Decorated sugar cookies are always a hit for gift giving or adding a special touch to an event. Decorating cookies is an art. With patience and practice, each artist creates a technique that is unique to their style. Once a technique is developed is become habit. The key is to get in the right habits to create great results again and again.
A technique I have mastered over the years of decorating, is to create an invisible flooding outline with royal icing. This gives the base layer of decorating a seamless, poofy look.
There’s a little bit of science that goes into this technique that may seem daunting at first but trust me, with practice and patience you can do it too.
The consistency of the royal icing is key in this process. The royal icing should be thin enough to melt into itself, yet thick enough to hold shape—careful not to run over the edges. Think of this consistency like honey.
I find that 12 second royal icing works well for flooding. To test the consistency, once mixed, drag a knife or spatula through it to create a line. Count how many seconds it takes for the line to disappear. It should take 12 seconds. If it does not add water, 1 tsp. at a time until you reach the proper consistency.
Cut out sugar cookies
Royal icing (12 second)
Food color gel (optional)
#2 piping tip
For the outline, I use a piping bag with coupler and #2 tip. Keeping my tip about 1/2” above the cookie surface, I outline the entire shape that is to be flooded.
Then with the same tip on the piping bag, I use the same consistency icing to flood the inside of the cookie. I squeeze the bag harder for a thicker line, starting at the outline working my way into the center until the whole cookie is iced.
After the cookie is totally flooded, I use my scribe to move the icing to fill in any spots that may have not covered completely. This is also a good step to pop any air bubbles.
I gently pick up the cookie and give it a slight shake to help the icing settle evenly.
Ta-da! A beautifully flooded sugar cookie. Look at that poof!
After the flood base is crusted over (30 minutes) or I suggest, completely dried (approximately 8 hours), details with a thicker consistency royal icing are added for the finishing touches.
If you are a beginning cookier, try a simple shape. Then, decorate with some cute sprinkles.
Don’t be scared to give it a whirl. Within no time, you can be a cookie flooding whiz.
Have fun and don’t forget to feed yourself!