Sunday, December 18, 2011

Heat Gun.....Perfect Christmas Gift for A Cookie Decorator

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


19 comments:

sheri said...

Hi Pam, do you think a hair dryer would work just as well ?? was wondering...this is a great tip though! Thanks! :)

Carolynlwoods said...

Great post. I'm a little hesitant to try since I have two little ones running under foot, but maybe in a few years. Looks like a great idea thou.

Rachel said...

great idea! i have a heat gun just sitting in the closet that i used to use for sugar work. now i can pull it out and use it on cookies! :-)

cookiecrazielady said...

Wouldn't hurt to try. If you do it and it works.....let me know so I can tell my readers. :)

cookiecrazielady said...

Totally understand Carolyn. I would be a little concerned with small children around too. It's an interesting tool.....totally awesome, but a bit intimidating, knowing the damage it could do......

Cristina Nuñez Regueiro said...

Thanks for this tip! Really. I have a craft heat gun and with the humidity here, it will help with my cookies! I'll try it this week, Thanks you so much!

Nicole Burris said...

Just like 
Cristina Nuñez Regueiro mentioned... I was wondering about a craft heat gun as well. I have also been waiting on this post since you told me about it on FB. I also have little people running around and I am not sure the BIG one is the best to use at this time. But I will try something. 

Signaturesugar said...

I think I might have to get the heat gun!  I hate those pesky little craters....

Postreadiccion said...

I use a hair dryer since I read about this in Flour Box Bakery (I live in Spain and I couldn't find this heat gun, neither one similar), and yes, it works great. Better with the diffuser.
Best regards,

Gemma said...

We use it while working with chocolat when we need it to be a little bit more hot, but I never thought to use it with cookies, I'll try! Thanks, Pam!

Postreadicción, es un decapante de pintura, puedes encontrarlo en ferreterías.

Sue said...

Great ideas, i have a heat gun, you can get the cheap craft ones at michaels with a coupon.  Now I have a reason to use it again!

Argento58 said...

Hi Pam. Hope you hada joyous time at your party and I ll bet it was worth every second of time you put into it. Im sure your guests loved your trees too. Im wondering if the heat guns we use for making scrapbooking stuff that so very hot that you can literally burn yourself, would work too. I imagine they would as that gun you have gets very hot as well. Only there is one setting on the scrapping guns we use . Not sure if yours has mopre than one setting and if that would make all the difference. Onther thought. I emailed you asking  if the corn syrup should be regular or light. Ive always used your recipe with the light as that is what I had on hand when I first found you. It works great but Im wondering if the regular will give me astiffer icing which wouldnt be bad either. Do you know the difference?? I asked another friend who has done this forabout 20 yrs and she does niot use corn sryp. We disagree about it but thats ok cause thats what makes us all different. I happen to like being able top bite into a cookie that might not break my teeth. JK There isa place fior each icing. But could you answer? Or is the difference in your faq area? Also not sure if you saw the reason I was given for the splotchiness in frosting when it dries in my last comment on your post before this one. hope you have a great day a fun filled week of cookies!!!

cookiecrazielady said...

Hi there. Sorry I didn't respond adequately to your last post. Our party was a bit of disappointment. With over 50 people invited......there were only 5 people there. :( But we still had fun. I'm pretty sure the scrapbook heat guns would work as well as the mega heat gun. Mine has two settings....and  I use the high setting. I use light corn syrup too.....can't imagine it would matter either way. I don't have much of a problem with blotchiness.....but maybe your suggestions will help someone else. Merry Christmas to you!

Stacey said...

Sorry to hear about your party. Were you expecting more to show  or did people just not rsvp? I always ask people to call either way. I know that I am a little ocd about parties well alot. So I would have been wigging. I knoww you probably poured your heart into it and made it so special. You kno w at least the 5 that did show up got to be in the company of a very kind talented fun spirit like yourself. Thanks for the answers and I only put that up about the splotchiness because I saw it somewhere in your faq that it wasa question that you were not sure what the culprit was. I do not have an issue either. But thanks I was using the correct corn syrup all along . Yippeee. Thanks Pam. You should really write a book!!!! I love everything you do and can just sit and stare at your flicker account forever . It makes me so happy to see the respect you have for sugar and all its beauty. You amaze me lady. Know that all your fans love you and we depend on your teachings.. Hope you havea blessed evening and a Blessed christmas. Glad that at least the 5 peeps that did show up hada wonderful time. best,Stacey

Nena abcdefg said...

Hi Pam in the other post i was like where to find this heat gun. I looked on the side wala its there. Lowes carries it and my husband is a employee there i get 10 percent off  the price wohoo im getting one today!!!!

Anne said...

I read this a couple weeks ago and now that I have started selling cookies on Etsy I was fortunate to get one for my Birthday last week from my grand kids after I told there mom and dad about what I learnt here, thansk, I havnt used it yet but sure it will be a great tool to use and have
Anne .. www.annieswweettreats.etsy.com

Nancy P said...

Pam, Thanks so much for this post! I ws searching blogs a few days ago, as I had read somewhere about using a fan or heat gun for this, but I didn't remember whose blog, what post, etc. Eek! I did find one by Calle of Sweet Sugarbelle, on using a fan. It worked for drying fast, also. The craters are such a mystery to me, sometimes they happen, other times, no. This is a great help!

Tram said...

Tks for the tip, but it seems there's no heat gun available in my country, can I use a hair-dryer instead ?

cookiecrazielady said...

Hi Tram. I'm pretty sure that the heat from a hair dryer would be beneficial in a way that a heat gun helps. But since the heat and intensity is a lot less.....it might not work quite as well. Since it is your only option.....try it out and see if it helps. And I would love to hear how it goes. :)

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