Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Royal Icing 1 0 1 . . . .Works For Me Wednesday

For cookie decorating, I use Royal Icing. I've seen cookies decorated with fondant and just recently heard of rolled buttercream, but Royal Icing works for me.

Royal Icing is an icing that dries hard and opaque, so cookies can be stacked and icing stays pretty when cookies are packaged. It's easy, too...it only takes 3 ingredients: meringue powder, water and sugar (flavoring is optional).
To start, you'll need meringue powder. Ateco and Williams-Sonoma are my favorites...I think I've tried them all. :) Ateco is a little hard to find, so any meringue powder will work. Follow the instructions for Royal Icing that come with your meringue powder. Here's a recipe to try with any meringue powder:

Royal Icing
(this will cover approximately 3 dozen 3.5 inch cookies)

1 pound powdered sugar
5 TBSP meringue powder
scant 1/2 c. water
a few drops of extract (optional)

Combine the meringue powder and water with a whisk attachment using an electric mixer. Beat until peaks begin to form. Sift in the powdered sugar and beat on low to combine. Increase speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form. (You should be able to remove the beater from the mixer and hold up and jiggle without the peak falling.) If using an extract, add it then beat for a few more seconds to incorporate.
Cover with plastic wrap touching the icing or divide and color using gel paste food colorings.

{The most important step: sift the powdered sugar! Believe me, I've tried to shortcut this step...it doesn't work. My favorite powdered sugars are Domino and C & H, but as you can see from the picture, any will do. Imperial is easier to find in the 1 pound boxes.}

This "stiff" icing is perfect for outlining and even for building gingerbread houses and monogramming. To fill in your cookies, add water to your icing a little at a time until it is the consistency of syrup. This technique of filling a cookie with thinned icing is called "flooding." Click here for more details.
Happy cookie decorating!

Be sure to check out all of the Works for Me Wednesday ideas at We are THAT Family.

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