The following is a transcript for the above video.
Hey guys - Kookie here, and today I am going to show you how to assemble a DIY cookie kit. There isn't a whole lot of information out there about making them, and I figured - ya know what, I've made enough of them to show others how to make them. And I'm always getting messages from people asking specific questions about them, so I wanted to go in depth. Because that's what I like to do - I like details. So let's get into it.
First things first. The box. I love these boxes - they're cheap, they're plain, and it doesn't take much to gussy them up. These are actually PIE boxes, and they are 9 x 9 x 2.5", which is the absolute perfect size for your average sized cookie kit. They have a window in the top, too, so they showcase your kit beautifully. If these aren't big enough for what you need, look up cake or bakery boxes, and find something in your size - these boxes sometimes come in different colours and can come with or without windows in the top.
I like to line my box with a little bit of fluff. It keeps the contents safe, it adds a pop of colour to an otherwise kinda drab looking box, and presentation is always important. This stuff is called "sizzle" and it's made out of paper - it comes in all sorts of different colours. Tissue paper would also look really nice.
It's always important to give your cookie decorator a little bit of direction. You don't need to go into a crazy amount of detail, but I'll give some sample directions below in the description. Add your logo or something pretty, give it your own little spin, print them, and cut them out. I cut mine so that they are about 1/4 of a piece of paper.
INSTRUCTIONS: Use kit within 1-2 weeks. Keep at room temperature. May be frozen up to 3 months. Important: Bring to room temperature before using. Unpack all materials from your kit. Assemble sugar cookies onto plate or cookie sheet. Gently knead each icing bag for 1-2 minutes. Separation is normal. Cut a small hole in each piping bag by snipping the pointy end with a pair of sharp scissors. Decorate your cookies with the icing and sprinkles, using the wooden tools provided. Have fun. Enjoy immediately, or dry cookies overnight and then package using the baggies and twist ties provided. Enjoy cookies within 1-2 weeks.
Now these things aren't absolutely necessary, but I've found that customers really appreciate them. You could always add them as an option, too - kind of like when you go through drive-through and they ask you if you want any ketchup or utensils. Some might say no, some might say yes. These polypropelene baggies have little white dots and are super cute for packaging. Pair them with some twist ties, and your customer has their own packaging so that they can share their cookie creations with friends and family. People love packaging their cookies, it makes the cookies feel a lot more special.
I've added some wooden utensils, as well. You can use coffee stir sticks, popsicle sticks, errr... sorry, craft sticks, I ain't sponsored by popsicles, guys, or tongue depressors. They're all wooden sticks, just different sizes. I also found these adorable little spoons for sprinkles. Which, I mean, are totally un-necessary... but look at them, they're so CuTe. *uWu*
Now, for the sugar cookies themselves, I've seen a lot of people who will individually package the cookies, which doesn't make a whole lot of sense, since most people are just going to rip open the packages of cookies and decorate them all in one afternoon. Which defeats the purpose of individually packaging them. If you do individually package the cookies, don't heat seal them, just put them all in individual baggies and add a twist tie, that way, the decorator can remove the cookie, decorate it, and then package them when they're dry. Then you can skip adding baggies and twist ties. But honestly, I just like to stack the cookies and heat seal in one bag. It's a lot less work, and you can leave the individual packaging thing as optional. I packaged 8 cookies, which is a good average number. 6 seems to be too little, 12 seems to be too many - I've determined 8 to be my magic number, so I'm sticking with it. I'm using a 2lb polypropelene bag, which 4 x 2 x 10", and then I use my heat sealer at the #5 setting to seal it.
For the icing, I'm using royal icing. Some cookie decorators use buttercream, but this is all personal preference. Royal icing is what I personally use to decorate my own sugar cookies, so I want the customer to decorate with the same icing I use. I know that a lot of people aren't really keen on the flavour of royal icing either, so that's why it's important to have a good tasting product. I mean, that's always important. But it's especially important in this case. I'm confident in the flavour of my cookies and my royal icing. I've found over the years while decorating cookies that there is definitely a looming misconception that sugar cookies taste bad. And, some do, unfortunately. But, prove people wrong. Splurge on some good flavourings, and spend the time on perfecting your recipe so that it tastes good. Be that exception, and surprise people.
