Glaze Glorious Glaze, Part One

Date January 27, 2012

UPDATE, February 13, 2014
If you’ve come over here from Sweet Sugarbelle’s icing post I want to give you a heads up! In recent weeks after endless experimenting, tweaking of ingredients and quantities and comparing notes with some of my cookie friends I’ve landed on a completely revised icing recipe that combines (literally) both glaze and royal icing into what for me is the perfect icing! It has the soft bite, sweet taste, and shiny finish of glaze and the dimensional lift, stability and quick dry of royal icing. If I was fanatical about my glaze, and you know I was, I’m a certifiable lunatic over my royal glaze. Unfortunately, as SweetSugarbelle’s post went to press, I happened to be out of town and unable to prepare the photos I wanted to show you of a side by side comparison of glaze, royal icing, and royal glaze. I’ll get to work on it as soon as I return home so keep a watch out toward the middle of next week for a new post here on my new and improved ROYAL GLAZE.

I’ve noticed that every time I post a photo of containers of my cookie icing on Facebook I get a number of comments from people curious about what I use, how I make it and how it works. So today’s the day I put this baby to rest and give you the all the news that’s fit to print on corn syrup glaze.

For those brand new to cookie decorating there are four primary ways to cover a cookie; royal icing, buttercream, fondant, and corn syrup glaze. That list doesn’t include covering it with the roof of your mouth since that usually takes place after it’s been covered by one of the aforementioned toppings.

Royal icing seems to be the most used icing among the cookie decorators I know and Callye over at Sweet Sugarbelle has an excellent tutorial on making royal icing. If you want to know what you can do with royal icing, are willing to practice, and have a bucket load of dormant talent hidden somewhere deep within you, look over her cookies while you’re checking out her tutorial.

I’ve only used royal icing a couple times and personally, it’s not my thang. I can’t tolerate the taste of royal icing and I can always taste that unpleasant back note of wall spackle flavor behind whatever extract flavorings is added. Not that I actually ever eaten wall spackle but when I imagine how it tastes royal icing comes to mind. With all due respect to every royal icing cookie decorator I love and adore, I have no doubt that your royal icing is the exception; that it tastes like a creamy rich blanket of sweet deliciousness but I all I have to say about everyone else’s royal icing can be summed up in two words with a hyphen. . .icky-poo.  The other problem I had with royal icing is that it’s temperamental, meaning it doesn’t like me. No matter what variation of it I tried it never came out right. I ended up with multiple clogs in my piping tips, outlines that cracked and fell off the cookie, and bumpy flooded areas. Royal icing was a royal pain. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

But on the upside, the highlight and major selling point for royal icing is that it gives a dimension and detail that can’t be had with corn syrup glaze. One of the only times I used royal icing that fell anything within the ballpark of success was in making these knitting cookies. With royal icing I was able to lay wet lines of  icing over one another without having them run together as they would with glaze. An equal version of the same cookies would be possible with glaze but not without requiring multiple drying times which involves more patience than I’ve ever had in my entire life collectively.

Buttercream icing is a huge mystery to me so I won’t poo-poo or praise it but instead you might want to read this buttercream recipe and glowing report on it’s wonderful powers on an adorable set of Valentines cookies over at TidyMom. You might also want to check out this blog post at The Other Side of 50 on buttercream-iced cookies.

Fondant is a word I use broadly. There’s the traditional rolled fondant that can be applied on cookies as it has been on umpteen million wedding cakes. Here’s a basic tutorial on covering a cookie with rolled fondant over at Cake Journal. Again, there’s a flavor factor with fondant. Just call it the sugar silly putty of the baking world. I’m pretty sure I offended a few fondant decorators out there with that little phrase but let’s move on, shall we? Marshmallow fondant is a little messy and time-consuming to make but it rolls out well, can be stored airtight for a couple months (soften for seconds in your microwave) and if Marshmallow Fluff is a tasty delicacy to you then you’re going to want a ticket for this ride.

Within the same category of a rolled or modeling clay like covering for cookies is chocolate candy clay which I use frequently and enthusiastically and will save for another post but since I’m all about building suspense and intrigue here are a couple photos to whet your candy clay appetite.

