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Sweets by Suz: Beginner's Tips - 1 does not equal 1

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Beginner's Tips - 1 does not equal 1


Notice the difference in the width of the lines when comparing brands

As a beginner there is a lot of confusion getting started decorating cookies. I would go to the cake store a little overwhelmed and end up with a little bit of everything. I have never taken formal classes but have always owned decorating tips, as a someday project. The first time I went to buy special tips I had no idea there was such a difference in various brands. I thought a one was a one and a two was a two no matter what the make. I told the store owner I needed some size one, two and three tips. I bought the least expensive; Baker’s Crafts size one and attempted to make some Halloween spiders. I wondered why they had such chubby little legs… I wasn't able to get results because I purchased a brand other than the ones listed in the tutorials.

A few months later, Marion at sweetopia.net posted a tutorial on how to make lines and suggested the PME tips. http://sweetopia.net/2011/12/video-how-to-pipe-lines-with-royal-icing/

I was playing with the icing and various small round tips I own and I came up with the previous image. Today this outlining icing was a bit on the runny side, so I had the best results with the smaller tips. This sort of grid work takes a lot of patience I was easily able to see the difference between the different brands.

We have a winner!

My favorite (because of the consistency) today was the PME size one tip. The ribbons did not curl and I didn’t have to be at an exact 45 degree angle to make the lines. I have struggled with the blobs at the beginning of lines and noticed that with the PME the icing came out nice and slow. Other brands somehow allowed too much icing to fall out at the beginning and end of each line. I definitely had more control with the PME tips in general. The PME 1.5 would be great if the icing were not as runny.

Wilton size one is okay if you aren't able to find a PME tip - note it's harder to get clean edges

If the PME tips were not available I would use the Wilton size one tip; however, I had more problems with the line breaking and globs of icing at the beginning and the end. I also felt like I had to be more careful as to the angle of the tip.

Someday I want to master the PME size zero tip. For now, it showed my unsteady hand. As long as I went very very slow the ribbon of icing would not curl. It seemed the smaller the tip the slower I would have to move to avoid curling. I also didn’t have too many problems with the line of icing breaking.

The hardest to work with was the Baker’s Crafts tips. I would still use this to outline a cookie, but for details I will stick with PME.

In the end, you get what you pay for. I’m sure as skills improve it’s not as necessary, but if I were teaching a friend I would want the tools to help prevent frustration.

(Before I start, a disclaimer. I am no expert… but maybe someday I will be able to do my work out of a homemade parchment bag J). I hope this helps you when deciding what tips to purchase.

The royal icing was made using sweetsugarbelles recipe and tutorials.

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4 Comments:

At February 1, 2012 at 9:33 AM , Blogger Rebecca said...

Wow - you are so good at making lines! It is very helpful to see the difference in the brands.

 
At February 1, 2012 at 8:01 PM , Blogger Suz said...

Becca u r nice.

 
At February 2, 2012 at 9:53 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Suzannes!
I see that all those years of exact-pipetting surely helped in making all those criss-cross straight lines!
...little did we know when we were in lab, that you were just on your way to prepare to be the best baker!
-se

 
At February 3, 2012 at 1:36 PM , Blogger Suz said...

Ses, you gotta try this craft, holding a pastry bag will be so natural. You made the most beautiful cake pops so this will be a breeze. all this baking stuff is so trendy you can find everything you need a most supercenters :)

 

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