My Top 10 Must Haves for Cookie Decorating
This is not just a list of products. Also, I’m not sponsored by any of these brands, so what I recommend is completely my opinion! This is my top 10 must haves for cookie decorating and reasons why. I won’t (and don’t) ever recommend a product if I don’t actively use it. I’m constantly doing research and testing on different products. If you follow me at all on social media, you’ll quickly learn that I’m also a stickler for using 100% edible ingredients. This is really a big deal to me, especially in cookie decorating! Here’s a blog post I did on the difference between Non-Toxic and Edible Ingredients. Also, you don’t always need some super expensive item just because it’s popular. I do have some great frugal short-cuts!
- A quality stand mixer- One product that I actually do think you should put a bit of money into is a quality stand mixer. It will save you time, and if you buy a quality brand, it will last pretty much forever. You may ask, “Why not just use a hand mixer?”. There are a few answers to that question. Hand mixers don’t have the same power, speed abilities, or attachments. Also, with a stand mixer you get your hand back! I use the paddle attachment 9 times out of 10 in my baking. A huge thing with sugar cookies that a lot of people don’t understand is, the more air you put into your butter, the higher chance you have of that cookie dough spreading while it bakes. A stand mixer really helps in this area because you can use the paddle attachment on low, and I promise, it will definitely change your cookies for the better! This is one of the stand mixers I have and use daily, but I would definitely recommend any from this brand.
- Good Baking Sheets- A good baking sheet can (and will) be the difference between an evenly baked cookie, and a burnt or unevenly baked mess. The best part? You don’t need to spend a ton of money for a great quality baking sheet! I use this brand for all of my cakes, bars, and cookies and I have never had a problem with any of them. They last and bake perfectly, while also being very cost efficient!
- An Oven Thermometer- You absolutely need an oven thermometer! This works in with the baking sheets. You can make the most perfect dough or batter and have the best pans in the world, but if you’re oven isn’t at the correct temperature, your product will not come out right. More often than not, your oven is showing one temperature on the display, but the actual temperature will be much different. You can learn so much just about your oven by using an oven thermometer. With mine, I know that it runs 10 degrees high or low depending on the temperature I want to achieve. Also, it takes at least 20 minutes to preheat to the correct temperature. You definitely don’t need to spend much at all for one, so please, do all of your baked goods a favor and get one today!
- A Rolling Pin and Wooden Sticks- I hear a lot of people talk about the rolling pins with the spacers on them. I’ve tried these and really didn’t care for them. Also, I’d rather use the frugal way on this one! I have a regular wooden rolling pin, as well as a large, heavy, acrylic rolling pin. How do I roll all of my dough to the perfect, even thickness? I went Lowe’s and got two wooden sticks that are 3/8″ x 2″ x 2′. 3/8″ is the thickness I prefer for my cookies, as it is a sturdy but still soft cookie. You can find many thicknesses, so get what you prefer. The best part? You can buy 2 for under $5.00!
- A Heat Sealer- Having and using a heat sealer changes everything! Heat sealing your cookies will help them last longer, and if you like to make cookies really far ahead of time, these freeze beautifully! I have a post all about freezing and storing sugar cookies, and this heat sealer is the star of it!
- Stackable Cooling Racks- I don’t have a huge kitchen with endless counter space. I’m always trying to find the best, space saving options when baking and cooking. I love this cooling rack because it’s stackable, and when you’re done with it you can take it apart and fold it flat! This is another product that you don’t have to spend a ton of money on.
- Plastic Containers- We all know there’s a routine when it comes to decorated sugar cookies. Bake, set, flood, set, decorate, set, package, and finally get them out! I love these Hefty containers because they hold a lot and are stackable! I have so many of these because of my space constraints. I have a few that are dedicated specifically to cookies and the process. My others are used for my packaging, cutters, supplies, and boards.
- Edible Paints- On to the fun part! Again, I constantly research paints and dusts for my products. It’s very important to me that 100% edible ingredients are used! My 2 absolute favorite paints are Edible Art Paints and Rainbow Dust Metallic Paints. They are pigmented and really just do an amazing job! Here’s the thing, the seem like they’re expensive but you really need to think about this:
- Food Coloring- I love Americolor gels! They are very pigmented and will go a long way. I do also use Wilton gels, but to be completely honest, I prefer Americolor because you don’t have to use as much to get your desired color. Another thing I really love about Americolor gels is that the colors are endless!
- Edible Dusts- I use Roxy & Rich dusts because they work, and are 100% edible. I use them for shading, “blush” on characters, and even mix Everclear into them if I want to paint. They have plain colors as well as metallics!
- Cookie Cutters- This is an endless category! I will say, I’m partial to Ann Clark Cookie Cutters. I really like that they’re made in the USA and are a great quality! My biggest pointer in cookie cutters is that if you’re ordering the 3D printed ones, double check the thickness (how deep) the cutter is. I mentioned earlier that I roll mine to 3/8″. I’ve ordered a 3D printed cutter and it was too shallow. It’s a very frustrating situation because that’s money spent and I have to figure out ways to make it work!
- Edible Pens- Yes, I’m adding on as I said I would! These edible pens are awesome because they have two different tips to use! I’ve used a few different brands of edible pens and markers, but they were never exactly what I wanted. Then I found these! There are a bunch of different colors!
I may come back and add on to this list, as cookie decorating seems to be an endless rabbit hole that we very easily fall (or jump) into! This was just my Top 10! Feel free to ask about any product that I’ve listed or left off! I love hearing feedback. If you’d like to join my Facebook group, it’s the best way to personally ask me questions and get quick responses. I also do live broadcasts! You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel to watch my tutorials!