The chocolate candy clay roses and leaves were placed on top of a corn syrup glazed cookie, and in a reverse method….

Corn syrup glaze peace signs were drawn onto a chocolate candy clay background.
Groovy chick!

But enough about all of that! Let’s move on to why we’re all here…..corn syrup glaze!

The Downside of Corn Syrup Glaze

  • Intricate detailing and fine point writing is near to impossible.
  • Dimension and detailing requires added decorating time to allow glaze to set between layers, sections, and colors.
  • Glaze takes 18-24 hours to dry completely and even when it’s completely dry there’s a tendency for it to leave a little moisture smudge on any surface of the bag you put it in that it has contact with.

The Upside of Corn Syrup Glaze

  • Unlike royal icing, glaze doesn’t have a flavor of its own that needs to be covered up, allowing whatever flavoring you add to it to shine.
  • Glaze is simple and quick to make. Add a couple common ingredients together and mix until smooth. Easy-peasy, mix and squeezy!
  • Glaze can be stored up to several months. As you’ll see below, I make multiple batches at a time and then refrigerate or freeze the glaze depending on the time until I plan to use it. Leftover glaze can be re-frozen over and over again without any noticeable change to the taste, texture, or color.
  • Glaze keeps the cookie moist. Again, only my experience so tell me if I’m wrong (just do it gently) but I think the added amount of corn syrup in glaze over what royal icing has, retains the moisture of the cookie.
  • Glaze has a glossy finish. When completely dry glaze holds a shine while royal icing has a matte finish.
  • Glaze is a people pleaser. I’ve heard nothing but glowing comments from people who’ve eaten Sweet Hope Cookies. More than a few times someone has mentioned how they’ve eaten other decorated cookies that have a funky taste in the icing (me thinks royal icing) and so they were surprised at how delicious my icing tastes.

I can’t talk about corn syrup glaze without first giving credit where credit is due and the one who gets the credit is Pam, over at CookieCrazie. The recipe I use is the one Pam has on her blog and the techniques I use I learned from her. From what I’ve seen at Pam’s blog and what I’ve come to experience through my own cookie adventures I’ve come to believe that what you can do with glaze is limited only by your creativity and willingness to practice, fail, learn, practice, fail, learn, practice, succeed, and squeal with joy!

Where I’m sure there are a number of variations of corn syrup glaze out there, I’ve never found a reason to try one other than Pam’s recipe.

Pam’s Corn Syrup Glaze

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound box of powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • a scant 1/4 cup water (scant means “just less than”)
  • 2 teaspoons more or less of extract, flavoring, or emulsion depending on the flavor and your preference. I use half vanilla extract and half almond extract. Pam prefers clear vanilla extract but I haven’t found the color of pure vanilla extract to be a problem.
  • Coloring gel. I primarily use Americolor.

DIRECTIONS:

  • Pour the powdered sugar into your standing mixer bowl. Don’t bother to sift the sugar. If you don’t have a standing mixer use a big bowl and electric hand mixer. If you don’t have an electric hand mixer use a heavy wooden spoon and those lean muscled arms of yours.
  • Add corn syrup, flavorings, and water.
  • Using the beater blade attachment (not the whisk) mix the ingredients until smooth. Add additional water a half to one teaspoon at a time until the glaze has reached the consistency you want.
    • The consistency of icing is often described as being a specific second count, meaning the number of seconds it takes from the time you run a knife through the top of the icing until the trail the knife made on the surface disappears. Because the color gel remains to be added which will thin the icing to varying degrees depending on how much color you add, I typically aim for a 15-18 second count as I would rather add a little more water to thin than add additional powdered sugar to thicken after the gel has been added.
  • Before dividing and coloring the icing I mix a couple drops of white gel into the entire batch. Just a little white gel rounds out any other color you’ll add later.
  • Now divide the icing into as many containers as you need colors and cover with air tight lids.
  • Color one container of icing at a time, adding the coloring gel drop by drop. Keep in mind that the colors will darken slightly over the next 24 hours and when they dry on the cookies.
  • When you have the desired color, check your second count again.   I go for a 15-18 count for writing and detailing and 10-12 for outlining and flooding.
  • You can use the glaze right away but I suggest waiting for at least an hour, allowing time for some of the air bubbles to come to the surface which can then be gently stirred down before pouring into piping bags or bottles. This waiting time will reduce the among of bubbles that  show up when flooding the cookies. I normally make my icing 1-2 days before using it which allows it not only to rest but allows me to rest along with it. I prefer beginning a decorating day with all the icing made and ready to go since making the glaze, coloring it, and filling the bottles can take much of the morning.

