Cookie decorating is a decent developer experience vs. user experience analogy. Lots of people were surprised when my cookies tasted good. They’d say, “Pretty sugar cookies never taste good.” It makes sense to me now: almost every technique I found to make the cookies easier to work with or better looking made them taste worse.
Reducing the amount of butter made the cookies easier to cut, held shapes better, and reduced butter bleed (small amounts of grease seeping into the icing), but made them less delicious. Using meringue powder instead of egg whites made the icing so smooth to pipe but dried with a crispier, less pleasant texture. And surprisingly, lots of cookie decorators add corn syrup to their icing. If you see cookie icing that’s got a gorgeous sheen, it likely has corn syrup.
I decided to optimize for taste with the most natural ingredients I could. It made the decorating processs a bit more difficult, but is worth it!