So that being said, when I first started my cookie decorating, I would get refrigerated dough from the grocery store, and add lots of flour, then kneed the heck out of it! They tasted to store bought to me, so I tried adding powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg...but still didn't like it. After years (and I am not kidding) of research and development, I have discovered the best knock of cookie ever! I like my cookies to be very stiff for decorating. I don't want them to fall apart, or rise and spread so you can't tell what the shape is. In my unprofessional opinion, this requires a lot of flour. To make the perfect decorator cookie, I use Krusteez sugar cookie mix as follows:
1 stick of margarine softened
2 1/2 cups of Krusteez Cookie Mix
3/4 cup all purpose flour
You will have to knead this with your hands. I roll mine out to be about 1/4" thick and then cut with my favorite shape. I flour EVERYTHING!!! The surface I roll on, the rolling pin, and the cookie sheet. I watch mine closely, (every oven is different) but they take about 9 minutes at 375 degrees.
After they are completely cooled, you can decorate. I use 2 cups of powdered sugar and 2 Tbsp of milk. I color the icing with Wilton paste food coloring. This doesn't dilute and you get vibrant colors. I usually buy icing bags at Michael's made by Wilton, but on the Halloween cookies shown, I used nothing but a zip lock back, and cut a tiny piece out of the corner. To ice the solid base color, draw a line around the cookie and then fill in. The icing sort of flows into itself and covers very well. Everything I do is just sort of hand drawn, so your imagination is the key to a bright decorative cookie. Here are some of mine.