Storing Corn Syrup Glaze

  • I leave the tightly sealed icing containers or icing bottles at room temperature for up to three days when decorating.
  • I refrigerate left over icing up to a week.
  • Corn syrup glaze freezes beautifully! I’ve never had a negative consequence of freezing and using and re-using glaze multiple times and as shown in the series of photos below I make huge batches at a time and freeze it uncolored. When I need to mix up some colored glaze for a new batch of cookies I just remove as much as I need from the freezer and set it on the kitchen counter overnight. The next morning I color it, add more water as needed (freezing causes some evaporation of the water), allow it to rest for an hour (or until the next day) and then I’m good to go.
  • Don’t throw out any leftover icing.  Combine any little amounts of colored icing you have remaining into one container and then stack it away in the freezer to serve as a starter for your next batch of black icing.
  • Always stir glaze before decorating to prevent any color separation that might have happened and check to be sure the glaze is the right consistency as time allows for evaporation of water, whether on the counter, fridge or freezer.

 

A Typical Glaze Day at Sweet Hope Cookies

I typically make up 12-20 quarts of glaze at a time. Those are 4-pound bags of powdered sugar. I mix two bags at a time, something I can only do since getting my Randy Red standing mixer.

To keep my working area clean I put the bowl into the kitchen sink when adding the ingredients to prevent powdered sugar dust and corn syrup goo from getting everywhere. This is what 8 pounds of powdered sugar looks like in a 7 quart bowl. I know what you’re thinking but stay with me on this one, because before the mixer ever sees this mountain, I carefully pour in the corn syrup, flavoring, and water and hand stir just until the powdered sugar begins dissolving. Doing this not only compacts the powdered sugar so the mixer has room to do its magic but it’s been saturated with moisture that will prevent it from flying everywhere once the blade begins spinning.

Free Tip! Every Kitchen Aid comes with one of these fancy clear splash guards.

I don’t like it. It’s awkward to use, and both the large spout area and a large opening in the back allow ingredients to escape.

What I did was buy one of the plastic lids made for the Kitchen Aid standing mixer bowl. I cut away the center of the lid, leaving an opening just large enough for the blade to comfortably spin in, and then I cut a slit from the outside edge to the opening which allows me to slip the cover on and off when the bowl and blade are in place. And in case you don’t already know, a large plastic disposable dinner plate will do the same thing but I like the bowl lid since it snaps in place and I don’t have to hold it on. It’s also re-useable and I’m already using too much disposable plastic…as you will see in a mere moment.

And here is that moment…

1/2 pint, pint, and a quart disposable deli food containers from Smart N Final. With lids. Not pictured. Use your imagination. I use these little puppies for everything. I keep my #0-1.5 piping tips in the small one, #2 piping tips in the medium one, and #3-6 piping tips in the large one. I then snap a lid on the small one only before slipping the small one into the medium one and the medium one into the large one, so that I have all my tips separated, sealed and stacked. It’s organizational awesomeness.

But I steered away from what we were talking about, didn’t I? And what was that? Oh. Corn syrup glaze. How quickly my mind wanders.

So with the glaze mixed to a smooth consistency and hovering somewhere between a 15-18 count, I divide the icing into manageable portions.  And once again, to reduce the mess and to save my anemic biceps from holding up the weight of eight pounds of glaze, I put my containers into the sink, rest the bowl on the counter and pour.

And then I start the process all over again. And again. And again.

And then it’s time for my quick and easy clean up. Rinse the glazed glaze kitchen ware in the sink and toss in the dishwasher.

Put the gorgeous, shiny, beautiful, amply sized Randy Red standing mixer in the sink and hit it with the water sprayer and a sponge.

