What Happens If You Ice Cookies That Aren't Cooled Yet?

If you're a fan of cookies, you know that appearance comes second to taste. A misshapen chocolate chip cookie is technically just as delicious as one that's perfectly round, but there's definitely truth to the expression "we eat with our eyes first." That's why a little icing can make a big difference. While a plain sugar cookie or snickerdoodle is still worth indulging in, one decorated with colored buttercream and rainbow sprinkles is somehow more appetizing. It's easy to take your cookies to the next level with just one ingredient. If, however, you don't cool your cookies beforehand, you may end up making them look worse than when you started.

Most people know that you shouldn't frost a cake straight out of the oven, and the same applies to cookies, The Kitchn points out. In fact, it's best to let cookies cool overnight before you decorate them. Even a slightly warm cookie will cause the icing to melt and slide right off.

The cooling time depends what type of icing you use

When you decorate cookies, you have four different types of cookie icing to choose from. Per Cookie Bouquets, the two most common ones are buttercream frosting and royal icing, but glaze icing and color flow icing are also good options if you're going for detailed designs or lettering. Buttercream, a thicker frosting that's usually used on cakes and cupcakes, consists primarily of butter and sugar. Royal icing, on the other hand, has a thinner consistency and is made from water and powdered sugar.

According to Bake it With Love, royal icing sets better on cookies and won't smudge like buttercream does, but it also relies on a completely cool cookie. If you don't have time to let your cookies chill overnight, the blog recommends using buttercream instead because it's not quite as temperature sensitive. Regardless of which type of icing you decide to go with, however, you should never decorate a warm cookie.