I got obsessed with cookies two Christmases ago. After watching the Holiday Cookie Baking challenge, I had to try my hand at cookies! (I’ll admit – it’s a secret desire of mine to be on a Food Network show, and the cookie or baking challenges would be my absolute dreams!) Then, I watched cookie making videos on YouTube, started looking at cookies on Instagram, and just looked at cookies wherever I could. I particularly have a fondness for sugar cookies with royal icing. Since I have an art degree, and I love baking – I think the combination of art on a cookie is what got me hooked!!
Cookie making, however, I’ve found is a lot like other crafts and skills. You need to have some basic equipment and supplies to help things come out nicely and to get an outcome close to that of a professional cookie maker. It’s always worth having the right tools. These are the supplies you will need to start baking and decorating cookies! This list is just the beginning of what you need, but it will get you to a solid start in your cookie-making journey!
So, what does every cookie baker need?
This is an update for the current pandemic period… from 3/25/20 – 4/10/20 Bluprint is offering FREE access to all their online classes. They have classes exclusively about decorating cookies and baking. I highly suggest that you and your family take advantage of this at this time when we are all quarantined!!!
The Basic Cookie Making Essentials
The Cooking Baking Tools and Supplies
- Good Sheet Pans – You will want light-colored sheet pans as they bake more evenly and won’t over bake your cookies. I like these half sheets.
- Silpat – You can certainly use parchment paper, but I love my Silpats as they are reusable and easy cleanup. This keeps the cookies from sticking to the pan and from overbaking on the bottoms! Don’t spray your pans – it will make the cookie spread and lose it’s shape – just use the parchment or Silpat!
- Cookie Cutters (good quality) – You will want some fun cookie cutters. You will want some basic circular ones, but you can also get some versatile ones as well. I love the Sweet Sugarbelle cookie cutters that are shapeshifters, so you get two shapes from one cutter!
- Rolling Pin – I wouldn’t suggest just any old rolling pin. You can certainly use one, but for an equivalent cost, you can get a rolling pin that will help you measure your cookie thickness, like a Joseph Joseph rolling pin (which is what I own). This will ensure your cookies are consistent for both baking evenly and for the overall attractiveness.
- A Good Stand Mixer with a Paddle attachment – I lived my life for a long time without a stand mixer. Then, I got a cheap stand mixer that didn’t have a paddle attachment. So when I got my Kitchenaid with the paddle attachment, my life just got so much easier. Cookies and baking were SO MUCH SIMPLER. Do yourself a favor and splurge for a good stand mixer with the correct attachments.
- Measuring Cups and Spoons – You need to use the right tools for the job, so be sure to get wet measuring cups and dry measuring cups/spoons. Dry measuring cups are meant to be filled up and then leveled off with a straight edge. Let’s face it, if you filled it to the brim with water, you are sure to spill a drop or two. Liquid measuring cups typically have a pour spout. To get the optimal outcome as a new cook, use the proper tool for measuring!
- A large flat spatula – You will want a large flat spatula to transfer the cookies from the baking pan to the cooling rack with ease.
- Cooling rack(s) – This will let air circulate around your cookies as they cool and free your sheet pan up for the next batch! Get a few racks (like these that come in a bundle) so you have plenty, and they are affordable.
Related Posts: Kitchen Essentials for the New Cook
The Cookie Decorating Supplies
- Squeeze Bottles – Squeeze bottles work great for flooding your cookies! I found as a new cookie decorator that these squeeze bottles made it a little easier. They rinse out easily, as well.
- Disposable Decorating Bags and bag ties – You need disposable decorating bags so you can pipe your icing. However, you really need bag ties as well because it keeps your icing from being squeezed out of the top!! You can order the bags that come with the ties.
- Basic Decorating Tips – (I highly suggest multiples of #3 tips as I found these are commonly used for piping.) I started with a basic set of tips which also comes with couplers which gave me some room to explore different tips and techniques!
- Food Coloring – Let me just say, food coloring is not all made equal in the cookie world. I know this from experience. I highly recommend the Americolor Gel food coloring, and they come with great starter packs of the basic colors.
- Meringue Powder – When you make royal icing, you are going to want some good meringue powder! This takes the place of the traditional raw egg whites while providing the same consistency for the icing.
- Scribe Tool – You could use toothpicks, but the scribe tool is less waste and has a nice precise tip. This will help you blend colors, make points or drag colors, and help take icing to the sides of the cookie. This nice set from Wilton has three tools, including what we call a “boo boo stick”.
- Tutorials/Classes – Having a few tutorials or classes to view will make it much much easier to attempt that first batch of decorated sugar cookies. I highly recommend the Bluprint (formerly known as Craftsy) cookie videos as they are from top cookie makers and give fantastic step by step instructions. You can also get them based on your expertise level. This Wilton Method Cookie Decorating Class is for the beginner cookie maker!
Related Post: How to Roll Out Cookie Dough Evenly
Don’t be scared to start with cookie making! It’s so much fun! I’d love to see your first cookies! Or your 300th set of cookies! Like I said previously, I can look at cookies ALL DAY LONG.
Check out my post on hosting a Cookie Decorating Party! I did this at Christmas and my friends and I had a blast!!! You don’t have to be experts to enjoy cookie decorating. Many at my party had never attempted cookie decorating before!
Please share! You can tag me on Instagram @eyreamos!