Decorate Like a Pro: Expert Q&A -- Favorite Cookie Decorating Tool

With all the tools and supplies available - how do you know which ones to get first? EIGHT expert decorators tell you what one tool they can't live without!! 

When I first started decorating cookies, I lived in South Korea. THANK GOODNESS or I would have bought ALL THE THINGS. There are just so many cutters and stencils and tools and fun things to have! I've bought more than my share of them, I'm sure. I've also regretted quite a few of those purchases. How are you supposed to know what is worth buying now - and what can wait?

Sometimes people ask me a cookie decorating question and I actually feel like I am doing them a disservice by answering...because I don't want them to think that there is only ONE RIGHT WAY to do everything. I decided to put together a Super Team of expert decorators to help answer some of the common questions that I get asked all the time. So that YOU can see that there are many methods and opinions for decorating cookies and that ALL OF THEM ARE VALID. What works for one person, may not be a solution for another person. But it might!

Today I asked my Super Team the following question:

What is your #1 must-have cookie decorating tool? (Big or small!)

Amber Spiegel -- Sweet Ambs

What is your #1 must-have decorating tool? (Big or small!)

My must-have decorating tool is the scribe tool! I purchased my first one while in culinary school, and it's still my favorite (not that exact one - I have to keep buying them because they tend to roll away and get lost under the refrigerator!). I use it to evenly distribute my icing when flooding cookies and to draw small details by dipping it into icing and using it like a pen. It even fixes mistakes! The scribe tool is so versatile, which is why I love it so much.

Visit SweetAmbs to learn more about Amber Spiegel and see her gorgeous tutorials. 

Lisa Snyder -- The Bearfoot Baker

What is your #1 must-have decorating tool? (Big or small!)

I want to say my KitchenAid Mixer, but I have made cookies without it before and it was totally doable. Maybe it is the mats I use to roll out the cookie dough.

It’s so hard to pick just one but I’d have to say it’s the turkey lacer I use for helping me move the royal icing into place and popping the air bubbles that make the craters. I don’t think I could decorate very well without it.

Visit The Bearfoot Baker to learn more about Lisa Snyder and check out her comprehensive tutorials.

Pam Sneed -- Cookie Crazie

What is your #1 must-have decorating tool? (Big or small!)

There are several things that are must-haves to decorate (bags, tips, couplers, cutters)…..but if I had to narrow it down to just one particular tool, I guess I would say the boo boo stick (2-in1 tool). It is always by my side when I’m decorating, helping me straighten out mistakes and even scrape off entire disasters to start over again. It also works well for adding texture on glaze. 😃

Visit Cookie Crazie to learn more about Pam Sneed and to see her incredible tutorials using glaze icing. 

Jill Wettstein -- Jill FCS

What is your #1 must-have decorating tool? (Big or small!)

I am not a super gadgety kind of decorator. Since opening the Studio, I have learned to keep my decorating process simple and efficient in order to increase production, without losing too much artistic value. Since I am pretty much all about speed and efficiency, I would have to say that tipless bags have been the number one game changer for me. No wasted time looking for tips, setting up bags with couplers, washing tips, washing couplers. Honorable mention goes to my turntable, scribe and Lilaloa’s coloring mixing chart.

Visit Jill FCS to learn more about Jill Wettstein and to see her incredibly unique style in action! 

 Hillary Ramos -- The Cookie Countess

What is your #1 must-have decorating tool? (Big or small!)

I think we all know what my answer would be... an airbrush gun and stencils. That's one thing right?

Visit The Cookie Countess to learn more about Hillary and see all her amazing stencils and products!

Julia Usher -- Recipes for A Sweet Life and Cookie Connection

What is your #1 must-have decorating tool? (Big or small!)

A parchment pastry cone! I do all of my outlining and flooding, and all of my detailed string and dot work, with one. I only resort to metal tips when I want a textured effect, like basketweave, or dimensional flowers. I love cones for many reasons: (1) I can get a lot of mileage out of only one, just by cutting the tip wider or in different ways; (2) I don’t have to clean them (I’m inherently lazy this way!); and (3) they are biodegradable, so there’s no remorse about throwing them out when I’m done!

Visit Recipes for A Sweet Life or Cookie Connection to learn more about Julia and see her incredibly detailed tutorials!

Callye Alvarado -- Sweet Sugarbelle

What is your #1 must-have decorating tool? (Big or small!)

I know I’m the odd woman out, but I feel absolutely lost without an offset spatula. Over the years I’ve learned that many decorators feel hindered by them. I, on the other hand, need it to create an “invisible outline” and to gently work out any air bubbles. It’s just goes to show, there’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to cookie decorating!

Visit Sweet Sugarbelle to learn more about Callye and get more cookie decorating tutorials than you even knew existed!!

Georganne Bell -- LilaLoa (That's me!)

What is your #1 must-have decorating tool? (Big or small!)

This is totally a personal preference, but my number one tool would definitely be a dehydrator. I feel like Shakespeare writing a sonnet because I'm just going to count off all the ways I love my dehydrator.

1. It speed sets my icing. Which means: less craters, less color bleed, and I can move on to the next step faster. And since I am a reckless, impatient NON-PLANNING-AHEAD decorator...I can use all the help I can get at the last minute.

2. SHINY ICING. The moving air across the icing as it dries makes it super shiny. (You can get this same effect with a heat fan or standing fan as well.)

3. It's a cookie safe. I can turn the dehydrator off, close the door and sleep very soundly knowing that no one will breathe on my cookies, drop water on my cookies, or smudge or bump or crush a single one of those little treasures.

I got my first dehydrator pretty early in my cookie decorating life. And if I had to do it all over again...I would have gotten it sooner!

If you want to know more about my dehydrators and how to use them for cookie decorating check out my DECORATED COOKIES AND A DEHYDRATOR post.

It's YOUR TURN -- What do you think? 

What is your #1 must-have decorating tool? (Big or small!)

Join the discussion in the comments below or on the LilaLoa Facebook page.  


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