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Home > F.A.Q.
Is your Web site safe for online shopping?
Yes! We have taken various measures to assure that your shopping experience with us is safe, secure, and simple. With 128-bit Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology, industry leading encryption hardware and software methods, and compliance with PCI Data Security Standards, you can shop our store with confidence. To learn more about how we assure your protection, click here.
Do I need to create an account to place an order?
Nope. You're more than welcome to place an order without creating an account, signing up for our newsletter, or anything. We only require the information needed to process your order, send your shipping information (email), and contact you in case there are questions with your order (phone number.) Additionally, we never store your credit card information. If you choose to create an account you can track orders, and view past orders through our web site. To learn more about how we assure your protection, click here.
May I phone in an order?
Sure thing! If you're experiencing any issues with ordering online or just prefer to place your order by calling, please do so. Our toll free number is 1-800-934-3997. If we can't help you right away, just leave a message with your phone number and we'll call you back.
May I pay with a Money Order or Western Union?
Yes! Simply go through the checkout process on our web site as normal, but instead of paying with your credit card you can choose "Offline Payment". Note your order number and then email us and let us know how you will be paying and what your order number is. If you are sending via Western Union, please send payment to Karen's Cookies in Ammon, ID USA and then email us with the payment number.
If you accidentally choose "Offline Payment" when you've intended to pay with a credit card online, you can simply redo your order, or give us a call and we can take your payment over the phone.
May I pay online with PayPal?
Yes! When checking out you will be given the option of using PayPal. Simply select this option and you can either pay directly with a credit card using PayPal, or use funds in your PayPal account.
My Credit or Debit Card did not work when I placed my order. Why is this?
The most common reason for this happening is an old or mistyped address. If your credit card was issued when you lived at a previous address, try that. You can designate your current address as the shipping location. If it still doesn't work, contact us and we'll see if we can get it worked out.
How much is shipping?
That depends on the weight of your order, the destination, and the shipping method chosen. You will see your total, including shipping costs right on our web site before you complete your order. You'll simply need to complete the steps of entering your address and choosing a shipping method.
When will my order be shipped?
We ship quickly and offer various choices of shipping methods to fit your needs. Orders are normally shipped by the next business day. Some exceptions may occur in the busy holiday season or if we are on vacation. Such exceptions will be rare and posted clearly on our web site. If you have any questions at all about your order or when it was shipped, please contact us. You can read more about our shipping policies here.
Will I have a tracking number when my order is shipped?
This depends on the shipping method chosen. UPS and USPS Priority Mail have tracking available. Some services have better tracking than others. For example, UPS will be a lot more detailed with the status of your package, while USPS will often merely tell you if it's been sent, or delivered. International customers should note that First Class International has NO tracking number at all. Once it leaves our facility there is no way to tell where it is. Priority International does have a tracking number provided however.
Tracking numbers will be emailed to you with your shipping confirmation email. If you have registered on our site, you can log in at any time to track the status of your order.
How long will it take for my order to arrive?
That depends on the shipping method chosen and where you are located. For U.S. orders, USPS First Class Mail will typically take 4-5 days, while USPS Priority Mail will take about 3-4 days. We also have various expidited methods available if you need it faster.
International orders will usually take between 1 and 2 weeks. However, they can take up to 8 weeks under some circumstances, especially when dealing with "First-Class International" shipping. Learn more about our shipping here.
Do you have a return policy?
Absolutely. If you are not satisfied with your order from Karen's Cookies, you may return unused merchandise within 30 days and we will either credit your card or provide store credit (your choice). Before sending your return, please contact us so we can decide how to best resolve the issue (in some cases a return is not necessary to receive a replacement.) Click here to learn more.
You are out of stock on an item I want. When will it be in?
You are welcome to email us to enquire about the availability of an out-of-stock item. Sometimes we have some information, and other times we don't. Either way we're happy to pass on whatever information we have.
Also, you are welcome to go to the product page and click on the "Waiting List" link below the description. If you place yourself on the waiting list you will recieve an email as soon as we have that product back in stock.
I am interested in an item you don't carry. Can you get it in?
It certainly doesn't hurt to ask! We have been able to get in several special requests, but it just depends on the case. Contact us if you're interested in something specific.
Do you have a printed catalog?
Unfortunately we do not at this time. All of our products and prices are on our web site.
Do you sell wholesale?
We do not sell wholesale at this time.
What is the difference between Frosting and Icing?
Technically, I believe the difference lies in the consistency. Usually "frosting" refers to the thicker stuff you use to pipe decorations with, and "icing" refers to a thinner glaze. Throughout the tutorial section of this site, I try to use them as such; However, I tend to use the two words interchangeably and it's hard to break old habits, so you may find inconsistencies in my use of the words. Basically, either one refers to that sugary stuff you put on cookies!
How long does it take to decorate one cookie?
This will depend on your skill level and experience. The more cookies you make, the faster you will get. It also depends a great deal on the design of the cookie, and the detail involved. For me, I figure that if I don't count mixing the dough, cutting and baking the cookies, OR making frosting, mixing colors, and filling bags, (in other words, only actual decorating time), it takes anywhere from 2-7 minutes per cookie. Most of them can be done in about 5 minutes.
My decorating tips keep getting clogged by small lumps of frosting! What should I do?
Unfortunately I have had my share of experience with this. It is absolutely the single most irritating thing to have happen while decorating cookies. I have come up with several things to do to prevent it.
