We don’t use pastry bags very often in the Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen, but the occasion arose recently when our food team was tasting a cake we’d just baked and we needed to decorate it with some icing. We used a sneaky shortcut: a large zipper-lock bag.
Ordinarily, we would’ve gone with the pastry bag, but it was the end of the day, the sink was already full of dirty dishes and we needed a timesaving solution. This trick is also particularly useful when you’re making multiple icings or frostings of different colors and flavors — and therefore need separate bags — or when you’re using an assortment of decorating tips at the same time.
Here are step-by-step instructions for creating and filling a makeshift pastry bag:
|1. Cut a small hole in one of the corners of the bag, just large enough for a decorating tip to be able to fit through it.|
|2. Push the tip through the hole so it fits snugly in the bag.|
|3. Stuff about an inch of the bag into the tip; this will prevent the frosting from leaking through the tip as you’re filling the bag.|
|4. Fold the top of the bag over, hold the bag toward the base as if holding an ice cream cone and fill with frosting.|
|5. Unfold the top of the bag and twist it to prevent frosting from coming out of the top.|
|6. Squeeze the top of the bag, pushing downward in order to force the frosting through the tip. Now you’re ready to decorate!|
About the author: As one of Williams-Sonoma’s test kitchen cooks, Sandra spends her work week developing recipes, testing new products, and generally thinking and talking about food all day long. When she’s not in the kitchen, she can be found spending time in the garden with her husband and dog.