Monday, December 9, 2013

Carpel tunnel - A cookie problem!

***tutorial video added further down in the post***

Do any of you out there who ice cookies have the problem with your wrist and hand hurting after squeezing icing bags and bottles? I sure do. I am totally amazed by those cookiers out there that put out dozens and dozens of cookies a week! My hand would be gone!! I have the tendency to already have carpel tunnel with out doing cookies and then spend a few hours squeezing out icing and I have to have my husband give me a hand massage. Not that there is anything wrong with that! :)

A couple of years ago Sugarbelle shared a blog post from Created by Diane and I thought it was an awesome awesome idea. You can see that specific post here

The first time I tried this out was on a huge corporate order I did over a year ago of 200+ cookies. There was no way I wanted to flood all those cookies so I just dipped them instead and then added an icing image. It went fast. I think the bagging and tying the ribbons took longer! :)

I have used these technique numerous time to save time and my hand!
Last month I decided to take some pictures of the process and thought I would share with you what I have found to be helpful.

First you need to thin your icing out to about a 5 count flow. If you need to know about icing count you can see The Bearfoot Bakers post on doing that here. She covers a bunch of different counts of icing.

I am doing just white in this pictures because I was lazy and did not color my icing so I just airbrushed my cookies after I iced them to get the colors I wanted. :)

It would be best to let your icing stand for about 20 minutes after thinning so that you can let the air bubbles rise but if you are like me you are too impatient and so I try to force my bubbles out right after thinning by pounding them out!

I take my container and just drop or better yet pound it down onto my counter to force the air bubbles up to the top and out.

You can put a lid on the container and REALLY go for it. The lid will keep the icing in the container.

After you got out some frustrations you are ready to go.

I take my cookie and then dip the surface of the cookie into the frosting just until it is covered and then pull it up and shake down slightly to help get off the excess icing. (If you have too much icing on your cookie when you flip it back over onto your drying surface the icing could spill of the edge of your cookie.)

Then I just cut off the flow on the side of my container.

Then lay it on your pan to dry. In this pic you can see I have air bubbles which are the biggest con to this technique, this icing I did not pound out the bubbles prior to dipping. Not that pounding will get rid of all possible bubbles but it is much much better if you do.

I just take a toothpick and pop the bubbles.

The other problem you may have is something that can be totally avoided by having a smooth surface cookie. Here is a a cookie that you can see did not have a smooth surface which is cause by my laziness in rolling and cutting the cookies.
See how the icing did not cover the crack that was in my cookie.

Once again I just take a toothpick and work the icing over the crack and all is well.

These 43 cookies were covered in about 10-15 minutes. If I recall correctly and my hand was pain free.

One day I did these Sugarbelle pie minis and I think there were 112 of them. I wanted to get these done fast and it took me just under 20 minutes to have the base covered. I have no idea if that is slow or fast for any of you out there but it sure did save my hand from the squeezing pressure. I then went and took a shower and got ready for the day and then I was able to do the details on these mini pie slices.

A few days later I had to do another 100 or so of these minis and I did the same technique.

Here are the pro and cons

Saves time
Saves your hand from pain

coverage problem (if surface of cookie is not smooth)

If you need to see the dipping technique take a look at this youtube tutorial. Or click here to see it on YouTube.

Some people may not like the look of this technique but if you are wanting to get the icing clear to the edge of the cookie or a capped look this is a great way to achieve that. I rather like the look.

Here are just some of the cookies I have done this technique on for flooding my base.



This may not be for everyone but it is something that I love because it saves my hand and I hope to be able to make cookies for many more years! Hopefully this info will be helpful to someone out there in cyber land!


  1. Thank you, thank you!!! My carpel tunnel is killing me from my last batch. This will save me! It seems so obvious, why didn't I think of this? Ha ha

    1. I hope this is helpful to you. Let me know what you think!!

  2. Oh my goodness!!! Sooooo going to try this! I have severe arthritis in my thumbs and it's torture to squeeze bags and bottles. I have become pretty good using both hands because I have to switch back and forth. I was thinking of quitting the cookie decorating that I love so much. Thank you for this tip. Going to keep me going for many more years!!

    1. So glad you like the idea. Let me know what you think. :)

  3. Thank you - I have RA and have problems with long term icing techniques - don't know how much I appreciate this.

  4. Thank you - I have RA and have problems with long term icing techniques - don't know how much I appreciate this.