Recipe by Adobi (courtesy of CC BY-NC-SA 2.5)
To make this gorgeous treat — which looks too good to eat — you can choose your favorite suger cookie recipe for the base. Even a store bought dough will work great. Same with the icing.
Since this is a decorating DIY I am not going to go through baking the cookies. Any type of cookie works, my favorite being sugar cookies (really what better goes with royal icing then sugar cookies?). Also, make sure you bake enough cookies because more likely than not you will makes many mistakes (at least until you get the hang of it).
The piping bag is not necessary, but is helpful for creating the grid. A standard zip lock back works fine (I used zip lock bag to fill in the grids).
Creating the Grid
Once you have baked your cookies and they have rested (to room temperature), it is time to lay out your grid.
Before I go too far into this very complicated step, I will warn you making adding royal icing grid is NOT easy, and will require lots of patience. With that said, I will also say that I being a novice at cookie decorating I found creating the grid very doable, but don’t be surprised if it takes a couple tries.
Start by laying out the rows, slowly and smoothly. If you make a mistake, just take a knife and scrape the line off. Also, it helps if you raise the tip of the frosting up about an inch of the cookie and let it fall down onto the cookie (this will create straighter lines).
Once the rows are laid, take a break because it only gets harder from here…
Once you have laid down your rows, lay over the columns. Unlike before, if you make a mistake with the columns, you can’t scrap the column off (it’ll destroy the row beneath it). So be very careful laying down the columns, and don’t rush it. Your patience will be rewarded.
Once you have successfully accomplished creating the grid, stand back and admire your work. The hard part is over!
Before you start the next part, let the grid dry for at least an hour.
Filling the Grid
Now that you have the grid all finished up, it is time to fill it in! This step I found to be the most fun, and a lot simpler than I initially thought.
To start I would look online for some sweater pattern ideas. You can also just free hand the whole pattern and see what you come up with.
Next, I would choose two colors that you want to work with and fill two bags with these colors of icing. You can use more than two colors of icing, but two colors is certainly easier to work with.
Now the fun part, filling in the grid. I started at the middle of the cookie and worked my way out. I found it easiest if the frosting was a bit warmer (you can warm the frosting by putting it under hot water). This step takes a long time, but the cookie almost immediately looks amazing.
Once you have finished filling in the grid, stand back and admire how much of an artist you are! And if all this decorating makes you really hungry, dig in! Although, I still find my cookies sitting in the middle of kitchen table, too beautiful for me to want to eat them.