The New York Times

How to Decorate a Sugar Cookie Like a Pro

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

TWELVE STEPS TO A BETTER DECORATED SUGAR COOKIE, INCLUDING FLOODING TECHNIQUES AND THE FLUFFIEST ROYAL ICING RECIPE.

Decorating sugar cookies like a pro takes a lot of practice, but even novices can feel like they nailed it with a few insider tips gathered from some of the top cookiers in the country. (Find more tips in our guide to making sugar cookies.)

1. Master Icing Consistency

The biggest decorating mistake is icing consistency. on her website, , says she prefers to use just one icing, with a consistency that is right in the middle. To determine whether your icing is medium consistency, follow Ms. Bell’s method: She stirs the icing in a bowl and then bangs the dish it on the counter. It should take five hits to make the surface smooth. Less than that, and it’s too thin (add more powdered sugar to thicken). If it’s too thick, add just a touch of water to thin to start and go from there.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The New York Times

The New York Times5 min readPsychology
Becoming a Digital Grandparent
When it comes to warnings about limiting kids’ screen time, grandparents are, well, grandfathered in. Emerging from a theater on a recent Sunday, I turned on my phone and found a flurry of texts from my daughter. My 2-year-old granddaughter had just
The New York Times6 min readScience
Intermittent Fasting Made My Life Easier, and Happier
I could eat the foods I enjoyed and most of my regular meals, but it had to be within a short time frame of eight to 10 hours. At the urging of doctor friends and a few popular books, I embarked on a diet plan earlier this year called intermittent fa
The New York Times4 min read
6 Simple Barre Stretches to Try on Vacation
No matter where you are in the world, you can always find something to lean on so you can stretch your muscles. Traveling — even for fun — can be tough on our bodies. Hours spent in airline seats, heavy meals and long stretches of touristy walking or