Decorating Cookies: A Simple Glaze


When this container appears in my kitchen, it means it’s time to get serious about cookie decorating.  After all, Christmas is only a week away, and the cookies I baked yesterday, must be finished today!

This is how I begin:


I set up my center island in the kitchen with an old tablecloth, pour myself another cup of coffee, and begin to lay out all the necessary supplies, equipment and other stuff I may or may not use. ( Nice to have it out and handy just in case inspiration strikes.)  It’s time to break out the tools and have some fun.


If you’re like me you have the cookies all baked, cooled and stored in an airtight container, ready and waiting to be decorated.  This may have been done up to a week ahead.

Next I make the decorative icing.  I used to make royal icing, whipping it up like crazy, covering it with layers of damp paper towels or a cloth towel in an attempt to prevent it from drying out.  I still do make it if I want to get really fancy in my decorating, but for the most part, I get just as much bang for my buck, in a lot less time, with this Simple Cookie Glaze.

Here’s how to make it.   Put the following in a deep mixer bowl:

  • 2  1/4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 1  1/2 to 2 Tbsp. milk, plus 1 teaspoon milk
Ingredients for glaze.

Ingredients for glaze.

Mix together the sugar and corn syrup.  Then add 1  1/2 tablespoons milk, and begin to mix.  As you mix it together you will get a thick, pasty blob forming in the center of the bowl.

Thick blob forms.

Thick blob forms.

Now add 1 more teaspoon milk.  Continue mixing until things begin to smooth out; but it you’re using all your might to draw the whisk (or spoon) through the mixture, or you electric mixer overheats and stops working, (just kidding), you’re allowed to add 1 additional teaspoon milk.

This is what the texture looks like:

Smooth and thinned out.

Smooth and thinned out.

The frosting falls in a ribbon, but disappears back into the pool of frosting in the bowl within a few seconds.

Perfect consistency.

Perfect consistency.

I bring out a few of my re-purposed “to-go” containers with lids.  This glaze can’t be left uncovered for more than a few minutes before it begins to thicken up, dry out, and develop a crust.  So I divide it up into several containers with lids, so that I can tint smaller portions in the colors I plan to use.

Coloring small amount of the glaze.

Coloring small amount of the glaze.

Also, if I know that I will be using this icing again in a day or so, these containers are just right for keeping it moist and ready to go when I need it.  An additional drop or two of milk will loosed it up if it should get a little too thick.

I put some plain glaze in a container, give it a healthy blob of gel paste food coloring, then mix it up.  Dip your cookie into the glaze, or spread it on the cookie with an off-set spatula.  If you want them to be sparkly, sprinkle on some fine decorating sugar, or sprinkles.  If not, just let the glaze dry.  Then you can draw or write on it with food-safe colored pens.  These are great for drawing on faces or accenting details of the cookie mold.


I like to use squeeze bottles with decorating tips on them to write on cookies or make details.  Just spoon white or colored frosting of choice into the bottle, screw on the cover with tip attached, and gently squeeze the bottle.


That’s how I made these. Trees with snow on them. Aren’t they cute?


With the batch of Swedish Ginger Cookies that I made yesterday, and only 1 batch of the Simple Glaze, I was able to get this variety of cookies.






It’s easy to make an impressive and colorful assortment of cookies that look like they required more work than they actually did, using this decorating method.



Now, go……bake,……decorate,……have fun!   🙂



3 responses

  1. Hi Carolyn, Merry Christmas!
    Do you think that these would make good candidates to add a string and hang upon the tree? Haven’t done Gingerbread cookies since I was a kid; but yours are SO beautifully Christmasy and you’ve got me quite enthused!!


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