For decorating cookies, there is an alternative to both tricky pastry bags and pricey tubes of store-bought frosting.
SHOPPING AROUND | Nothing says spring (and Easter) like hand-painted sugar cookies. My kids are begging me to make some, but since I didn’t inherit Cake Boss genes, I decided to YouTube for decorating advice where I ran across Iron Chef America’s Cat Cora channelling her inner Martha by cranking out these adorable designs on holiday cookies. Hopeless at using a pastry bag, I was about to settle for uneconomical grocery-store tubes of icing with clip-off tips when a girlfriend suggested a cool alternative: squeezable frosting bottles with interchangeable decorating tips.
These bottles could not be easier to use—with a few caveats. I had read on the Internet that the bottles were difficult to fill, but they’re not if you put your frosting in a Ziploc first and then snip the end off to squeeze the mixture directly into the bottle. I also read that the accordion-sided models would be difficult to clean. Again, this is no problem if the frosting doesn’t dry inside the bottle; even if it does, you can loosen it by filling the bottle with hot water and letting it sit, wiping out anything left in the creases with a cotton swab.
Where To Find Your Main Squeeze
When I looked around for squeeze-bottle cookie and cupcake decorating sets, I found these three sold locally: Kuhn Rikon’s Cookie & Cupcake Decorating Set—Priced at $28 at online store citychef.ca. You can have this product sent to you or pick it up in Richmond. It includes two tall bottles (one with two frosting chambers), three accordion bottles, five decorating tips and an offset frosting spatula. www.citychef.ca
WS Kids Cookie & Cupcake Decorating Kit—Priced at $29.95 at Williams-Sonoma in Vancouver, it includes one tall bottle, three accordion short bottles and four tips. www.williamsonoma.com
Danseco, Cookie & Cupcake Decorating Set—Priced at $19.97 at Bella Vita in West Vancouver, it includes two short round bottles, three accordion bottles and five tips. www.bellavita.ca
All these sets look like they were made at the same factory in China, but I bought the Kuhn Rikon one because the bottles were larger (less refilling) than the ones in the other sets, plus it came with a two-chamber bottle and a spatula. —Ruth Rainey
Photos: Kuhn Rikon, iStock