Royal Icing

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This icing is a special icing usually used to decorate cookies. We have made it many times and can say this recipe works! Also, this recipe tastes pretty good. You can tint this icing various colors with any water based food coloring. We used this recipe in our previous sugar cookie recipe.

We got this recipe from bakeat350

This recipe will ice around 40-50 3in. cookies or 60-70 small cookies. Always make more icing than you think you will need so you don’t have to end up making more icing later. Using our sugar cookie recipe, we made a 1.5 batch of this royal icing. We ended up with extra icing, but that’s okay! Also, if you are planning on making many colors, make a larger batch of icing.

Ingredients:

4 Tablespoons meringue powder (we use Wilton brand, but any brand will do. We got ours from Michaels)
A little less than 1/2 c. water
1 lb. powdered sugar
1/2 – 1 tsp light corn syrup (to make the icing SHINY. But, this can be left out if you want)
few drops clear extract (optional, but it does make your icing taste good!)

*a note on the extract- it must not have any oil in it or the icing will become clumpy and unusable. Also, we like to use vanilla extract or a combination of vanilla and almond

Directions:

This recipe is best done in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. You can use a hand beater, but it will take longer. Doing this recipe by hand may cause your hand to fall off, but it is doable… I think…
Put the meringue powder and water in your stand mixer. Mix on speed until foamy or frothy.

Then, add your powdered sugar. We usually sift the powdered sugar to make sure there aren’t any lumps, but if you are using a good stand mixer, it is not necessary. Then beat again until the mixture is smooth.

Add in the corn syrup and extract.

Now for the lengthy part. Beat the icing on medium-high until stiff peaks are formed. This will take around 5 minutes in a stand mixer, 10-15 minutes with a hand beater, and who knows how long by hand. The icing will get VERY thick. Make sure to stop every so often to scrape the sides of the bowl and check the consistency of the icing. When you take your beater out of the bowl, the icing should stand up on it, creating a peak that does not fall over.

In the picture below, you can see the icing is not quite stiff enough. The peaks are flopping over a bit.

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In this picture, you can see the icing is standing up on the beater blade. If you move the beater around, the icing does not flop over.

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Now, you can separate your icing into bowls to make different colors. We used paste and liquid food colors and they worked fine. Just make sure your colors don’t have any oil in them. Also, you will have to use a lot of coloring to make darker colored icings. Using too much color will make your icing taste bitter. So, if you want to use less color, try using Americolor food colorings. They are really saturated and you don’t need a lot of it to make dark colors.

When you are icing cookies, you can do it in two ways. You can make a thicker icing for outlining the cookies and a thinner one for filling the middle, or you can use an icing that is in between to ice the whole cookie. Either way, you need to thin out the original icing. So, when you have separated your icing, add a little bit of water to thin it out.

For outlining the cookie, you will need icing that is just thin enough to pipe out through a piping bag or squeeze bottle. For flood icing, you want it to flow easily and smooth out quickly when you put it on the cookie. But, you don’t want it so thin that it drips off the cookie.

For the icing that is in between, you want it to smooth out when you pipe it on the cookie, but not so thin that it drips off. We like to use this consistency of icing so we don’t have to bother with outlining and filling. This type of icing is also called 20 second icing. This is because when you run through the icing in the bowl with a small spatula or spoon, the icing smooths out in 20 seconds.

We like to then put our icing in squeeze bottles fitted either with a #3 or 5 tip or if your squeeze bottle already has a small opening, just without a tip.

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Then, pipe your icing onto your cookies. If you notice your icing is too thick, then add some water to your squeeze bottle and mix it up. If the icing is too thin, then use some of your leftover original icing or powdered sugar to thicken it up.
Enjoy and decorate some cookies!

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