Pros: Easy to fill and use, disposable, neat idea.
Cons: Not sold individually, hard to find in retail stores.
I do a lot of baking, cooking and candy making but my cake decorating skills arent the best - I get by but I will never have a career decorating cakes. A few Halloweens ago I got the bright idea that Id try to make a cool looking cake with a orange and black frosting piped along the edges. That sounds pretty easy right? I gave it an honest try and the result was black frosting instead of an orange and black combination. Thats when I started asking around at the Wilton cake decorating seminars if there was something that could make this kind of task a little easier. Someone heard me asking about this and told me to check Smart & Final for the Ateco version of the striper bag. This was all new territory for me - I can bake with the best of them but like I said, decorating is something that I have a little trouble with. Thankfully my local Smart & Final had a well stocked cake decorating section [something that I really miss!] and they had these bags in stock.
Ateco Striper Bag
These are really nice bags to have on hand if you want to have a dual colored frosting or icing for a cake but outside of that theres really not a lot of uses for them. I guess you could use these in a pinch if you run out of regular bags but they are a little on the expensive side to be using for general cake frosting. When I first got these I thought that I could just use these without a bag or tip - big mistake. The heat from my hands really messed with the consistency of the frosting that I made so I had to pitch the first batch and start over. The second attempt was almost as bad as the first so I headed to the store to get a pastry bag and some tips. Thats when I also stopped at the library and picked up a few books on cake decorating to see exactly what I was doing wrong.
These bags arent really made to be used without an outer bag or tip to help control the flow of the icing or frosting. That was what was really screwing with my results. Once I started using an outer bag and tip on it I had a lot more luck but I did have to practice to get the pressure right; squeeze too much on one side and you get too much of one color. You sort of have to rotate this while you are using it - something that I flat out suck at doing. Its sort of like having to do two things at once and just when you think you have it mastered you look back at the area you just did and it looks all messed up even though you could swear that you did everything you were supposed to do. These bags dont come with any instructions on how to use them properly, Ateco assumes that you know what they are or you wouldnt be buying them..
I only had one bag split on me when I was using them without the outer reusable bag and that was my fault. I was getting too frustrated with it and, well, squeezed the thing until it popped. One thing you want to make sure of when you start using these bags is that you dont cut the tip too much, if you do you will end up having icing or frosting seeping out of the edges if the coupler or tip isnt on correctly. But I guess thats true of any type of disposable bag that you are using. They are pretty sturdy and will hold up to a good amount of pressure but if you get ticked like I did and squeeze it too hard and the icing doesnt have any place to go - it will find a seam and pop it wide open. These are easy enough to get into the outer bags but since I was new to the whole process it took me a while to understand the tip and coupler thing and get them seated properly.
Since the first series of unfortunate incidences I have gotten a little bit better with these bags but I am far from being perfect with it. These are nice to have if you want to do a red and green combination for Christmas, orange and black for Halloween or red and pink for Valentines Day. I made an Over The Hill cake for someone and used these bags to do a white and black ribbon around the edges of a cake; it turned out nice but some of the areas had little gray streaks in it from the two colors mixing together. I think I started to drag the tip through the icing instead of having it above it but who knows, it could have been a little bit of black icing that got mixed in with the white. These dont get a lot of use but they are nice to have on hand if you want to add some special touches to a cake or dessert.
The Bottom Line
About the only negative thing about these is that you cant buy them individually, Ateco only sells them in an ten count pack and if you dont have a lot of reason to use these they might be sitting around for a whole. I got these for $4.19 at my local Smart & Final store but I have never seen them sold any other place. I am assuming that Wilton does sell something f the Michaels stores or at the online site - that doesnt mean that they dont exist, Ive just never seen them. These are nice to have if you want to add a little something special to desserts and for multi colored icing and frosting I just wish I could buy them in a five pack instead of a ten pack.
As always, thanks for the read!
~^V^~ Freak ~^V^~
© 2005 Freak369
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