So today I want to talk about consistencies. I have been trying to write this blog post for a while but I’ve been putting it off because I didn’t have a good video to show you the comparisons, and every time I took photos to try to use, they just didn’t come out very good.
But as I sat on my couch this morning stringing together videos and adding audio I figured OK I think I finally got it. So let’s finally talk about probably the most important thing in cookie decorating: consistencies.
I like to say that there are 4 main consistencies:
If you want to do any cookies at all and make them very beautiful or add certain embellishments or basically want to get into cookie decorating you need to know how to make these four. I’ve attached a video from my YouTube channel on the bottom of this and it briefly goes over what the consistencies look like as they are mixed. But in this blog post I will show you actual cookies that I’ve done and what consistencies I used for those cookies.
So in terms of materials that you’ll need:
(please see my blog post about recommended things to purchase if you want to know exactly what things to use)
A spray bottle - please make sure that your spray bottle is a completely new and clean one. Don’t go using that spray bottle that you leave in the bathroom to do your hair because if you use hairspray or product or just germs in general sit in your bathroom and they’re going to get all over that spray bottle. You do not want to make somebody sick because you used a contaminated spray bottle. So use new one.
A small mixing bowl
And possibly a mini sifter with extra powdered sugar in case you over thin your icing.
So let’s talk about consistencies and take into consideration that the terms I use for each one of these consistencies may not be the technical term in the baking world. If you happen to use them with other cookie people, they’re probably going to understand what you’re talking about but I just wanted to give you heads up if you Google the term and might not be technically correct. The name doesn’t really matter it’s concept.
This is the most stiff consistency of the four And it’s what I like to always start out with. Some bakers will only make 20 second consistency because that’s what they use the majority of. However, my orders range so widely in their designs that I like to start with the stiffest consistency so if I have to do flowers one week and basic cookies the next, I already have the consistency that I need made and I do not have to make a new batch of royal icing.
So what exactly is it used for?
This consistency is most widely known as the consistency that you use to make flowers leaves and other florally type things. It is also the consistency that you use if you want to use piping tips for certain textures.
For example, in the baby shower cookies you’ll see flowers with pretty leaves. if you don’t have super stiff consistency, you’re not going to get the shape of the flower or you’re not going to get the petals or the leaves to stand up. As a side note when you’re also using this consistency it takes longer to dry because the icing is a lot thicker. So if you’re planning on making flowers for a cookie set and packaging within the same week, make sure that you make your flowers before anything else and let them dry for at least 48 hours or they will smash when you go to package them and box them.
If you look the unicorn which happens to be part of my favorite set of 2019. You could see the manes of the unicorns have a pretty, fun texture. Many of you may ask what tip did I use to get that, to be honest, I don’t know what tip that was. it’s the one that I had in the drawer that looked like it would do what I wanted. If you really want to know, please place it in the comments and I’ll go look for it. Regardless, I used stiff consistency so you can see the individual lines that came out of that piping tip.
This consistency can be best described as soft peaks. It is also the best consistency for writing and outlining your cookies. It’s important to note that with piping consistency, you do not want it to expand. If it expands, your letters will run together and most likely it’s considered 20-second icing at that point.
Let’s consider the unicorn set again. While it’s my favourite set for its overall design and colours, the text isn’t all that great. Some of you maybe asking what’s wrong with it? Well you’ll notice that the letters aren’t as clear cut as the star photos. This was because my royal icing was too thin and not exactly piping consistency.
Also note that with piping consistency, if you use it as an outline your cookies, you more often than not will see the outline on your cookies. I bring this up because a studen