A tip I’ve learned is don’t get your piping bag tip too close to the part of the cookie you want to ice. The closer you get, the shakier the line will look if you don’t have a very steady hand. Let the icing drop from about 7 inches and draw the outline of the cookie first, then fill it up.
We’ve included a video to help you out. One recipe will be enough to decorate a LOT of cookies. Use the entire recipe if you’re making more than 50 cookies.
Also, don’t put any flavoring in it if you need a white icing. Almond or vanilla flavorings are brown, and you will get a beige colored icing.
Royal Icing using Meringue Powder
Yields: 3 cups
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons meringue powder
½ – ¾ cup warm water
Optional: ½ teaspoon extract (vanilla, lemon or almond)
- In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the confectioners’ sugar and meringue powder until combined. Add the water and beat on medium to high speed until very glossy and stiff peaks form (5 to 7 minutes).
- If necessary, to get the right consistency, add more powdered sugar or water. To cover or ‘flood’ the entire surface of the cookie with icing, the proper consistency is when you lift the beater, the ribbon of icing that falls back into the bowl remains on the surface of the icing for a few seconds before disappearing.
- The icing needs to be used immediately or transferred to an airtight container as royal icing hardens when exposed to air.
- Cover with plastic wrap when not in use.
- Separate your icing into as many bowls as you need, depending on what colors you want to use.
- Add the food coloring with a toothpick, a little bit goes a long way.
- As for my preferred food coloring, I use Gel Pastes that can be found at cake decorating and party stores or else on-line.
- Regarding the flavoring, I didn’t use any at all. I wanted pure white frosting, so if you want it to remain white, use a clear extract, such as almond.
- I did have to put extra confectioners’ sugar. When I first iced my sea stars, the icing started to run. Add sugar by tablespoonfuls until you get to the right consistency. It shouldn’t run, but it has to be easy to pipe or spread.
Also, to make the details, use the thinnest tip. The lines in my fish cookies are a bit too thick for my taste.
We’re including this video from Whimsical Cookies, which was very useful to me to get the idea of how to decorate the cookies:
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