by Jan Cartwright,
Decorating Ideas editor
Quickly add color to iced cookies by using an airbrush or drawing designs with edible markers. Personalize cookies by scanning customers' photos on edible sheets.
Personalize cookies by scanning customer's photos on edible sheets.
Tiered stands filled with cupcakes work well for customers' special occasions, such as a child's birthday.
Plastic decorations, available from suppliers, provide a quick and easy way to add value to decorated cookies.
Ice cookies with chocolate icing to create the base for colorful autumn designs.
Create a clown by using an icing bag striped with blue, yellow and pink to pipe a clown's suit.
Customers planning special events often want individual decorated desserts. Cookies and cupcakes are two of the most popular individual treats, which can boost your bakeries' bottom lines. Innovative decorating ideas and creative merchandising can help sell more of these products.
Trays of holiday-themed cookies are often bakery staples. To gain more sales, offer a selection of decorated cookies for any occasion to grab the attention of impulse shoppers. Also, display the cookies at children's eye level. And, let customers know that your bakery is the place to buy treats for their birthdays, luncheons, picnics, school or office functions and various other special events.
To create the accompanying decorated cookie designs, ice baked, 5-in. cookies with chocolate or white quick setting icing. To add color to white icing, use an airbrush or tint the icing before using it on the cookies. Either traditional buttercreme icing or fondant-type roll icing works as long as it sets up and has a nonsticky surface.
Use edible markers
A relatively new way to decorate is using edible markers. I used this technique to create a flower cookie. After the icing hardens, use the markers to draw simple flowers. To bring added attention to decorated cookies in your bakery, hold a special promotion by inviting children to decorate their own cookies with the markers.
Another fun technique is to personalize cookies by using computer generated edible pictures. Before the icing sets up, transfer an edible picture onto the cookie. Add a simple shell border using star tip No. 18. Pipe hearts with tip No. 6 to complete this special treat.
To add color quickly, use an airbrush and stencils to decorate cookies. A plastic snowflake ornament makes a wonderful stencil. After the icing is dry, place the snowflake stencil on top of the cookie, and airbrushthe entire surface blue. Add a shell border using star tip No. 22. Pipe an inscription with tip No. 3 to finish the design.
Add value with trinkets
Another fun decorating idea is to use plastic trinkets, which also add value to your cookies. For a butterfly cookie, use tip No. 3 to pipe the vines and an inscription. Add rosebuds with tip No. 104. Use tip No. 252 or a cut parchment bag to pipe the leaves. Pipe a shell border using star tip No. 22, and place a plastic butterfly ring on the cookie for a finishing touch.
For a football design, airbrush blue clouds across the top of a cookie. Add green grass along the bottom with tip No. 233, and pipe a brown goal post using tip No. 6. Place a plastic football under the goal post.
To create a Halloween-themed cookie, use plastic stencils as decoration. Airbrush a cookie blue, and add some purple. Pipe a brown fence with tip No. 6 and green vines using tip No. 3. Place the black cat and jack-o-lantern stencils on top of the cookie to finish the design.
Create fall designs with chocolate
Dipping cookies in warm chocolate icing and allowing them to dry also creates some great designs. For an autumn leaf cookie, use tip No. 104 and a decorating bag striped with orange icing and filled with yellow icing. Hold the thin end of the tip away from you, parallel to the iced cookie, and pipe sections of a leaf in a clockwise motion. Add veins and stems to the piped leaves using light brown icing and tip No. 4. Enhance the design by adding a simple, red curved line border using tip No. 4.
For a turkey cookie, use tip No. 22 to pipe elongated shells for the feathers using red, orange and yellow icing. To pipe the neck and head, use an open coupler and brown icing. Start at the bottom of the neck and pull up in one squeeze-and-release motion to form the head. Add the facial features with writing tip No. 4.
Cupcakes for all occasions
Cupcakes also make great treats and appeal to all ages. Whether airbrushed in rainbow colors and displayed in a six-count package or iced in assorted colors to match a party theme, cupcakes can enhance your customers' celebrations. The larger packages of 12 or even 24 have become increasingly popular, especially for school events. A unique way of displaying cupcakes is on a tiered stand. Use a traditional tiered wedding cake stand or a disposable cupcake stand available from suppliers. The stands are wonderful for weddings, showers, birthdaysor other special events.
Clowns have long been a part of young children's birthday celebrations. Base ice enough cupcakes to sufficiently fill the stand. Fit a decorating bag with star tip No. 22, and use a brush to stripe blue, yellow and pink gel paste down the inside of the bag. Fill the bag with white icing. Use a circular motion to pipe a clown's body on top of the cupcake. Add stick figure legs and arms. Use writing tip No. 4 to add ruffles around the neck, hands and feet. Place a plastic head on top of the piped body to complete the clown.
Recommend decorated cookies and cupcakes to your customers for their next special celebration as an alternative or as a complement to a decorated cake.