Icing Ideas For Cookie Creations

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - December 05, 2007
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Non deMello decorates cookies at Agnes' Portuguese Bake Shop in Kailua
Non deMello decorates cookies at Agnes’ Portuguese Bake Shop in Kailua

Non de Mello and Christian Sorli are managers and co-owners of Agnes’ Portuguese Bake Shop in Kailua. Non is a master baker who learned the art of baking from his mother and from training he received in restaurant and bakery management.

In his spare time, Non enjoys reading history books and going to the movies.

Christian has been in Hawaii for 35 years, having been raised at the Mission at San Juan Capistrano until the age of 19. After a stint in the Air Force, he made his way to Hawaii and has lived here ever since. He tries to find time every day to play with his new puppy, and keeps fit by cycling, hiking and eating healthy.

Agnes’is a full-line bakery with several Portuguese specialties and a tasty variety of artisan breads including challah, poobah ( knotted bread), cinnamon, pita and even McDougal bread. In much of their baking, Non and Christian tend to use virgin olive oil, which helps keep their customers healthy.

In addition to a wide variety of pastries baked daily, there is also a full range of espresso drinks and Italian sodas. To round off the experience, there are Internet stations and plenty of seating available.

It is a pleasure to dedicate this column to both of them and to Agnes’bakery, a Kailua landmark.

The years just seem to fly by, and it’s time to get ready for holiday cookie baking again! If you don’t have the time to make cookie dough, you may use the refrigerated dough found in supermarkets, and make them your own with creative icings and decorations.

Here are some cookie decorating and frosting tips for your holiday baking.

The easiest cookie icings are made with confectioners’ sugar, butter or shortening, and milk or water.

You can use extracts such as vanilla, lemon, orange or almond, and the icing can be colored using liquid food coloring. When adding color, first mix the color into about 1 tablespoon of icing, then blend that into the rest of the icing. Frosting can easily be thinned to the desired consistency by adding liquid such as milk, juice or water.

Apply icing using a pastry brush, or by simply dipping the cookies. You can also press pieces of candy into the frosting before it hardens, or sprinkle the cookies with different colors of sugar.

A light dusting of confectioners’ sugar or cocoa powder will give any cookies a festive finish.

Decorating cookies is great fun for keiki and anyone who enjoys being creative.

Here are two easy icing recipes to get you started.

Happy cookie decorating!


* 2 cups confectioners’ sugar (10X sugar)
* 1 tablespoon milk (add more gradually if icing is too thick)
* 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
* 1/ 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
* assorted food coloring

In bowl, sift sugar to get rid of any lumps. Add milk, corn syrup and extract and stir until smooth. If icing is too thick, add a bit more milk gradually until desired consistency. Icing can be divided into separate bowls and food coloring added to each. Paint cookies with a brush, or dip into icing.

Makes about enough for 24 cookies.

Approximate nutrition information per serving:

Calories: 40
Fat: 0 grams
Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Sodium: 3 milligrams


* 3 3/4 cups confectioners’sugar (10X sugar), sifted with 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
* 1/2 cup Smart Balance margarine
* 3 tablespoons milk
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In medium bowl, cream the sugar and cocoa mixture with the margarine. Add milk one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency (you might have to add a bit more milk if icing is too thick). Add vanilla and mix until combined. Spread on cooled cookies. Makes about enough for 48 cookies.

Approximate nutrition information per serving:

Calories: 35
Fat: 1 gram
Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Sodium: 22 milligrams


(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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