You definitely want to use a medium consistency icing, or what a lot of people call a 20 second icing, meaning that if you draw a line in the icing with your spoon, it should disappear after about 20 seconds, because the decorator is going to be using it to do everything from flooding, to outlining and detailing. So it needs to be thin enough to spread out a little bit, but not thin enough that it's going to run off the cookie. It still needs to hold it's shape. This can be a tricky consistency to get, but with a little practice, becomes easier with time. Add a little bit of water at a time to get it to this consistency. My favourite disposable piping bags to use are by Truly Mad Plastics. They come in Small, Medium, and Large - I'm using Medium. If you do end up going with a buttercream, though, you'll definitely need to go with a more durable piping bag, as these ones might be a little bit too thin. Buttercream is thick. In my kits, I offer three different colours of icing, and I fill these piping bags between 70-80g full, which is around 2.5 oz. Squeeze the icing to the tip, and tie a knot in the top of the bag, but leave a little room at the top. There's a really important reason for this. Your icing will separate after sitting, and the decorator will need to be able to re-mix the icing by kneading the icing bag in their hand for about 1-2 minutes. If you tie the knot right above the icing, making the bag tight, you can't knead the icing bag very easily without the risk of popping a hole in the bag from so much pressure. Leaving a little room at the top gives the icing some space to move. It doesn't look as pretty when the icing bag isn't as tight, but we'll fix that later.
I could probably do a whole video on sprinkles, honestly. There are so many options, and most cookie decorators are sprinkle hoarders, so this will be a good chance to use up some of your collection. I do three different sprinkles, about 1 tbsp of each. I use these little 2 oz portion containers, which are super handy because a lot of the time, the decorator might have some left at the end, so this way they can just put the lid back on and save them for future baking projects. You could also use small re-sealable bags. Choose colours that go with your theme. But when in doubt - rainbow is always a favourite. You can buy sprinkle mixes, or you can make your own, which is a lot less expensive. Some of the designer sprinkles can be pretty pricey for the quantity that you get. But if you have a lot of different types and colours, you can make your own mixes. I know I'm probably going to slaughter some of these words, but you use dragees, non-pareils (which are those super tiny round sprinkles), sanding sugar, rock sugar, sugar pearls, sixlets (which are like sugar pearls with chocolate in the middle), jimmies (which are long sprinkles), and then you think outside the sprinkle realm and use other candies and toppings like chocolate chips, marshmallows, small chewy candies, coloured coconut, the list goes on. One of my favourite non-sprinkles are these Calebaut crispearls which are chococolate on the outside and crispy cereal on the inside.
For the packaging, I've counted out 8 bags, as well as 8 twist ties. Again - this is optional, but I find a lot of customers really like to package and share their cookies. Then I've counted out 6 wooden sticks to use for the icing, as two kids seems to be the average for my kits and I want to give them a stick for each colour of icing, as well as a wooden spoon to share for the sprinkles. If you wanted, you could also include things like toothpicks, as well. I'm taking all of these loose things and tucking them into the top bag so they're not moving around the box. If you're not including any packaging, you could always just tie the utensils together with some pretty butchers twine or a twist tie, or omit them if that's what you choose to do.
To further personalize the packaging, I'm adding a sticker to the box with my logo on it. If you buy these in bulk, they're fairly inexpensive, and they are a simple way to make your packaging look great - and professional. You could even make your own, or print some logos onto paper and stick them on with tape. Or you could simply use your business card in place of the sticker so that the customer can keep it. That works, too. I'm using these cute stickers to fasten the boxes closed when I'm finished packaging. That way, they're not going to flop open when a customer picks them up. It's also that little sense of security, too. There's always something a little more exciting about opening a sealed box. You could use plain tape, or you could use some decorative washi tape.
Now comes the fun part - assembling the box. It's like cookie kit tetris. Tuck in your cookies, add your bags and utensils to the back, along with your instructions, and then add your sprinkles to the top. Add back to what I said before about the icing bags, how we we were going to fix them up to make them look a little more pretty? All you have to do is twist them so that the icing bag becomes tight and then tuck the top underneath. See how nice that looks? Assemble the icing bags top to bottom beside the cookies. And there we go. Close the box, add your sticker, fasten the box closed, and you've got your finished kit.
I hope that this video was informative for you. When you compare cookie kits to actual cookie decorating, it probably doesn't feel as creative, but you can totally get creative with ideas when it comes to themes and sprinkle mixes. For example, this was a May Garden themed kit and I included a watering can, tulip, and potted plant cookie, as well as some sprinkles in Spring green and soft pastel colours. And yeah, there's some rainbow sprinkles in there, too, because kids love rainbow. I'll be sure to share some more theme ideas in the description below, and if you have any theme ideas with some interesting cookie shapes and sprinkle mixes, share them in the comments.