General Icing Preparation Questions

Hi, cookiers!

I was wondering if I could ask a general technique question, specifically as it relates to how you prefer to do your color preparation, thinning and bagging. If you're doing a lot of cookies and are preparing larges volumes of each color, are you: A) making as much of each color as you need up front, or B) mixing colors a little at a time and re-mixing as needed.

If you're mixing your colors up front, do you: A) bag it all up in as large of an icing bag/cone/bottle as will hold it, or B) keep most of it in a container and use smaller amounts in smaller icing bags, refilling/rebagging as needed.

Lastly, do you work primarily in tipless bags, parchment cones, or traditional icing bags with tips/coupler setups?

When you answer, if you could please also share your thoughts on why this particular technique works for you, I'd really appreciate it.

Thanks!

-Sabrina

Original Post

For me mixing large amounts of colored icing never come out right.  I make several smaller amounts in my small mixing containers.  Sometimes i make them all in advance or not.  Years ago, Karen summers showed putting your icing in plastic and rolling it up.  Then i can easily drop them in a decorating bag.  I can easily take it out and use the bag again.  It’s also less messy.  I use tipless bags with a coupler and tips because they are cheaper and easier to handle.

I try to make as much of any given color as I think I will need for the whole project to maintain consistency. Otherwise, it’s really hard for me to match the exact color again. I portion it into several plastic wrap tubes (like Econlady describes, I think. Or this post details it as well). Using plastic wrap keeps the mess down and the icing clean of any crusty bits. I load a tube into a disposable bag with a coupler/tip. When I need more icing, I just remove the (now empty) plastic wrap tube and replace it with another one. If I don’t need all of the icing during that decorating session, I just put the plastic wrapped tubes of icing in a bag in the fridge for next time. This process has always worked well for me, but I’m definitely interested to hear what everyone else has to say.

Good questions! I make as much as I need up front, as it is hard to match colors on a project if you should run out midstream. I bag as I go, leaving the bulk in covered bowls, as tips can plug over time if they sit too long, particularly if you work with parchment cones. I work primarily with parchment cones for all flooding, outlining, and simple dot work, because: (1) I can get many "tip sizes" out of just one cone (simply by cutting the opening larger); (2) I hate to clean reusable pastry bags; and (3) I hate to throw out plastic bags (so nasty for our environment!).

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