Covering (also known as “flooding”) a cookie with thinned icing is one of the basics of cookie decorating. It might look intimidating, but it’s easy enough for beginners It involves outlining the shape of the cookie to create a dam and covering the surface with thin consistency royal icing. Piping an outline creates defined edges and holds the thin icing in place, preventing it from running down the sides of the cookie.
Using medium consistency royal icing, outline cookie with a bag fitted with a Tip 3 (or Tip 2 for tiny cookies). Touch the tip to the surface. Squeeze, and lift the bag slightly, letting the icing drop and fall into place as you follow the shape of the cookie.
Tip: You can stop in between in you need to take a break or turn the cookie. Instead of stopping in the middle of a line, try to stop on corners, where breaks won’t look as obvious.
Complete the outline of the cookie and let dry. If making a batch of cookies, finish outlining all cookies first before covering.
Tip: If you have a bumpy outline or crooked lines, immediately reshape by lightly pushing on the icing using a very lightly dampened decorating brush.
Using a bag filled with thin consistency royal icing, place the tip down and close to the surface. Squeeze and let the icing flow out. Keep icing flowing continuously. Slightly overfill the cookie with icing to maintain a puffy look once cookie dries.
Tip: To achieve a smooth finish, avoid jumping from one section to another. The edges of the first section will begin to dry, creating a definition that will not merge with fresh icing. Instead, pipe continuously, one section at a time to keep the icing edges “wet.”
After covering the cookie with icing, use an etching tool (also known as a scribe tool) or a toothpick to move the icing towards the edges so that it completely merges with the outline.
Tip: You can also use the etching tool to pop any visible air bubbles.
Tap the cookie lightly on the surface several times to force up any air bubbles. Pop air bubbles using the etching tool or toothpick.
Place cookies in a cool, dry place uncovered. Let dry for at least 8 hours (preferably overnight).Tip: Humidity will prevent royal icing from drying completely. If you are in a humid area, try drying cookies in front of a fan or in an oven with the light on, or on the lowest heat setting.