Ice 5-in. cookies with buttercream icing. For quick decorating, place plastic decorations on the cookies, and pipe icing borders.
Use warm roll icing or fondant and an airbrush to accent edible sugar decorations on 5-in. cookies.
Finish 3-in. cookie designs by piping borders using tip No. 16.
1. To create flower cookies for a cookie bouquet, place a wooden dowel on top of an unbaked cookie.
2. Place another unbaked cookie on top of the wooden dowel to create the cookies needed for a bouquet.
3. Pipe brightly colored flowers on the cookies on a stick, and place the sticks in the styrofoam hidden in the gift bag.
Demand for individual-sized baked products is not slowing, and current trends indicate that large decorated cookies, perhaps the ultimate in individual desserts, are well-liked by consumers of all ages. Here are a few designs that are sure to be a hit with your customers.
Large 5-in. cookies
Using plastic decorations along with icing details is a quick production method for decorating large cookies. Base ice 5-in. cookies with buttercream icing, and allow the icing to air dry, forming a protective skin.
For a flower design, apply sequins or sprinkles to the edges of the cookie before the icing sets. Add a few plastic flower rings, and pipe green stems and leaves using a parchment bag cut to a size 5 open tip. For a balloon cookie, airbrush blue clouds after the icing has dried. Use a ripped piece of paper toweling to create the outline of the clouds, and pipe an outer shell border using tip No. 87. Place plastic balloons on the cookie, and add icing strings with writing tip No. 4. For a "Happy Birthday" cookie, pipe a border with writing tip No. 4, holding the tip above the surface of the cookie to create a squiggle effect. Add a plastic "Happy Birthday" plaque to the center of the iced cookie.
Another simple idea for decorating the larger, 5-in. cookies is to use moulded sugar decorations. Dip the surface of the cookies in warm, quick-drying roll icing or fondant. For an aquarium-themed cookie, allow the icing to air dry, and airbrush it to resemble water. Use writing and leaf tips to pipe the various types of seaweed. Place sugar fish on the cookie, and add bubbles using tip No. 4. Pipe a white bubble border using a shell motion and tip No. 6.
A beach scene always makes a fun summer design. Dip the cookie surface in warm roll icing, and while the icing is still tacky, add brown sugar "sand". Airbrush the sky blue, and place some sugar beach decorations, such as an umbrella or sand pails. Another fun "Happy Birthday" cookie design incorporates sugar hearts. After dipping the cookie in icing, allow it to dry. Then, airbrush the outer border purple. Pipe a purple reverse shell border with star tip No. 16. Place sugar hearts and a Happy Birthday message on top of the cookie.
Small 3-in. cookies
A standard size sugar cookie, about 2 1/2 to 3 ins. in diameter, also makes a great individual snack. For a heart or shamrock design, use patterned lace, and lay it over the base-iced cookies. Then, airbrush the entire cookie an appropriate color. For example, use pink for the heart cookie and green for the shamrock cookie. Use star tip No. 16 to pipe shell borders.
Computer generated edible photos also are popular cookie decorations. Typically used for cakes, these edible designs also work well for cookies. Customers bring in logos or photos for reproduction on cookies, creating the ultimate personalized dessert. Position the edible photo on the cookie while the icing is still tacky, and add sprinkles around the outer edge of the cookie. Then, use star tip No. 16 to pipe a shell border around the edge of the computer generated image.
Cookie bouquets are another great merchandising idea. They require more labor, so they should be sold at higher price points. For the base of the bouquet, I chose to use a simple gift bag, found in discount stores. You may use various other containers, such as vases, bottles, flower pots or baskets for the base of your cookie bouquets. Weight the bag so it stands upright, and place Styrofoam inside to hold the stick "stems" of the the cookie flowers. Add tissue or metallic colored paper to conceal the bottom of the cookie sticks and styrofoam. Wrap the cookies with clear plastic fastened with curling ribbon to keep them fresh, and stick them in the Styrofoam.
These "flowers" are not only great for cookie bouquets, but can be sold separately as a signature item for your bakery and are sure to bring a smile to anyone's face. To make the flowers, place unbaked cookies on parchment-lined pans. Lightly spray the cookies with water, and press a thin, wooden skewer on each with the end of the skewer reaching almost to the top of the cookie. Add a second unbaked cookie on top of the skewer, and lightly press the two layers of dough together. Bake the cookies, and let them cool before decorating.
Use a variety of large pastry tips to decorate the cookies with brightly colored icing to create flowers. For the sunflower, pipe yellow petals with a large open tip. The center of all the flowers are piped with a large open or star tip. For the purple and blue flowers, add the petals using a large star tip. The pink, peach and red flowers are piped using a large No. 127 rose tip.
To create the red and yellow flower, use a large No. 127 rose tip to pipe a "pillow" of icing,. Then, on top of the pillow, pipe the petal, wiggling your wrist to form the folds of the petal. Continue piping petals around the entire outside of the cookie. Add the center of the flower with large grass tip No. 234.
Cookies offer an excellent opportunity for your bakery to capitalize on the individual dessert trend. Customers are always looking for ways to treat themselves or their guests with hassle-free sweets, and cookies offer a perfect solution. They also are easy to decorate, allowing bakeries to offer both easy-to-serve and personalized treats to customers.