When I started baking and decorating sugar cookies, I have to be honest, the excitement of creating an edible masterpiece made me very excited, then overwhelmed, then lost. Looking back, this was mainly because of all the photos I saw on social media. I was determined to create every design that I saw. The downside, I bought almost everything that cookiers use. Even if it meant buying tools that weren’t exactly what I needed. At the end of the first month, I’ve spent over $500 on tools, still not including the basic and important tools.
This blog consists of a list detailing the most basic tools that you’ll need to start baking and decorating sugar cookies. This is only a guide, but I hope that you’ll find it useful.
Cookie Baking Tools
Cookie baking tools don’t need to be fancy, chances are you already have most, if not all, the tools in your kitchen.
I prefer using a glass bowl when mixing because it is easier to clean especially if you only use one bowl for mixing cookie dough and royal icing. Remember that all the tools that you use for royal icing should be free from oil because it’ll affect the way the icing sets.
You don’t necessarily need a stand or hand mixer, but if you have it then might as well use it. It’ll make mixing incredibly easier and less time consuming compared to doing it manually. Hand mixers are inexpensive compared to stand mixers, which is why I recommend it. With that in mind, make sure that you buy a mixer with various speed settings, this will allow you to have more control when mixing.
A kitchen scale and an oven thermometer are among the most important tools when baking. The scale allows you to measure dry ingredients more accurately. It also save you time if you are preparing for a large batch of cookies.
A rolling pin allows you to roll the dough before cutting. A rolling pin guide isn’t necessary, but it’s a really helpful tool if you are aiming for an equal cookie thickness. Some experienced bakers prefer to do it by “eye”, however, based on my experience, a guide can save you a lot of rolling time.
You can create a lot of designs by simply using the basic shaped cookie cutters. It can be overwhelming especially if you see the various cookie shapes being used by cookiers. However, you have to remember that these designs can also be done using basic shapes, it is all about creativity.
Invest in a good baking pan for your cookies because this will affect the baking process. Additionally, make sure you always line your pans with parchment, wax paper, or silicone baking mat. If you are a beginner, I suggest that you stick with what you already have at home. You can always upgrade it in the future.
An oven thermometer is very important because it provides you with an accurate temperature reading. I always had trouble with my cookies at the beginning of my baking journey. They are either under baked or spread even if I bake them at 180degC according to the oven’s setting. When I finally bought an oven thermometer, I was surprised how off my oven setting was. Since then, my cookies always came out perfectly.
Royal Icing Decorating Tools
Piping bags come in different types and I always prefer using tip-less bags over other bags because you can use them with or without piping tips. They are versatile which is why they are great for beginners.
Skewer/ BBQ sticks
If you have been watching cookie decorating videos on social media, you might have noticed the colourful scribes that cookiers use to move or spread royal icing. When I started decorating cookies, I used short BBQ sticks. They work well, however, they are disposable and the tips tend to soften if used for a longer period of time. Cheap cookie scribes can be found here.
A sharp pair of clean scissors will be for cutting the tip of a piping bag. You can use your current kitchen scissors as long as it is clean.