2000s Archive

Kitchen Notebook: (Almost) Too Pretty to Eat

This time of year, we all want to make an effort, get creative, and delight our very favorite people with unexpected treats. Here we show you some cookie-decorating tips from a pro.
how to ice cookies

Just have fun,” we said when freelance food stylist Karen Tack began to decorate our holiday ginger cookies. And did she ever. We were so thrilled with her designs that we re-created them on our own, above, and you can, too. Professional food coloring is much more concentrated than the supermarket kind, so if you’re using the latter, add a greater amount of it to make that red really pop. You will also need disposable pastry bags, a number 2 or number 4 pastry tip, and tapered long wooden skewers.

1. Trace the edging and let it dry before “flooding” the surface. Edging icing should be thicker than flooding icing, so add a few drops of water to the bag of icing before flooding, or use two separate bags.

2. Pipe vertical lines of white icing over the flooded surface.

3. Then make a design by lightly pulling a skewer through the lines.

4. For more of a lacy, cobwebby effect, pipe concentric circles instead of straight lines, then pull the skewer outward from the center at regular intervals. And have fun.

Subscribe to Gourmet