12 Days of Cookies: Day 2, Quick & Easy Cookie Icing

Royal Icing

Decorating sugar cookies can be a fun way to wile away a chilly afternoon with friends. Don’t despair if your little cookie canvasses aren’t perfect works of art. With a little practice, you’ll be icing cookies like our pastry chefs. In the meantime, rest assured that these cookies taste delicious no matter what – especially if you followed our tips for baking the perfect batch!

Quick & Easy Cookie Icing
Click here to print this recipe!


1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon filtered water
Food coloring

Makes enough icing to decorated 6 to 8 six-inch cookies

1. Place powdered sugar in a medium bowl and add water. *Stir to combine until the mixture is smooth and all the sugar is dissolved. Add just a couple of drops of food coloring and mix well. You can always add more food coloring until the desired color is reached. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 1 day.

2. Repeat the steps above to create more colors.

3. Fit your pastry bags with the desired piping tips. A fine tip is perfect for drawing detailed decorations and making outlines. A wider tip can be used to fill in spaces. Using a rubber spatula, fill each bag with a different frosting color. Gather the frosting near the tip so no air will escape the tip as you are decorating. When icing the cookies, make sure the piping tip is not touching the cookie, but rather hovering over the cookie. One way to cover the whole cookie with a glaze of icing is by putting on a latex glove, dipping your finger into the icing and painting the cookie with your finger.

4. While the icing is wet, add embellishments to the cookie by topping with colored sprinkles or crystal sugar. Once the icing has set, gently tap the cookie to get rid of extra sprinkles and sugar.

5. After all the cookies have been decorated, let them sit for 2 hours at room temperature, so the frosting can set.

*If your icing is too thick, stir in more water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached; if too thin, continue stirring, or mix in more powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.

Glazed to Perfection: How to Make Chocolate Ganache

Chocolate Orange Coffee Cake glazed with chocolate ganache

Our Mini Chocolate Orange Coffee Cake drizzled with rich chocolate ganache.

Chocolate ganache is rainbow sprinkle frosting all grown up. It’s patent leather shoes and sequin sparkles. It’s velvety smooth and seductive. Go ahead. We dare you to whip up an easy batch and not dip a finger into the decadent gloss.

We use chocolate ganache in many of our recipes, from Cocoa Puffs to Chocolate Orange Coffee Cake. Since it brings a full-bodied thrum of chocolate flavor to everything it touches – and you can’t have Valentine’s Day without chocolate – we decided to share our signature chocolate ganache recipe.

Chocolate Ganache
Click here to print this recipe!


1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup good-quality semisweet chocolate chips


Pour the heavy cream into a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring the cream to a froth just before it boils. Turn off the heat and add the chocolate chips. Using a rubber spatula, stir constantly until the chocolate has completely melted. Set the pan aside and let the ganache cool to the desired consistency. The ganache will thicken as it cools.

How to Use Chocolate Ganache

  • Pour warm ganache over ice cream for an off-the-charts delicious sundae.
  • Dip your favorite fruits (dried or fresh), nuts (raw or roasted) and candies.
  • Drizzle warm ganache over a bundt cake for a dramatic effect that’s impossible to mess up.
  • Top cupcakes in lieu of traditional frosting.
  • Spread a layer over a pan of brownies for death-by-chocolate decadence.