And finally, lug the 12-20 quarts of corn syrup glaze out to the garage freezer where it will share the space with a few bags of rolled cookie dough and a bottle of chilled lemoncello. Be sure to be careful when carrying the containers of glaze out to the garage because if one happens to slip out of your arms and spill open onto the floor you’ll end up increasing your clean up time beyond the limits of your wildest imagination. And yes, it happened to me and no, I don’t want to talk about it.

There you go. That’s what it is and that’s how you make it. Maybe next time we can talk about how to use it since I’m pretty sure you could figure out the how to eat part on your own.

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43 Responses to “Glaze Glorious Glaze, Part One”

  1. Kris Colucci said:

    Loved your post… Clear, explained every step really well with your usual bit of funny humor mixed in….I will agree with everything you say regarding RI!

    Kris

  2. Jodi/Wonderland Cook said:

    This was a wonderful post! So well explained and so many tips! I am strictly an RI user. I never even KNEW about glaze until recently. I've been wanting to try it and I too, was inspired by Pam's tutorials! I actually tried it the other night! But, I really struggled with it. It seemed SO sticky! And I could hardly get it out of the piping bag. :( I am sure I did something wrong. Maybe I need to try again. It's funny how there are such hard lines on the subject! :) But, I LOVE the look, especially this recipe that does not include milk (I don't much like the cloudy, opaque look of those that do). I know you mentioned that next time you would talk about how to use it, but can I ask just one question? What size tip do you typically use when outlining/flooding? Like I said, maybe I need to give it another try. I use Sugarbelle's recipe and I add the whole 4 tablespoons of vanilla to it plus a tablespoon of corn syrup. I don't have that funny taste at all, although I have in the past so I know what you mean. I think the corn syrup helps a lot! Well, thank you again. Sorry to go on and on. I am just really trying to get the courage up to try it again! :)

  3. anita said:

    Hi Jodi! So now I'm really hoping that you and the other royal icing devotees are familiar enough with my humor (or what I try to pass as humor) to know I was exaggerating just a wee bit about the flavor of royal icing. I don't want a hate group forming over on Facebook about me! Anyway, for outlining I typically use a 2 and for flooding, anything between a 3 and a 6…just depends on how big the flooded area is. I've never used the corn syrup glaze with milk but I wonder if those few drops of white Americolor would knock the cloudy opaque look from it. Just a thought. It just sounds to me like you might have gone too thick with the glaze or, if its even possible, beat it for too long. I usually don't beat it any longer than 3 minutes on the lowest setting. And back to the flavor of royal icing, it could possibly be insightful to offer the disclaimer that all wine tastes exactly like apple cider vinegar to me. So maybe it's just me :)

  4. Veronique said:

    I loooove your post!! I could had write that article! I'm a glaze ADDICT! lol but I also use RI for small details on top of the cookies.

    I think I'll use your idea KA lid, thanks!

  5. Karla said:

    Great post! Unlike you though, I have no icing loyalty. When I was using glaze over the holidays I loved it, and now that I switched back to RI I love that too. Getting the consistency right is what will make or break my day.

  6. sherie wilcox said:

    Thanks for all of the info. I tried glaze for my Christmas cookies–love the flavor and smoothness, but was not happy with the color bleed and lack of detail I could provide. I guess glaze as a base and RI for detail would be a win, win!

  7. Michele said:

    Wow, such informative information! I used a similiar version of this glaze years ago, which was developed by Toba Garrett. I didn't like that there was milk in it because I felt like it needed to be refrigerated. I am going to try this version (I'm a big fan of CookieCrazie). I am going to post your tutorial on my blog, is that ok? I'm new to all this blog stuff. Of course you will get complete credit.

    I also wanted to mention that I noticed that you roll your cookie dough out in the zip lock bags before storing. Brilliant! It's so simple but I never thought of it….duhhhh. lol I had these big bulky bags 'o icing in my freezer that really took up a lot of space.

