Cookie Decorating Simplified

Piping: Straight Lines

It is surprising to many people that one of the hardest things to do in cookie decorating is a straight line; However, if you keep one rule in mind, you can change that in a jiffy. If you are making a straight line from Point A to Point B, the ONLY times that your tip should touch down are AT Point A and AT point B, and nowhere in between. For the entire space between the two points, your tip should be well above the surface. Do an experiment on your practice sheet (40kb .pdf): On the first line, keep your tip down on the surface for the entire line, dragging it along as you squeeze. Now for the second line, touch down at Point A, lift your tip while squeezing (keeping pressure steady), pull it across and touch down at Point B. Does the second one look better? Unless your "string" broke the second time, I'd be willing to bet that the second one looks a lot better.

Speaking of broken lines, this is a common problem when working with frosting. After lots and lots of cookies, I still have it happen fairly regularly; however, you can cut down on the number of times it happens by trying a few things:
  1. Adjust your squeezing strength to match the consistency of your frosting. You will find that a very thin frosting will require less pressure than a thick one. Not squeezing hard enough for a thick frosting will cause the lines to break. It will take some practice to determine the pressure to use.
  2. Make sure you "burp" your bag. When you fill your bag with frosting, force a little of the frosting out before decorating to get rid of air bubbles. The air bubbles will break your frosting lines.
  3. If you've tried the two suggestions above and you still have problems, your frosting might be a little too thick. Try adding a few drops of water and see if the condition improves.