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Halloween Cookie Decorations

Martha Stewart Living Television

Decorating cookies shaped like ghosts, jack-o'-lanterns, and black cats is a great way to prepare for Halloween and a wonderful children's project. Use smooth, glossy royal icing in holiday hues to dress up sugar, chocolate, or gingerbread cookies. Then, follow these instructions for flooding, piping, or sanding -- three easy cookie-decorating techniques that will give these confections a festive finishing touch.

Royal Icing
Makes 16 cookies

2 large eggs
4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
Juice of 1 lemon
Glycerin (optional)
Food coloring

Halloween Cookie Decorations How-To

1. Beat egg whites until stiff, but not dry. Add confectioners' sugar and lemon juice. Beat for 1 minute or more. If icing is too thick, add more egg whites; if it is too thin, add more sugar.

2. For a glossy icing, mix in a few drops of glycerin. To tint icing, add food coloring sparingly, one drop at a time, using the end of a toothpick. Blend well.

Flooding, Piping and Sanding
For Flooding
To ice the entire cookie, use a pastry bag with a #2 tip. A thinner icing consistency is preferable when flooding; just add a bit of water to thin out the icing. Fill the pastry bag, cuff the open end over one hand, and use a spatula to scrape in the icing. Twist the half-full bag closed, so the icing doesn't leak out at the top.

For Piping
Using a #3 tip, rest the tip on your index finger, pushing the icing out gently with your thumb.

For Sanding
Dust the cookie with sanding sugar to make it sparkle. Tap off the excess sugar when the cookie is dry.

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