    And lastly, I read your page about your brother and I am so sorry for your loss. Your dedication to his memory is inspiring! As an outsider, I did not know what ALS was and I didn't see it mentioned on your page, so I looked it up. You may want to add it? For those like me (are there any?) who simply need to have every detail about everything. :)

  8. Cindy said:

    Question, once the cookies are iced with this glaze, do they freeze well at that point? I know you said the icing itself freezes well but wondered if you had experienced actually freezing it on the cookie?

  9. anita said:

    Fellow Glaze Addict Veronica, nice to meet you :) I have several "cookie friends" who use the combination of glaze and RI like you do and while I've occasionally intended to do that with particular cookies in the past I will often choose instead to re-work my design so that I can do the whole thing in glaze. Often that's less about my full commitment to glaze than it is to my laziness in making a batch of RI :)

  10. anita said:

    Hey Sheri! I know others have mentioned issues with bleeding with glaze but so far, knock on Silpat, I haven't had a real issue with that over the past year. Here are a couple guidelines I always follow that seems to have all but eliminated bleed on my cookies. 1. Be sure not to over-saturate glaze with coloring gel (I use to add way too much!) 2. Allow sufficient time between colors. When I have potential bleed combinations setting next to each other on the cookie I make sure the first color has had at least a couple hours of drying time. 3. Avoid wet on wet with contrasting colors. This limits me somewhat in that I don't make, for example, white polka dots in a base of red flooding. The only time I drop one wet color inside of another wet color is when both colors are very strong (black details in a red or blue flood) or they're two tones of the same color (light green polka dots inside a darker green flood). Pam has amazing results with wet on wet but I tend to do more wet on dry out of my passionate fear and loathing of bleed. And yep, glaze as a base and RI as detail does indeed seem to be a win for many. I might venture over to the dark side at some point myself :)

  11. anita said:

    Hi Michele, thanks so much for visiting my blog. Since you're new to blogging, a general etiquette in terms of sharing what others have written on their blog is that you limit posting their writing to a small section of their post into your blog post along with credit and a link to their original post (as I've done in this one with Pam). And in that regard I'm completely fine (and honored) in you referring to anything I've done. To clarify, I don't actually roll the dough IN the bags. I roll it out as usual on my Silpat mat, slide it onto a rectangular cake board, trim away the excess and slide it into the ziploc. I usually stack two layers in each bag with a cardbaord sheet and wax paper between them). Thanks for your input regarding more information and/or links to information about ALS on my blog. That's important to me since spreading awareness of the disease and what can be done is one of my main goals. Because of your comment I think in the future I'll provide a link to The ALS Association at the bottom of every post. Thank you again for pointing this out! ALSA.org….ALSA.org…ALSA.org :)

  12. anita said:

    Cindy, Pam did a really thorough post on the question of freezing glazed cookies and thawing. Her experience wasn't all that successful and she has photos to prove it :) I've only done a couple tests and my results were quite different in that I couldn't visually tell the difference between those that hadn't been frozen and those that had been frozen and thawed but again, this was a limited test. The main guideline is that the cookies must be stored air tight in the freezer, and when you thaw them, they must remain air tight until the cookies have completely reached room temperature. If any outside air come in contact with the frozen or cold glaze surface it will cause moisture to develop on the cold surface and you'll have a tacky cookie that will become discolored and blotchy. As a general rule I don't freeze cookies for other people but at some point I'll do more testing around freezing glazed cookies and let you know.

  13. Michele said:

    Thank you so much Anita. I would be glad to put your link with your button on my site but I don't know how. :( Somebody needs to write a book on how to do all this stuff! I am pretty computer literate and have been working with computers since 1982 but when it comes to all this Blog, Facebook, You Tube and Twitter stuff I am clueless.

  14. anita said:

    Michele, you don't need to put my button your page. All I would ask is that in the body of the post you would include a link to "Anita at http://www.sweethopecookies.com." Nothing more than that.

  15. edible canvas creati said:

    I am about a year into making and decorating cookie and have been devoted to glaze (Pam's recipe as well) since the beginning. I just can't beat the cost savings, over RI and taste. I've had baked cookies that have been a couple weeks old, and when I've iced them, they are like new again, moist and yummy. I have to believe that is a big help when sending cookies in the mail, helping keep them moist. I have used my whip attachment for mixing the icing. Is there a specific reason you don't? Also, I never add white to the main batch because I find it then takes extra color of whatever color I want, to bring that color up to the saturation I want. That base of white is just enough to mute the color a bit. I recommend you try adding your colors to a non-white batch just to try. I find the colors pop. Thank you for this helpful tutorial. I learned a few things!

