Tools of the Trade

So you want to make sugar cookies. But where do you start? Why with your essential tools of course. When I sat down to inventory my tools I really wanted to keep it as simple as possible for you. Really anyone can decorate cookies and you probably have most of the tools you need already in your kitchen. I’ve divided today’s tools into essential and recommended. Everything in these photos are items I actually use. I’ve listed specific brands and stores to make shopping as easy as possible for you. You do not need to use the same brands but these are the ones I have found to work well for me. A side note, I am not sponsored by any of these brands or stores and am not getting paid for any part of this post. whew, okay on to the tools!

The Essentials:

Essential Tools

1. at least 2 Sheet Pans, I picked these up at Target.

2. 1 Spatula, I prefer this metal one because it is nice and rigid and thin at the tip so it doesn’t deform my cookies when I lift them off the sheet pan, but any spatula you have around the house will work.

3. A kitchen aid mixer, now I know this isn’t affordable for everyone. I love mine and couldn’t live without it, but I am sure that you would be able to use a hand held electric mixer also.

4. Plastic wrap, and Parchment paper

5. a rolling pin. I use the same one that I got in cooking school. A plain wooden rolling pin without handles. It suits me. I bought a fancy silpat rolling pin and still love this one! Any rolling pin will do!

6. 2 pieces of wood 1/4″ thick. I sent Hubby to home depot and he just had them cut 1 long piece of wood in half, which left me with two pieces of wood 2 1/2″x 24″ x 1/4″. Its the 1/4″ that’s really important. We will use them to make sure our cookies are the correct width.


I know Wilton sells rubber bands that go around your rolling pin to ensure an even dough. I have never used them but you can check those out too.

7. Cookie  Cutter. DUH! I recommend getting the wilton 101 box. It’s a great place to start. You get cookie cutters for every season and if you look for a Joann’s 50% off add you can get them really cheap. And I may be doing a 101 series so they would be good to have 🙂

8. “Disposable” pastry bags. I use Wilton bags they come in a little box and you just rip them off as you need them. Now I put disposable in quotes because we will be reusing them! There are fabric pastry bags, but with cookie decorating you will be switching colors a lot and it is really handy to have the clear bags to see what you’re doing.

9. about 6 couplers, I use Wilton, you can get them at Joann’s, Hobby Lobby, or Online.

10. Piping tips: about 6 #2 any brand I have wiltons, about 2 #3 tips, and 2 #1.5 PME tips. This is the only place I will highly recommend a specific brand for tips. The PME’s are expensive as far as tips go, but so worth it! The #1’s tend to clog and can really frustrate a new cookie decorator. The PME’s are like magic though they rarely clog, and are great for fine details.

Here is a picture to show you how the 3 tips differ.

Essential Tips

11. Americolor Food gels, You can pick up individual ones at Hobby Lobby or a specialty cake supply store. Or do what I did and order a variety pack off Amazon! If you use a different brand make sure they are GEL. You can’t use the liquid stuff from the supermarket it will dissolve your icing.

12. “Boo Boo” sticks from Karen’s Cookies. They are really inexpensive but so invaluable.  You do have to order them from online but I love mine. If you don’t want to order them or you are waiting for them to arrive, you could use toothpicks.

13. tweezers

14. rubber bands, or Wilton makes ties specifically for closing pastry bags. I just use rubber bands though.

15. A Sifter. When I first started I used a manual sifter, and I hated it. It took forever to sift a whole bag of powdered sugar. So I ordered a crank sifter. It makes life much easier trust me I own a Norpro 8 cup sifter. Any sifter you like will do.

Recommended Tools:

Recommended Tools

1. Cooling racks (not pictured) you can pick these up at target. They stack on top of each other and help to cool your cookies faster, which means decorating sooner!

2.Edible Markers: I picked these up at Joanns and use them with templates.

3.  a Flower tip: something like Wilton 224. They made simple flowers like the one above. And a leaf tip like Ateco 352. If you don’t think you will ever make flowers and leaves then you can leave these off the shopping list!

4. a clean new spray bottle used only for baking 🙂 We will fill it full of water and use it to thin icing.

5.  a baby bottle brush, This will make cleaning your tips a breeze.

6. a Plaque cookie cutter. I got this one from Karen’s Cookies when I ordered my boo boo sticks. It is super useful. It is perfect for messages such as Happy Birthday. And I use it frequently.

That’s it. My favorite shopping places are Amazon, Hobby Lobby, and Joann’s. Joann’s always has 40% off and 50% off coupons. So sign up for their mailing list or download their app. You can get everything pretty cheap. Karen’s Cookies has good prices and fast shipping, I really had a good experience when I ordered from them. I get a lot of my cutters from the Cookie Cutter Company. They are super cheap some only $1, be careful though cutter buying is addictive!

Let me know if you have any questions. Experienced Cookieteiers think I left anything essential off??

Tomorrow is recipe day yeahhhhhhhhhhh!



One thought on “Tools of the Trade

  1. Pingback: Baking your sugar cookies: Tips | Edie's Cookie Crumbs

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