No-Muss Piping Bag Technique

March 31, 2012
Author Notes

About 30 years ago I learned this technique from the talented pastry chef, Carolyn Backus. For the life of me, I cannot figure out why I've never met anyone else who uses this technique. A real no-brainer in my book! Sooooo useful!! Cookie dough, buttercream, whipped cream etc etc! I guarantee you, after you start using this technique, you will thank Carolyn Backus in your sleep!

photos to follow —LE BEC FIN

  • Makes piping life a whole lot neater!
  • 1 12 or 14" cloth pastry bag fitted with piping tip
  • product that you are going to pipe- buttercream, whipped cream, cookie dough.....
  • saran, cut into about 15" lengths and laid flat on counter
In This Recipe
  1. With a rubber spatula, place about 2-3 cups of filling onto a saran square, in a tube-like horizontal shape. Fold up bottom of saran over filling, and roll up. With the left hand on the left end and your right hand on the right end, twist the ends in opposite directions to tighten the form of the tube of filling. This leaves you with a 'firecracker'.
  2. Line up your rolls. Untwist one end of your first roll and use your right hand to squeeze the right end and your left hand to guide the filling,pushing the filling down to the 'opening' of the saran tube.This open end now goes down into your pastry bag.Twist the cloth bag's top end to make it tight with the saran tube inside. Pipe the filling, squeezing and compacting the filling as it lessens. When you have used up all the filling, open the pastry bag and simply lift out the spent saran! Replace with a fresh saran tube! No more messy pastry bags!
  3. Being thrifty, of course, I squeeze out and use all the remnants from the saran tubes. For cookies,I use the remnants to serve as anchors under the corners of parchment paper, or to form a not-perfect 'cookie for the home team'!
  4. photos should show: * piping bag; empty square of saran; saran square with filling placed on top, before rolling up
  5. * piping bag; filling rolled up into a sausage shape, filling pushed down to left end of sausage; right end twisted
  6. * used up, empty saran sausage just removed from piping bag ; clean, non yucky piping bag waiting for new sausage

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  • suzy
I am always on the lookout for innovative recipes, which is why I am just ga-ga over my recently- discovered Food52 with its amazingly innovative and talented contributors. My particular eating passions are Japanese, Indian, Mexican; with Italian and French following close behind. Turkish/Arabic/Mediterranean cuisines are my latest culinary fascination. My desert island ABCs are actually 4 Cs: citrus, cumin, cilantro, and cardamom. I am also finally indulging in learning about food history; it gives me no end of delight to learn how and when globe artichokes came to the U.S., and how and when Jerusalem artichokes went from North America to Europe. And that the Americas enabled other cuisines to become glorious. I mean where would those countries be without: Corn, Tomatoes, Chiles,Peanuts, Dried Beans, Pecans, Jerusalem Artichokes??! While I am an omnivore, I am, perhaps more than anything, fascinated by the the world of carbohydrates, particularly the innovative diversity of uses for beans, lentils and grains in South Indian and other cuisines. Baking gives me much pleasure, and of all the things I wish would change in American food, it is that we would develop an appreciation for sweet foods that are not cloyingly sweet, and that contain more multigrains. (Wouldn't it be fantastic to have a country of great bakeries instead of the drek that we have in the U.S.?!) I am so excited by the level of sophistication that I see on Food52 and hope to contribute recipes that will inspire you like yours do me. I would like to ask a favor of all who do try a recipe of mine > Would you plse write me and tell me truthfully how it worked for you and/or how you think it would be better? I know many times we feel that we don't want to hurt someone's feelings, but. i really do want your honest feedback because it can only help me improve the recipe.Thanks so much.