Decorating many kinds of baked goods can be made simple and easy by using food grade ink. It comes in preprinted sugar sheets that can be purchased ahead of time, or you can buy your own special printer and food grade ink to do the printing yourself. All you have to do is scan in the image that you want, feed in the sugar sheets, and hit print. Clear, simple pictures and designs work the best. Once you have the sugar sheets printed, you can do some really neat things with them.
To use sugar sheets printed with food grade ink on cookies, first be sure that they are cooled completely. Then, you can either lay the sugar sheet directly on to the cookie itself or wait until after you frost it. If you decide to use frosting, be sure it is the right kind. Royal icing works the best because it is firm. Any frostings with too soft of a base can cause the ink to run and smear. Be sure the royal icing has set for several hours before you lay the sugar sheets on top. The ink will transfer more easily that way. You can either leave the printed design by itself, or use it as an outline to follow for filling in with more icing.
Many bakers use food grade ink to help them get designs perfect on cakes for special events. To try it yourself at home, first frost your cooled cake with a firm icing. Avoid whipped cream base toppings for the above mentioned reason. Then, set the sugar sheets in place, and finish your decorating. Food grade ink sheets are not just for decorating the top of the cake. They work well when they pressed on to the sides of cakes too. Besides being used to print out pictures, some food grade ink can be used as dye to color the frosting on cakes as well.