12 Days of Holiday Cookie Recipes: Learn to Ice Like a Pro
All holiday cookies are tasty, but what really separates the "good" from the "wow-worthy" is how they look. A truly beautiful holiday cookie is a masterpiece!
In our September 2014 issue, we caught up with Greg Roth and Daniel Shapiro, the sweets connoisseurs behind L.A.'s dessert kitchen Modern Bite. The duo is known for creating edible moments of bliss, translating patterns, fashion, and other inspirations into cookie form.
Roth and Shapiro were inspired by an eye-catching dress from Delpozo's latest collection, but we love the way these bold cookies remind us up colorful ornaments decorating a tree. Swap out orange and blue hues to match your favorite holiday color palette and get ready to wow your guests!
Read on to learn how to ice your cookies like a pro.
1. Start with a dozen shortbread cookies in assorted sizes (three 3" circles, six 3" squares, and three 2" x 6" rectangles, $20; modernbite.com) and 1½ cups of white royal icing ($4/1 lb; globalsugarart.com), which dries hard.
If you'd like to start from scratch, check out our no-fail recipe for sugar cookie dough and royal icing here.
2. Separate icing into three bowls, and keep them covered with a damp cloth so the icing stays moist. Leave one bowl plain; tint another with 1½ tsp electric orange gel food coloring and one with 1½ tsp navy blue and 3 drops black gel food colorings (from $2 each; nycake.com).
3. Using a small offset spatula ($8; amazon.com), spread a thin layer of icing on each cookie, in the dominant color of the desired design. Let it dry completely for 1 hour.
4. For design outlines, transfer each icing color to its own pastry bag fitted with a round No. 2 tip ($7 per 24 bags and $1 per tip; wilton.com), and gently squeeze the icing from the bag in the desired pattern.
5. Once all outlines have been piped, thin the remaining icing for each color by whisking in 1 tsp of water (or more if needed). Transfer each new batch to a clean pastry bag and paint inside the borders, using a toothpick to correct any mistakes.