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poured sugar icing and some birdie cookies

These birdies are the result of my experimenting with poured sugar icing, that is, an icing you pour rather than spread or pipe. Usually, poured sugar is used to coat petits fours, but I used it to coat cookies.

the pros of poured sugar icing:
quick, easy, tasty, beautiful smooth coat

the cons:
I felt like I wasted a lot

Overall, I’d say poured sugar is a good way to easily coat cookies without the muss and fuss of whipping meringue, preparing frosting bags, piping…how to coat cookies with poured sugar icing:

In a bowl, blend with a whisk:

1 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 tsp light corn syrup
2 tsp
a drop of coloring, if desired (I used Sky Blue Americolor soft gel paste)

Add more milk, 1/2 tsp at a time until desired consistency. Your icing should be thin enough to pour, but not so thin it drains off your cookie totally. It should have a slight thickness, but not so thick it sits on your cookie. You can add confectioner’s sugar or milk to thicken or thin, respectively. Line a baking tray with wax paper and place a wire rack on the tray. Lay cookies on rack and use a small spoon to pour icing over each cookie, making sure the icing falls over the sides, encouraging with the back of the spoon as needed. Like I said, you’ll see a lot of waste falling from the cookie. So sad. Let the sugar dry several hours or overnight before to make birdie cookies:
you will need:
cookie dough
1 1/2 inch circle fondant cutter
1 inch leaf fondant cutter
sharp knife
poured sugar icing
food coloring

white rolled fondant
black edible marker

light corn syrup

*Find fondant in the baking aisle of the craft store. Find the cutters there, too. The leaf will likely be the smallest in a set of cutters (you can also make these cookies with the larger cutters). For coloring, I used Americolor soft gel pastes (Sky Blue for the background, Red, Orange, Electric Pink and Electric Green for the birds) and a black Americolor Gourmet Writer. Find tips on finding supplies HERE.
step one: prepare your cookies
Bake cookies as directed by recipe using the circle cutter (or any desired shape). Let cool completely. Add a drop of coloring, if desired, to the poured sugar icing and use to coat cookies (see above).

step two: prepare your fondant
Take about an egg size chunk of fondant (or less, depending on how many cookies you have) and tint a piece for each color you need by adding drops of food coloring and kneading very well. Start with one drop and add more as desired. If fondant gets too sticky from overhandling, simply let sit uncovered at room temperature for about 15 minutes until easily pliable.

step three: prepare your birdie pieces
Roll out fondant between two pieces of wax paper or on a surface dusted with confectioner’s sugar. For each bird, cut out a leaf shape in desired color. With a sharp knife, cut out a small triangle for a beak (I used orange for all the beaks, though I think yellow might look better. I just happened to already have orange fondant.)

step four: assemble your cookies
Dab corn syrup on the back of the birdie pieces to adhere to the cookie (you might want to arrange the beak and birdie shape first to see where they will go). With the marker, draw a dot for an eye and two upside down “Y”s for legs.

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  1. Catherine Hansen Peart
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    I love these. Do you have any idea where to get natural colourants instead of the artificial ones?

  2. Chic Cookies
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 12:52 am | Permalink

    I've never tried them or ordered them myself, so can't speak for the companies, but they have them at or (Not sure if they ship internationally, assuming from the "u" in colourants you're not in the US, but worth checking out, or they may have other resources) I also posted on a site that talked about how to make your own on my column:

    hope that helps!!

  3. bridget {bake at 350}
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 2:30 am | Permalink

    Those look really cool! I always love your tutorials…your graphics make me smile every time! :)

  4. Sue Sparks
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 3:26 am | Permalink

    Absolutely LOVE these colors together!

  5. GroverFamily
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 4:29 am | Permalink

    thanks for sharing! i havent ever tried poured sugar icing.

  6. Cady
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    As far as not wasting as much, I know a gal that does the poured sugar icing, but pipes a border with royal icing along the edge of the cookie. That way the poured icing stays within the boundary and you don't waste so much!

  7. cookies and cups
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    very cute! I know what you mean about wasting, though…that's why I keep graham crackers and hungry kids ready…that icing is yummm on graham crackers!

  8. Party Box Design
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    OMG beyond cute! I am so thankful for recently finding your blog! I LOVE IT!

  9. Sarah-Lyn
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Wow these are fantastic! And so cute … thanks for the tutorial!


  10. Jenn's Crafty World
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    I love the colors! I have never tried poured icing before and this project definitely makes me want to try it. Thanks!

  11. Anonymous
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    In order to not waste the icing, try this method: Line a sheet pan/cookie tray with 2-3 layers of plastic wrap, making sure there are no gaps. Place a wire rack in the tray, and use this as the base to pour the icing over the cookies. When it starts to fill up, move the rack and fold the plastic wrap in toward the center making a purse shape. Cut/punch a hole in the bottom and squeeze the icing back into the bowl. Repeat. It's how we re-use ganache/ patisserie fondant etc. in bake shops.

  12. Chic Cookies
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 1:58 am | Permalink

    Thanks everyone! That's how I flood icing, too, Cady. I'll have to try it with the poured sugar recipe instead! (much quicker to make). Thanks anonymous! I'll definitely try that. I thought about reusing the drippings under the rack, but didn't think about plastic wrap. Thanks!

  13. Angela Brian
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 3:45 am | Permalink

    i think your blog is an abosolute gem.

    i get so excited when you post something new!

    this is such a fun idea, i can't wait to try it out!