  16. Jenny said:

    My family has been using glaze for decades, and I can't imagine using anything else. Out of curiosity, I recently purchased some cookies from one of the biggest RI decorators/bloggers. They were STUNNING to look at, but I only ate one. And you don't know me, but that's saying a lot. I have been known to grab a handful of chocolate chips or caramels when there's no other dessert in house. But those cookies just were not appetizing.

    My glaze contains milk but no water or corn syrup. I used to add the corn syrup (though it wasn't in our family recipe), but I didn't notice any extra shine or other benefit, and I just figured three ingredients were better than four for a lazy, lazy person like me. I don't think there is any refrigeration issue with milk, because of its very low ratio to the sugar.

    I am tickled pink about your bulk production tips, and to learn the stuff is freezable! The main thing that keeps me from decorating cookies is the icing prep. It makes me CRAZY, especially when I'm doing several colors (remember, I'm lazy, lazy). I may also use your KA lid tip, because not all KAs come with a shield! Mine came from Costco and did not. :-(

    P.S. If I'm in a hurry to pour colored glaze, I pour it in the bag or bottle from waaaay up high (very carefully). If I can get a super-thin stream, nearly all the bubbles burst, and none seem to get added at the bottom of the bag or bottle. If I'm using a bag, I also like the trick of squeezing it (so simple and I'd never thought of it!).

  17. Jenny said:

    Oh, also in my experience corn syrup doesn't lock in freshness any better than without. BUT . . . I don't bake my cookies to crisp. Mine are medium thickness and really soft. I even err on the side of underdone.

    ECC: Glaze users will often use white in every batch to cut some of the transparency of the glaze and get it looking more opaque, like RI. I do it when I have the white on-hand. P.S. I just went to your link, and your dragged tropical flowers and the Ninjas are so darling.

  18. Anita said:

    Margaret, the only reason I use the blade is because that's what I used the first time and tend to be an "if it ain't broke don't fix it" kind of girl. I would imagine a whip would work just fine but I'm curious, do you find that adds more air (and more air bubbles) to the icing? In terms of adding white, I add the equivelent of perhaps three drops per batch which I think offsets the tint in the regular pure vanilla extract. Without the white my colors end up being a wee bit translucent in appearance and so I've actually found adding the white is what makes my colors pop instead of the other way around. The only time I don't add white is to black and deep red and to each of those I add a tablespoon of powdered cocoa that helps the colors darken and kills any bitter taste from the amount of gel needed to reach the intensity of color I'm wanting to achieve.

  19. Whitney said:

    This was an awesome post! I've been using royal icing and while it looks pretty, the only person that eats my cookies is my mother. I cannot wait to try this glaze recipe! Also, the tips on making large batches of icing (even dough?) and freezing it were so helpful! Now if only I could talk my husband into getting another refrigerator for the garage so I can store all of this in. Thank you so much for this post. I'm new to your blog and I can't wait to see what else you create! Also, will you do a tutorial on your weiner dog cookies? I've had three weiner dogs and I would LOVE to make those cookies!

  20. Whitney said:

    I guess I was a little too excited because I meant to say the weiner dog cookies that are on four square cookies with the sprinkles. I think those are the cutest cookies I've ever seen and would look adorable on a cake!

  21. Kara said:

    Thank you, Anita, for this great post! I was searching for your glaze recipe and am so glad you posted it with tutorial and everything!! Thanks a bunch!! – Kara from Cookies in the Cupboard

  22. Christina said:

    I use Glaze all the time and I LOVE IT! However the last two batches of cookies i made turned splotchy after a couple of days. It's so frustrating and depressing after working so hard on cookies. Any ideas how I can stop this from happening? I haven't changed anything. Do you think putting a thin coat of glaze on the cookies before outlining and filling will prevent this. I can't have this keep happening. It's only been one other time and that was over a year ago around mothers day. Help please!!!

