Bag Basics

Pastry Bag Basics

Decorating with a pastry bag is easy after a little fun practicing. Watch and see how to fill a bag, change tips, and pipe designs.

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For easy cleanup, when piping frosting onto cookies, use disposable decorating bags. Insert the coupler inside the bag. Trim off the tip of the bag so it is even with the edge of the coupler. Add a decorating tip on the outside of the bag and secure the tip with a coupler fitting. This allows you to change the tips of the decorating bag without changing bags. Only a few decorating tips are essential for cookie decorating. These include a small writing tip, a star tip, and a small rose tip. The consistency of the frosting is important for piping. It should be thick enough to hold the piping shape, but thin enough to squeeze easily from the bag. To fill the bag, fold back the top third. Use a rubber spatula or spoon to fill your decorating bag 1/2 to 2/3 full of frosting. Then twist the bag at the top, so that the frosting begins to come out of the tip. Before decorating, apply pressure and release the first tablespoon or so of frosting. Often, it has air bubbles. With your writing hand, grip the bag near the roll above the frosting level with the full end in your palm. Then, apply pressure from the palm of your hand, forcing frosting toward the tip. To decorate, use your other hand to guide the tip of the bag. With a little practice, you will learn to control the flow of the frosting by changing the pressure. When piping more than 1 frosting color on a cookie, let first color stand about 30 minutes before adding another color so that the colors don't bleed into one another.