Sunday, May 4, 2014

Volleyball Cookies (Including a Tutorial on Preventing Icing Craters)

Making a volleyball cookie would normally be very straightforward and take only two steps:
  • Flood the entire cookie in white 
  • Outline the indentations of the volleyball 
This is a fine way of doing it but drawing the outline on top of the white doesn't create that poofy, rounded shape that the sections of the volleyball normally have. In order to give the cookie this look, I needed to outline the indentations first and then fill in the spaces with white flood/20-second consistency icing second. This is how the cookies looked before I filled them in with white icing:

Outlined with gray royal icing using a Wilton #2 tip
The issue when filling these small, outlined sections is that, when the icing is left to air dry, it tends to crater and form holes. This is not a pretty look and can be very frustrating. Making the icing a thicker consistency often helps and so does running a toothpick (or scribe tool) through the spaces before the icing starts to dry. But the general consensus among experienced cookie decorators is that speeding up the drying time ("quick drying" the top of the icing) helps even more. 

Food dehydrators, fans, and space heaters are often recommended as good ways to dry the icing faster, but - with the exception of a fan - I don't own any of these. I decided to try my oven. I set my oven to its lowest temperature setting (170 degrees) and then turned it off. As soon as I filled in a cookie, I placed it on a baking sheet in the oven and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. The top of the icing dried very quickly, and I was pleased to see that no craters formed. I let one cookie air dry and set it side-by-side with an oven-dried cookie for comparison:

I used the same consistency icing for each. The oven-dried cookie was poofy, rounded and had no craters. The icing on the air-dried cookie had a few small craters and the filled spaces looked a bit sunken and dented. The icing on the oven-dried cookie was also a bit shinier than the more matte, air-dried cookie. This might be something to keep in mind when going for one look or the other.


  1. I am making soccer cookies this week and will surely be trying this method! Thank you!

    1. You're welcome! I am glad it was helpful for you.

  2. Just found this, I have been plagued by sunken cookies for years. Can't wait to try it, THANK YOU!!!