Blog: Techniques

In Julia’s opinion, understanding techniques is the best way to advance one’s baking and design skills. Forget about replicating others’ sweets. Practice the foundational recipes and decorating techniques explained in this section of the blog, and you’ll soon find it easy to develop and hone your own personal style of sweets.

Julia M. Usher

Packing Cookies for the Long Haul

If you’ve ever worked in the wedding cake business, you’ll appreciate why I always approached delivery day with an impending sense of doom. After putting hundreds of hours into each wedding cake, I shuddered at the thought of any misstep

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Julia M. Usher

Beadwork Technique Tips

Even though some people may think of beadwork (the making of perfectly round icing dots) as a minor icing detail, I treat it here and in my book Ultimate Cookies as a full-fledged decorating technique. Why the extra attention? Well, partly because

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Julia M. Usher

Making a Parchment Pastry Cone

I hope you’ll find it reassuring to learn that I do 95 percent of my cookie decorating with this simple DIY tool, also called a cornet. Rarely do I go as far as rigging a reusable bag with a metal

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Step 1: Hold the Cone by the Notch When Filling
Julia M. Usher

Filling and Handling a Parchment Pastry Cone

So how do you use my favorite decorating tool once it’s made? Regardless of the decorating technique you choose, there are some basic cone handling instructions to always apply! Read on, and/or check out Lesson 4 in my cookie decorating video

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Julia M. Usher

Rubber-Stamped Springtime Cookies

I call rubber stamping my ultimate cheater technique, because it allows anyone – even those without God-given artistic talent – to create show-stopping cookies with very little work. Simply choose a lovely stamp and grab some soft-gel food coloring, and

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Julia M. Usher

Dough-Wrapping Technique Tips

I’ve just begun to play with dough-wrapping to create cool 3-D cookie effects – and I love it! But what the heck is dough-wrapping, you might ask?! Good question! It’s basically the art of creating contoured cookie pieces by baking

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Julia M. Usher

Wafer-Papering Technique Tips

Wafer-papering is relatively new to cookie decorating and involves nothing more than a simple cut-and-paste technique. For the uninitiated, wafer papers are thin, translucent sheets of dehydrated potato starch, water, and vegetable oil, which come both plain and pre-printed with

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Julia M. Usher

Stenciling Technique Tips

A cookie decorating technique after my own heart, stenciling doesn’t require that you be a born-again Van Gogh. With a pretty stencil, the right consistency of Royal Icing, and some practice, anyone can make gorgeous stenciled works of art. Read on

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Julia M. Usher

Marbling Technique Tips

Marbling is responsible for the wonderfully intricate, Italian watermark-like patterns on the various cookies, pictured right. While marbling gives the appearance of being complex, it’s actually one of the quickest and most forgiving cookie decorating techniques around. The technique looks

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It’s that time of year for super savings, and I’m not about to let you down! I’m kicking off Black Friday now with a sale on all of my online video tutorials and class recordings that runs through Cyber Monday, November 28. Get 25% off any of these products by applying code BLACKFRITUT25 at checkout. I’ve now got a tutorial or more for every season, with more coming soon! Enjoy, and happy Thanksgiving! (Be sure to scroll past “VIDEO TUTORIALS” in the link below to see “CLASS RECORDINGS” as well.)

Live sweetly, Julia