The holiday season is right around the corner, and with the holidays comes the time for all of our favorite Christmas traditions. From decorating Christmas trees to wrapping gifts, these annual traditions help keep the spirit of Christmas alive throughout the holiday season. One of the oldest traditions in our culture is baking and decorating Christmas cookies. Since the 1930s, children across North America have left a tray of Christmas cookies out for Santa on Christmas Eve, and the leftover cookies are great for snacking or dessert. Whether your goal is gourmet cookies or gluten free cookies, there is an abundance of different Christmas cookie recipes for this time of year, and a number of ways to decorate them. Cookies are typically classified by the way they are prepared, and one of the most traditional Christmas cookies are rolled from a dough and cut into various Christmas-themed shapes. These cut-out cookies are fun and easy to decorate. Below are some of the easiest and useful techniques you can use for decorating Christmas cookies with icing:
- Flooding - Flooding is a decorating technique used to neatly fill in the entire shape of the cookie, and it acts as a base for many other decorating techniques. First you need to fill a pastry bag with the icing or frosting you want to decorate the cookies with. Next, outline the shape of the cookie with a single line to hold the rest of the icing in. Now you can fill in the outline you've made. If there are any bubbles or bare patches, you can use a toothpick to even out the surface.
- Marbling - Marbling is a great way to turn a plain cookie into a unique, gourmet cookie. To do this you will need a flooded cookie that is still wet. Then take a pastry bag with a different colored icing and pipe little dots in a pattern on the surface of the flooded icing. Right after, take a toothpick and drag it over the dots to create a beautiful marbled design.
- Quilting - Quilting is another decorating technique that can make ordinary Christmas cookies look like gourmet cookies by adding texture to the design. To make a quilted pattern, use a pastry bag to outline alternating designs on the cookie. After it is outlined, flood the individual shapes and let the pattern dry. After it has dried, use either the same color or a different color icing to outline and flood the remaining design on the cookie. The place where the edges of the patterns meet will appear puffy, giving the cookie a unique quilted design.