  23. edible canvas creati said:

    Hmm, I like the idea of the cocoa powder in red and black. Clever. I'll try that! I haven't noticed the whip attachment adding more air than the beater blade, but once I put my glaze into my bottles for decorating, the air issue seems to be a moot point either way. I'm going to try the beater blade today to see if there is a difference. I was using the whip simply to get the best mixing of ingredients. Perhaps that is not needed.

    I used clear vanilla extract so perhaps that is why I don't need the white dye that you use. That would make sense. I also appreciated your comment about not using too much dye, which can cause other problems. I will be careful of that from now on.

    In your photo of stored icing in the freezer, I noticed the large containers are not dyed. I was thinking I would dye containers of base colors, like black, red, green, etc ahead of time, so that was done. I can understand keeping plenty of base glaze not dyed, for special color needs in the future, but what do you think of storing large containers of dyed glaze? I just wondered if there was a specific reason you didn't do that.

  24. Cristin (Pinkie) of said:

    Fantastic post Anita! I've been a glaze gal since the beginning of cookie decorating and I love it. I tried to switch to Royal Icing when I became a "real cookier" and started seeing the incredible decorated cookies that are done with Royal Icing, but my kids INSISTED that I stay with my own glaze recipe. I still drool over the dimension that the Royal Icing gals get on their gorgeous cookies, but the glaze works for me and I've figured out how to get the details and dimension that I want for my cookies with glaze. Like you, I use real vanilla extract vs the clear imitation extract and so I do have to add white Americolor gel to make it true white, but I think the real stuff tastes better than the imitation, so it's worth the few drops of white gel. I only add the white gel to the icing that I will be using as white though, not the other colors. I love knowing that you freeze your glaze icing. I've never thought of doing that. I've gotten pretty good at figuring out how much icing to make, but I do throw away all the left-overs. I'll have to try freezing it and being less wasteful. This is a great post and I appreciate you sharing your expertise!

  25. anita said:

    Christina, I hate saying this because as sure as I do….but so far I haven't experienced the dreaded blotches. I know it's a problem that others have experienced occasionally or regularly and so you might check the cookie forums at Karen's Cookies and look for related discussions. There have been plenty of them! One possibility is that butter/fat from the cookie is getting trapped under the glaze and then leeching through. This is one of the reasons why I tend to bake on one day and decorate the next, to allow time for the butter in the cookie to be absorbed into the cookie itself. Another fact could simply be that the colors in the icing have either a) not been mixed in thoroughly or b) haven't been given time to rest and set into the icing ingredients. Again, on the day I bake I mix my colors (if they weren't done already) and give them overnight to rest before using them. Other factors can be humidity or something wrong with the ingredients themselves. Maybe others here could offer other thoughts?

  26. anita said:

    Margaret, at this very moment my freezer looks like a rainbow exploded :) Every once in a while I'll make huge batches of white icing when I don't know what specific colors I'll be doing in the future but if I have specific orders upcoming then yes, I color before freezing. I've NEVER had a problem with using thawed colored icing. The only thing is that when it thaws you'll notice some color separation on the top layer of the icing but just be sure to stir thoroughly and it's just fine.

  27. anita said:

    Hey Cristin, you do AMAZING things with glaze! At this point the only time I throw out icing is if I'm just too lazy to scrap out the leftovers from the bottles and usually that's around 2 in the morning :) Unlike you I'm terrible at calculating how much icing to make and that's why freezing has been such a wonderful thing for me.

  28. Suzanne said:

    Great article. I need to spend a week learning about glaze icings. Can you stack cookies made with this type of glaze, or will they smuge?
    Thanks for the tutorial. http://www.facebook.com/sweetsbysuz

  29. cookiecraziePam said:

    Wow Anita……what a thorough post on glaze. I appreciate all you shared. And thanks for the mention when using the recipe. ♥♥♥

  30. Hayley said:

    I love you. and your glaze. dont tell dana. lol :] and Im so glad you posted about glaze because now when people ask me questions I just say… have you seen Sweet Hope Cookies post? its like.. the best! hahah :]]]

  31. U'ilani said:

    Thank you! Great info, very helpful!