Why is my dough too soft after mixing?
The dough should be slightly soft, but shouldn't stick to your finger when you touch it. If it is too soft and sticky, there may be a problem with some ingredients or your mixing method. Here are a few tips.
Make sure that your butter is soft, but not melty when you start mixing. It should be soft enough that it will mix well, but not so soft that it's getting melty. Melty butter can affect the absorption of the flour while you're mixing.
Use either all real butter, or half butter/half margarine. Using all margarine will cause your dough to be extra-soft, so I recommend using at least half real butter. If you use any margarine at all, make sure it is labeled as 70% vegetable oil, and it should have the word "margarine" on the package and not "spread".
Using super-fine sugar, or regular granulated sugar that has been blended in a food processor, will help with dough consistency. You can also use powdered sugar, but you will need to increase it from 1 cup to 1 1/2 cups.
Don't forget that the dough needs to be refrigerated before rolling, and it will firm up a lot after an hour or two in the fridge. If you've done everything right, and it still seems soft, don't panic. Put it in the refrigerator, and you might be surprised that it firms up just fine.
For more information, please see our dough making video, tutorial, and recipes.
Why are my cookies losing their shape during baking?
The biggest thing that helps with holding the shape is using parchment paper or silicone liners on your pans. There is something about having a barrier between the pan and the cookie that really helps with spreading. If you're already using one of those two, make sure that your dough is chilled and the pans are cool when you start baking.
I have started using half butter and half margarine in my dough. The best way for cookies to keep their shape is if the dough is cold, cold, cold when you're using it. If you use all butter, it's just too hard to roll straight from the refrigerator. You need to let it come to room temp before rolling, and then by the time you get it rolled out, it gets soft really fast. If you use all margarine, you have the opposite problem-- even straight from the fridge it is often too soft to work with. So the solution is to use half butter/half margarine, and you can roll it straight from the fridge, and your shapes will stay perfect from counter to pan. When using margarine, make sure that it is labeled as "margarine" and not "spread". It should be at least 70% vegetable oil. The brands I use are Nucoa and Gold N' Soft, but I'm not sure if those are widely available.
How long can I store my dough and icing?
One thing I really like about cookies is that they are not super time-sensitive, and you can adjust your baking and decorating time to fit your schedule. Here are some storage times so you can figure out your own custom time line. (If you'd like to see my own preferred time line, see the "General Tips" tutorial.)
The Meringue Powder Buttercream and/or Royal Icing will keep for about a week at room temperature. If you want to store it any longer than that, I would keep it in the refrigerator or freezer. It will keep in the fridge for about a month, and the freezer for several months, as long as it is kept airtight. Make sure it comes to room temperature again before using, and you may need to beat it a little to restore the consistency.
The Corn Syrup Icing will keep for 3-4 days at room temperature. Any longer than that, and it needs to be refrigerated. Again, bring to room temp before using, and stir to restore consistency. I haven't tried freezing it, so I'm not sure how freezing will work with this icing.
Cookie dough can be refrigerated for up to a week. If you're going to have it in there for a full week, make sure to wrap it extra-tightly or it will start to dry out around the edges. Just one layer of saran wrap is fine if it will just be in there for a couple of days, but if it's going to be any longer, I usually put the disks into a ziploc for extra protection.
You can freeze your undecorated baked cookies ahead of time. Use airtight containers and layer your cookies with sheets of waxed paper between. Ziploc freezer bags work well, or a large Rubbermaid container will also work. When you are ready to decorate the cookies, let them thaw at room temperature before removing from their container(s).
Once the cookies are decorated, they will stay fresh for about a week. After that, they don't look as pretty and start tasting a bit stale. They won't hurt you, but they just aren't as good. Make sure to package them as airtight as possible once the frosting is dry for maximum freshness.
You can freeze cookies after they've been decorated, but it can be a little bit hit-or-miss. Freeze them airtight and allow them to thaw completely in their airtight containers before opening. This way, the condensation that occurs during the thawing process will form on the outside of your container instead of on the cookies (the moisture is what causes most problems). Most of the time this works great with no problems; however, it's not completely foolproof. Sometimes the frosting will get blotchy no matter what, and I haven't found a definite solution to it. Usually the problem colors are black and red and any very dark colors like blue or green.
Where else can I learn more or get answers to questions?
That's a great question and we have an even greater answer!
Check out the Cookiers R Us Cookie Decorating Forum! It's a free, friendly, and fantastic cookie decorating forum where the people are quick to help with questions and eager to share. Join up and check out the countless inspiring uploaded photos and mingle with some of the greatest people you'll ever meet!
(Can you tell we love this site?)
Where are you located?
Our warehouse and store is located in Southeast Idaho, USA. If you're ever in or around Idaho Falls, drop by and see us in Ammon at 4390 E. 17th Street.
Do you sell decorated cookies?
No. Right now my business is teaching and providing supplies. However, there are some fantastic decorators out there. We've listed a few of them here.
Do you make custom cookie cutters?
No... for now; However, I hope that sometime in the near future we will be able to offer that service. Check back, and we'll put an announcement on the web site when this service is available.
Can I link to Karen's Cookies from my blog or web site?
Please do! We'd love nothing more than to spread the art of cookie decorating, and share our tutorials and videos with anyone who is interested. You can find several buttons here for your blog or web site!