Photo Cookie How-To

Do THIS When Making Photo Cookies for Success

The last time I made photo cookies I was really unhappy with the way some of the photos looked on the cookie.  I always size my images to the size of the cookie cutter.  I am not one of those lucky cookiers whose cookies do not spread when baked.  Some do, some don’t.  In the past I have just iced my cookies and hoped the image fit.  Example:

Photo cookie - Sugar Beez

You can see all the white icing around the image here.  The image was cut to the size of the cookie cutter, the cookies spread when baked. The night before my latest photo cookie order I was lying in bed tossing and turning as my mind raced on how to make these cookies look more uniform.  Then it came to me….outline the cookies to the size of the cutter!  DUH! I got up in the morning excited to try out this new idea.  I took a red food doodler and outlined along the inside of the cutter on the baked cookie.   You can see some of the cookies are spread more than others.  The cookie in the lower right corner is day-old dough, and the other cookies are from dough I made the day I baked them.  I am not sure if that has anything to do with the spread.  Any one with an opinion or suggestion, please leave a comment, I would love to hear it!

Cookie Food Doodler - Sugar Beez

I think next time I will use a yellow one instead of red as the red showed through and around the icing.   I outlined the cookies and then proceeded to flood.

Cookie Outlined With RI - Sugar Beez

After flooding the cookies I allowed them to dry overnight.  Always best to give yourself that extra time to dry.  It will take longer for the royal icing to dry completely when an image is put on over wet icing and you also have the frustration of dealing with the edges of the image curling up.  Save yourself the hassle!

Cookies Flooded With RI - Sugar Beez

To apply the image to the dry cookie I use corn syrup and a dry, clean sponge brush.

2014-04-23 15.06.09

This video shows exactly how I put the image on the cookie.


And the finished product!  Ta Da!

Scooter Cookies - Sugar Beez

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7 Responses to “Photo Cookie How-To”

  1. Michelle - Sweet P's April 29, 2014 at 9:24 am #

    Hi Tracy! Great idea! Tip: instead of using a marker you could score the outline with a scribe, boo-boo stick or toothpick and then there’s no marker-bleed, and it will save your marker tips. I always let my cut dough chill at least overnight before baking & have very little spread, if any – my guess is that’s why your day-old dough held it’s shape better. Even so, squares (and circles) are never perfect but they are better! (You could also dip your cutter lightly in flour before cutting, that seems to help hold the edges as well : ). Thanks for the great idea!

    • Tracy Vasquez April 29, 2014 at 9:37 am #

      Michelle!!! You’re a genius! Thank you so much for that tip to use the scribe tool and I will definitely do that next time!

      I do freeze my cut cookie dough, trying for at least an hour. I do try to freeze them overnight, but in some cases, because I am limited to baking Tues and Wed, I do not always have overnight to freeze the cut-outs.

      This is what I love about sharing, we all can teach each other something! Thank YOU for sharing!

  2. Michelle - Sweet P's April 29, 2014 at 11:28 am #

    I totally hear ya on the time constraints! I once forgot to cover my cutouts in the fridge overnight & when I baked them the next day I got absolutely NO spread! I guess that’s how you do it for Springerle – it sets the outside of the dough. Curious, do you bake from frozen?

    • Tracy Vasquez April 29, 2014 at 12:05 pm #

      Yes, I do bake straight from the freezer. I find that I can move them around to set up for baking them easily when they are frozen and it does not seem to take any longer to bake them or effect the taste or texture in any way.

  3. Michelle - Sweet P's April 29, 2014 at 1:55 pm #

    Hmmm I tried to bake from frozen once & my cookies spread in weird spots. I usually just keep them chilled in the fridge – they are pretty sturdy when chilled. I guess different recipes behave differently – after all, baking is a science, right? I think I’m going to revise my occupation to scientist, specializing in cookies – LOL!

  4. LisaR. May 3, 2014 at 8:57 am #

    I love your website and really want to try these cookies one day!

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