I've got a great idea for a Christmas gift for anyone who decorates cookies. Maybe you could send this link to someone that needs an idea for your gift. ;)
About two months ago, I read about using a heat gun for drying cookies on a blog post from Anne at Flour Box Bakery HERE. I immediately went out and bought a Wagner Heat Gun HT 1000 at Home Depot. (By the way.....it was in the paint department, because it's used to strip wall paper, etc.) I looked at my local Walmart as Anne suggested, but they didn't carry them. But you can find them online here.
The heat gun is now an indispensable tool at my side when I'm decorating cookies. It has decreased the amount of time it takes me to decorate......AND the problem of the crater holes forming in small areas is solved! That alone is worth the $20+ for the gun. :)
Every cookie decorator knows about those pesky craters we get when we fill in a small area with icing. Within a few minutes.....the icing sinks and makes a super ugly hole. :(
I've circled in white some of those ugly holes in these next two photos.
Using the heat gun right after piping the icing seems to "flash dry" it.
Here's a pumpkin I did just for demonstration......I left small holes that needed to be filled, just so you could see how using the heat gun dried the small circles with no craters.
Here's a cluster of grapes I did for my Thanksgiving cornucopia. I outlined all the grapes first and then dried it with the heat gun. I filled all the small areas in.....and then dried it a second time.
I only had a few small indentations.....abut no craters. YEAH!
The second reason I LOVE this tool is that it speeds up my decorating. Since I can dry each layer as I go.....I don't have to wait near as long to add more details. I was amazed how I could zip through many of my Christmas cookies this year. Hip Hip Hooray!
I'm not sure, but I think this method also decreases bleeding problems.....but the jury is still out there. I still encounter some problems.....so I"m still working on a complete solution.
Tips for using a heat gun:
- Be sure the cookies are on a surface that you don't mind getting hot. In other words.....the best place for them when you dry them is on the cookie sheet (without wax paper or parchment paper!).
- Hold the gun about 6-8" away from the cookie.......no closer. And don't hold the gun in one spot.....move it back and forth like when you're use a hair blow dryer. (One time I held it a little too close for too long.....and I got ugly splotching in my icing.) So be conservative at first and find what distance and motion works best for you.
- USE MUCH CAUTION WHEN USING A HEAT GUN! Keep in mind that it is a heat source.....and could start a fire if you aim it at the wrong thing.
Hopefully some of you will get a heat gun under the Christmas tree this year.....and if not, maybe you could buy a gift for yourself. lol
It's hard to believe Christmas is just one week from today. I've been so busy the last two weeks....that December leaped forward. But thankfully I'm done with all my big cookie orders, and now I can concentrate on celebrating with the family.
Enjoy the week of anticipation. It's the best part, you know. :)
Heat Gun: Part 2
Heat Gun: Part 2