This Unexpected Office Essential Makes Cookie Decorating So Much Easier

published Dec 17, 2020
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Royal icing being piped onto cookie.
Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani | Food Stylist: Jesse Szewczyk

Over the past few months I’ve used binder clips in the kitchen on more than one occasion. I’ve used them to help secure parchment paper to my baking pans, I’ve used them to help keep my recipes together, and I’ve even used them to help organize my fridge. I’ve become an advocate for using binder clips in the kitchen, and after a bit of research, I found out that I’m not alone! Turns out that Edd Kimber, author of One Tin Bakes, also swears by them. “Parchment doesn’t like to sit neatly,” explains Kimber, which is why he keeps a stash of them in his kitchen to help line his baking tins.

Recently I discovered a new use for them that has made my love grown even stronger. When frosting cookies with royal icing, I mindlessly secured my piping bag closed with a binder clip instead of a rubber band. The move was a revelation, and decorating cookies had never been easier. Here’s how to do it.

Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani | Food Stylist: Jesse Szewczyk

Binder Clips Are the Secret to Fuss-Free Cookie Decorating

If you’ve ever used a piping bag to decorate cookies, you know that it can be a bit messy. The icing tends to leak out of the top of the piping bag, causing an unwanted mess that can result in sloppy cookies. Most people use a rubber band to help tie the top closed, but this makes refilling the bag a bit of a challenge — and it’s also difficult to move as your bag becomes less and less filled. The solution? Securing the piping bag closed with a binder clip instead of a rubber band.

To do it, fill your piping bag about 3/4 of the way full with icing. Twist the top of the piping bag shut, then secure the twisted part with a binder clip. This will prevent the bag from leaking — and you’re still able to move it without a ton of effort. So as you’re piping, just slide the clip closer to the tip to keep the bag secured. It’s less fussy than using a rubber band, and it’s completely reusable. And by being able to freely move the clip as you pipe, you can control how much pressure is applied to the frosting, making decorating easier.

Ready to put this trick to use? Here are some recipes to get started.