  32. Felicia F. said:

    Loved that post. It was so clear that I feel like I could start tomorrow!! I've got 7 recipes of dough waiting in the fridge, and a counter just waiting!

  33. DZShort said:

    I use RI all the time and all my customers give RAVE reviews and they come BACK often. When I first learned how to make RI it was through a Wilton class and it had that nasty meringue powder in it. Yuck! I hated it. So I found a way to make it with egg whites. Before anyone freaks out I assure you it is in fact safe….I have done my extensive homework which I won't bore you with here. Moving on…another thing I was told was that you can't add certain flavors to RI that are oil based. Well, not entirely true. You can add ANY flavor you want to RI AFTER it is completely mixed and it holds beautifully! I am a firm believer that RI tastes so bad from most baker's because they use the meringue and/or don't flavor it well/or at all. That being said, I love RI in how pliable it is. However, the one thing that left me desiring more was to me it always looked better BEFORE it dried when it was shiny. Wanting that shine lead me looking for more and I found glaze at CookieCrazie.com. It is okay, shines beautifully but super sticky and far trickier to work with. I have not discarded it entirely but I am in the middle of making a recipe combining both RI and glaze to see about possibly getting the best of both worlds. We'll see! :)

    Great article! Very detailed and wonderful picture examples. Thanks so much for sharing.

  34. anita said:

    DZ, no dispersions meant toward those who use royal icing. I've tasted a few cookies with royal icing made by my friends and it was fine. I just prefer the flavor, shine and over all ease with using glaze. Good luck on those experiments! I believe others have tried making a hybrid of the two as well and have reported good results.

  35. Javene said:

    can you HELP? recently started using Americolor and find that my glaze looks great…after about a day i am getting cloudy splotches all over the cookie. Any suggestions???

  36. javene said:

    have you resolved this problem? i am having the same issues…i would love your input

  37. SWEETH0PE said:

    Javene, blotching can be the result of two issues. First, the colors might not be fully set into the icing. Be sure to give it enough time between mixing colors and decorating the cookie, especially with the more intense colors. I typically make my icing colors the day before I do the decorating. Second and most common, blotching is often a result of fat from the cookie leaking into the icing which causes the discoloration. Are you putting the icing on the cookies right after baking? You might try baking them the day before.

  38. Cinna-Bum Roll and Cut Cookies | Sweet Hope Cookies said:

    [...] is one of those cookies I’m going to argue tastes soooo much better decorated with corn syrup glaze than it does with royal icing simply because glaze is crazy sweet just like cinnamon frosting. And [...]

  39. Vikki said:

    I am wondering if you can freeze the cookies after they are glazed???

  40. Susan said:

    All of the answers to my many, many questions I’ve had! We had a bakery that at one time that made the best glazed sugar cookies. They sold out and theirs just weren’t the same. I had to take itupon myself to learn how to do them just right. The pesky bubbles have been my nemesis! I love your tips for those. I’m also one who would rather make big or go home. Your storage tips rock! I keep those containers at the house for leftovers and sauces/dressings because they’re so cheap to get. I never thought of the glaze. And lastly I love the tip on adding white to help make the colors pop with a strong solid color. Just dandy info. I make a dark chocolate glaze that’s becoming one of my most requested but I actually found this while looking for a caramel glaze recipe for my brown sugar and my chocolate chip rolled cookies. Still searching for that answer.

  41. jaci said:

    I have used corn syrup glaze because I also do not like the taste of RI, but mine does not dry with a shine. I did find a glaze with real lemon juice that did dry with a great shine but I do not always want lemon flavoring. Any thoughts?

  42. SWEETHOPE said:

    Jaci, I still feel like the corn syrup keeps a shine where as RI is so flat. But with that said, I tend to give all the cookies I decorate a final spray of Pearl airbrush paint just to increase the gloss a little.Sent from my iPad

  43. Fifteen Icing Recipes for Cookie Decorating said:

    […] Sort of Royal Icing via The Decorated Cookie 12. Glorious Corn Syrup Glaze via Sweet Hope Cookies 13. Sweet P’s Royal Glaze 14. CookieCrazie Glaze Icing Recipe 15. Karen’s Meringue […]

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