The most important thing about any cookie is the taste. But c’mon! Who doesn’t prefer a pretty cookie? We’ve got some tips, via Fox 19 (with pictures from Pinterest), to help you create cookies like the professionals!

Let’s Roll

Believe it or not, how you roll out your cookies makes a big difference in the finished product.

Rolling pin spacers help you to keep the dough consistent and uniform. And take it easy on the flour. Use only enough to keep things from sticking or your cookies will be crumbly and dry.

Mind Your Mixing

With royal icing, mixing is everything. You’ll want a thicker icing for fine detail, and a much thinner icing for smooth fill. Professionals tend to go by the ten-second rule.

The 10 second rule: Drag a butter knife through the surface of your royal icing and count to 10.  If the icing surface becomes smooth in anywhere between 5-10 seconds, then your icing is ready to use.  If it takes longer than approximately 10 seconds, the icing is too thick.  Slowly add more water.  If your icing surface smooths over in less than 5-10 seconds, it is too runny.  Mix your icing longer or slowly add more sifted icing sugar to thicken it.

Avoid overmixing royal icing, or it will have a spongy texture that crumbles easily when dry.

Colors to Dye For

For your most colorful cookies, skip the liquid food dye and opt for gel.

Gel food coloring won’t thin your icing like the liquid drops, and the color intensity just doesn’t compare. Since your icing will lighten slightly as it dries, use a little more color than you think you need.

Perfect Finish

Check for bubbles while your icing is still wet. Use a toothpick to pop them, and smooth the icing by shaking the cookie gently. Wait four hours before adding further design, to give the base time to cure. If you don’t, your colors will blend together.

And remember…

Although these tips all contribute to decorating success, good old-fashioned practice helps too.

Yes. Yes, it does.