!

I'll be live with cookies and decorating supplies painting away during this 2 hour open zoom call. Drop in any time during the 2 hours and say hi, or plan on being there the full time while we decorate cookies together! I'll be using royal icing on pre-cooked home made sugar cookies. I may use the piping and flood method as well as painting some in a water color fashion. Below are recipes and suggested supplies in case you want to join me in the creativity! Come on - It'll be fun!

And no, you don't have to decorate cookies - you can just pop in and say hi!


Basic Sugar Cookie Recipe

  • 1 ½ cups butter, softened

  • 2 cups white sugar

  • 4 eggs

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 5 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • OPTIONAL: 1 T organic lemon zest

  • Step 1 In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).

  • Step 2 Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

  • Step 3 Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely. ——

Tips for making awesome sugar cookies


It takes longer to soften in the mixer, but once you mix it with the sugar, it will be good to go. Then again, if your butter is soft you just have to refrigerate your dough a little longer, no big deal.


One of the reasons cookies get too dry or crisp may be because there’s too much flour in the dough. Sift before measuring! Don’t have a sifter? Just push through a strainer using the back of a spoon.


Beat your dough at a low-speed until the flour is incorporated. This is a common tip for any baked good. Since you will be handling the dough as you roll it out, you don’t want it overworked from the start.


A good dough needs at least 15 minutes to 1 hour in the refrigerator depending on the recipe and how soft your butter was to begin with. This allows the dough to stiffen, which in turn makes it easier to roll out, just like a pie crust recipe. The good thing about sugar cookie dough is that you can actually prepare it in advance and freeze it! This is a huge time saver!


Use a silicone baking mat or a large piece of parchment paper (tape down the corners). Toss a small handful of flour before you roll out the dough. Use a pastry brush to brush away any excess flour. I bake my cookies on a silicone baking mat (preferred) or parchment paper.


Your dough may need about 10 minutes to rest after you take it out of the refrigerator. Form it into a disc. It is always easier when you have a manageable amount of dough. I recommend about a softball size or less. You can roll it out two, maybe three times before it get’s too soft. Re-refrigerate if it’s too soft.


Best Royal Icing recipe

  • ¼ cup warm water

  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup

  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract (or lemon or orange)

  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar, or more as needed

Stir warm water, corn syrup, and almond extract together in a small bowl until corn syrup and extract have dissolved. Place confectioners' sugar into a separate bowl and add liquid ingredients. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until royal icing is smooth. Store in a lidded container for up to a week; stir thoroughly before using.

For thick icing, which you will need for outlining and details, add more sugar until icing is quite thick. Icing can be thinned with a few drops of water to make a glaze for filling in outlines or dipping cookies.

Icing hardens into a shiny glaze quickly.

Keep stirring your bowl of icing as you work with it.

To Dye the icing

Use gel colorants or adjust the water to accommodate the more liquid dyes.

This is a good starter set

Mix separately in small bowls.

Piped Cookies

Specialty Supplies needed for piped icing designs

  • Wilton or PME icing tips sizes 2, 1.5 and 1

  • Icing bags

  • chopsticks to stir up the icing already in the plastic icing bags if they start to separate

  • needle tool or toothpicks


Painted Cookies

to paint your designs rather than pipe them on you’ll need cookies already iced with a white royal icing fully dried

Use The Dyes like water color paints!

  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup of vodka or other clear alcohol to thin the gel dyes and to clean your brushes in between colors

  • clean (preferably new) water color style paint brushes

  • a plain white plastic or styrofoam pallet (can use a cleaned produce tray or similar)


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