  14. Amanda
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    GREAT tips!! Those cookies are amazingly beautiful… and that is my favorite recipe for all my sugar cookies that I ice!!

    Love the color too!


  15. Susie
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    This type of icing is on my list to try. The color is amazing! Does it dry hard like royal? It is so humid here I am afraid it would be tacky for days. Also, I have bought natural color from Dancing Deer, it has been many years, not sure if they still sell it. Great blog, I'll be back!

  16. Chic Cookies
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    aw, thank you! Susie, it does dry well enough to handle, but I don't feel like it's as super-dry as royal icing…

  17. natalie
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    such cute cookies! they look great!

  18. ZUHAL
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    Hi.I'm Zuhal from Ankara.My blog is zuzu kurabiyeleri.

  19. Natalie...
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Oh wow these are great, i love the idea of poured icing, it makes decorating them so smooth and pretty!

  20. M.
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    really cuuuute!!!!

  21. Anonymous
    Posted May 22, 2010 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    Was thinking about how not to waste so much. Maybe when pouring onto the cookies have a big enough bowl or something like it that you have under the rack so that it falls back into that…maybe the bowl from the kitchen-aide and you can re-use the icing. Just some thoughts. :) Love your blog

  22. Brisbane Baker
    Posted May 22, 2010 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Such cute birdees!

  23. Dot
    Posted May 22, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Adorable! and thanks so much for sharing your technique.. I want to try this!

    Your post is up in the spotlight today at Foodwhirl:

  24. Jessica
    Posted May 22, 2010 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    What beautiful cookies! They'd look lovely on a plate with some flower shape cookies and some of the edible grass that was out this Easter!

  25. Anonymous
    Posted May 22, 2010 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    i just found this site and i absolutely adore it. please keep up the good work, you're fantastic!

  26. Chic Cookies
    Posted May 22, 2010 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    ooh, like that idea Anonymous! I can put the wire baking rack right on top of a bowl easily… definitely Jessica! Thanks all for your kind words!

  27. creativejewishmom/Sara
    Posted June 8, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    the cutest cookies I've ever seen! I'm going to link to this on my crafty blog linking party today so that I can share this great tutorial with my readers next week! Of course if you'd like to drop by and link to another post that would be great as well! thanks so much, Sara

  28. Anonymous
    Posted September 18, 2010 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much for the recipe! I just spent hours making and decorating tons of cookies… so much fun :)

  29. Maureen
    Posted January 4, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    I just recently found your blog. I am totally in love with everything! So inspiring! I can't wait to try some of these techniques myself! One question: have you ever used the pre-colored fondant (Wilton) or any other kind? Seems easier than coloring it myself. Just wondering if it is a good product? Thanks again for all the ideas!

  30. Chic Cookies
    Posted January 4, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    Hi Maureen, I couldn't find an email for you, so hopefully you'll check back here! GREAT question!! And it reminds me I need to do a post soon on the ins and outs of fondant.

    Because I work in small batches of fondant (I rarely use it to cover cakes or big things), I prefer buying white and tinting my own, because my soft gel pastes have such a vibrancy I find lacking in pre-tinted fondant. But if you are making a bunch, I think it'd be worth it. Wilton (the brand most likely at the craft store) does sell some boxes with a mix of colors that would be good to try, I think they have skin tones, neon and primary. Other brands of higher quality fondant that come in colors are Satin Ice and Duff. They are pricey because of the high quality, and they come in 2 lb tubs (a lot). But you can get any color imaginable. If you google Satin Ice fondant you'll find it everywhere. Duff products (as in, from Ace of Cakes) are at Michaels.

  31. Nicole
    Posted March 3, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    I have been following your blog for the past few weeks and I am in love with everything! Your sugar (shortbread) cookie dough recipe is the best. So easy to roll and cut and they hold their shape! I made these birdy cookies for a church function and they were such a hit! To not waste the poured icing, I wore a glove on my left hand and held the cookie over the bowl of icing while spooning the icing over the cookie with my right hand. Then all the drippings went back in the bowl. And I didn't really have any problems with crumbs (another reason I love this cookie recipe). Your design also inspired me to do a birdy birthday cake. I just cut out bigger birds. Thanks so much and I look forward to seeing what you come up with next.

  32. ediblecrafts
    Posted March 4, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Nicole! For the tip AND the great feedback :) Such a nice comment to read!!!

  33. Chic Cookies
    Posted March 4, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    oops, forgot to sign out of my other account. That was me thanking you Nicole!

  34. Mommy 2.0
    Posted September 26, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    I love these and can't wait to try the same method to make humpty dumpty cookies for my daughter's birthday. About how many cookies does the icing recipe you give cover? I am making about 30 4" egg shaped cookies. Wondering if I should double it?

  35. the decorated cookie
    Posted September 26, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    Mommy 2.0, I couldn't find an email address for you, so hopefully you'll come back here! You'll almost certainly have to double the recipe. This will cover almost a whole batch of my cookie dough, but I would need about 2 batches of cookie dough to make 30 4-inch eggs. You might even need 3 batches of this (hopefully not, but a warning in case you run out of ingredients at midnight before the party). And keep scraping the paper underneath to use the excess, too.

  36. victoria
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Try putting the frosting in the the Wilton Candy Bottles (available at Michaels)and applying that way vs. pouring. I use this method for having my children decorate cookies. I use a funnel to get the powdered sugar in the bottle, then put in the liquid and stir with knife (or baby spoon).

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