The Time-Saving Cookie Decoration Hack That Ree Drummond Adores

Christmas is a little over a month away, and in less time than that, families will begin their yearly traditions. Oftentimes, these includes baking, decorating, and eating cookies. Reflecting just how common these wintry activities are, a study conducted by OnePoll revealed that 46% of parents believe baking cookies as a family is an essential part of the holidays (per SWNS Digital). Additionally, 44% of families enjoy eating Christmas cookies during this time of year, and another 44% find joy in bringing those treats to their neighbors.

People don't just love cookies for the joy they bring — the sweets are often baked, of course, on Christmas Eve to thank a globe-trekking Santa Claus. This tradition began after the 1600s with Christian bishop Saint Nicholas, the namesake for the modern-day Santa (per Fox News). According to "Holiday Baking Championship" Season 13 winner Jason Smith, the practice "started during the Feast of St. Nicholas that the Dutch held each year," when people "would bring cookies to honor the saint" and feed fellow travelers to the annual event. Still, no matter what reason a family decides to whip up some cookies, the process wouldn't be nearly as fun without adding decorations — a process for which The Pioneer Woman has a clever hack.

Icing transfers are key

It doesn't have to be difficult to decorate holiday cookies, according to Ree Drummond. In a Twitter post, Food Network shared a "Christmas Cookie Challenge" scene where competitors were working with royal icing. In the clip, head judge Drummond watched on as a contestant explained "icing transfers," a method in which icing is piped onto parchment paper before being transferred onto cookies. Drummond instantly loved the idea, asking, "So, instead of crouching over each cookie and decorating them, you're just going ahead and making the designs and you'll put them on the cookies?" Upon receiving the answer "yes," Drummond continued, "That's a pretty great time-saving technique...very smart."

According to Tiny Kitchen Treats, the icing transfer process is quite simple. After allowing your icing to dry on a nonstick surface, just peel off the decorations and stick them directly onto the cookie. Make sure to leave plenty of time for this process, as it can sometimes take as long as three days for the icing transfers to dry. Or, to take a cue from the "Christmas Cookie Challenge" contestants, you could just stick the designs in a dehydrator.