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Christmas Bow Cookies

In this cookie decorating tutorial I’ll share with you how to make pretty Christmas Bow Cookies. The simple decorating techniques from this tutorial can be used to create a variety of bow designs for different occasions: baby showers, bridal showers, birthdays, and other special events.

Decorated Cookies on a green plate.

updated from 2010


Ribbon cookies decorated with red icing and painted with gold luster dust on a gold tablecloth.

Decorate Bow Loops

Spread a thin layer of red icing of 20-second consistency on top of the loops and let dry for 40 minutes (steps 1-4).

Brushing icing onto the cookie with a paintbrush.

With an edible marker draw an outline for the knot and loops. With the same icing outline the right loop (step 1). Fill the section with icing and use a scribe tool to smooth the icing (steps 2-3). Immediately, with darker red icing pipe short “crease” lines into the lighter red icing (steps 4-5). Run the tip of the scribe thru dark red lines (steps 6-7). Repeat on the other side (step 8). Let both loops crust before the next step.

Outlining and flooding a loop on a bow cookie with royal icing.

Decorate Bow Tails

Pipe a zic zac line thru the middle of the knot area and let it crust well.  Zic zac line once crusted acts like a support beam helping eliminate cratering and cave-ins in the royal icing (steps 1-2). With an edible marker draw the outlines for bow tails. Then outline and flood a bow tail with red icing of 20-second consistency (steps 4-5). Immediately, with darker red icing pipe vertical “crease” lines into wet icing, use the tip of the scribe and run it thru the lines to make them appear less bulky and more natural (steps 4-7). Repeat on the other side (step 8). Let icing crust before the next step.

Outlining and flooding bow tails with icing.

Now fill the knot area with the icing. Pipe icing over the crusted zic zac line. Smooth icing with a scribe but don’t insert it too deep into the icing, you could easily break the zic zac line (steps 1-3). Just like before, immediately pipe lines with dark icing into the wet icing (steps 4-5). Run a scribe thru the dark red lines to make them appear less harsh (steps 6-8). Let icing crust well, for about 2 hours.

Flooding a knot part of the bow cookie.

Pipe Details

With a piping consistency red icing pipe accent lines onto the bow loops and tails (steps 1-4)

Outline the Christmas bow cookie using a piping bag fitted with PME #1.5 piping tip and filled with the piping consistency ivory royal icing (steps 5-8). Let the icing dry overnight.

Piping outline with ivory icing onto a cookie.

Paint with Gold Luster Dust

Into a clean food only paint palette or into a small dish pour either Gold Metallic Paint or mix dry Gold Luster Dust with a little bit of Alcohol. For example: grain alcohol like Everclear-  with high alcohol content, Vodka or McCormick Lemon Extract works, too (steps 1-2). Paint the ivory outline with gold luster dust paint (steps 3-4). To make the bow even more festive you can use a tiny food-only paint brush to paint 3 dotted pattern and small stars onto the dry icing.

Small paintbrush painting ivory icing with gold paint.
Red and gold ribbon cookies displayed on a green plate.

To Make Christmas Bow Cookies You Need

This post was originally published on December 6th, 2010. I updated this post on June 21st, 2022, with new step-by-step photos, written instructions, and a video.

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  1. Thank you Brenda, Sue and Shaile.

    Shaile, sorry to hear about your hand hurting when you pipe.I just went to see you blog and I love love those orchids you made, just stunning.

    What do you mean by cookie box, do you mean ice box cookies, or decorated gift box cookie? Would love to know. thank you for stopping by.

  2. Also, was wondering if you ever made a cookie box? I make them every so often. If you haven't that is one thing you might like to try.

  3. Haniela, As always your ideas and creativity are wonderful. I love to look at all you make whether a decorated cookie or one just to eat.. they are always perfection. I decorate using fondant since I can't pipe much anymore, my hand starts to hurt. I try to just do decorative piping. But, I have gone from cookies to sugar flowers which seem to take over my life.. thanks for always sharing and giving ideas..

  4. Haniela,
    Thanks for the visit and kind comment on my Peppermint Pinwheel cookies, but I just want to clear something up. The cinnamon heart cookie that you mentioned as mine, I did not make. That's a "blog hop"…a collection of cookies from many bloggers. Clicking on each cookie will take you to each blog. 🙂

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