How to Decorate Sugar Cookies Like a Pro

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A ritual during the holidays in many households is to get the kids involved in decorating cookies. Most people either spread icing on them or put some sprinkles on top, and they are gone in no time. Those who make the effort to find out about the many ways to decorate sugar cookies will quickly learn that they're a versatile dessert to have all year round.

  • Consider decorating them before you bake them. Pick out those things that can withstand the heat like sugar and dried fruit such as cranberries, raisins or apricots. You can use nonpareils or sprinkles and apply them on the cookie dough before they go into the oven. This is an easy way to give your cookies a more festive look, and it's an activity that kids can do.

  • Decorate your sugar cookies after they have finished baking. Chocolate can be melted in the top half of a double boiler. Make sure that the water in the bottom is not boiling, because it is likely to find its way into the chocolate and make it curdle. A good way to apply chocolate to your cookies is to dip the cookies into the chocolate, either just the end or the whole cookie. Then, before the chocolate hardens, you can add chopped nuts or a little coconut to them to make them even more festive. Another method is simply drizzling the chocolate in a zigzag pattern on the cookies by using a plastic bag with a small corner removed with a pair of scissors. Then let the chocolate harden.

  • Use frosting or icing. Frosting is thicker than icing and will hold its shape. For example, roses on cakes are made of frosting. Icing is a bit more difficult to handle but it will provide your cookies with a very smooth surface. If you use icing, it should always be piped on the cookie, because if you try to spread it on with a knife, it won't stay on the cookie.

  • Form an assembly line to make decorating cookies fun yet manageable if more than one child is involved. Furthermore, it's a good idea to make the cookie dough before the kids are involved and have a plan in mind. Besides being fun, decorating cookies with the children should also be a learning experience.

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