Saturday, November 15, 2014


With the Holidays coming up it's time to start at least "thinking" about decorating cookies. 

There are all sorts of varieties of cookies to decorate but the best icing to use to decorate them is Royal Icing. 

In the beginning (about thirty-five years ago - more or less) when I started using Royal Icing - every recipe in books and magazines that I saw called for raw egg whites. Three egg whites to a pound of powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar and a teaspoon of vanilla and beat it until stiff. It worked just fine. And then people became afraid of raw egg whites and started using meringue powder or powdered egg whites. I realize once in a great while it’s possible for someone to get very sick from eating raw eggs. I've never heard of this happening to anyone I know - thank goodness! I think the other best reason to use meringue powder is that the icing will keep for weeks instead of merely days! My first experience with meringue powder was less than satisfactory. I just didn't like it. For one thing it was powdery after it dried. Now I think I was beating it too much. The other thing was the brand I was using - the popular craft store brand. My favorite brand now is CK - available by mail order and worth the wait If you can't find it locally. By mistake I once ordered CK Royal Icing "Mix" which has sugar already in it. It was so easy and also very good. If you just need a small amount of icing in an emergency it’s perfect - add water and beat. That’s it - it’s done!

There are lots of ways to mix up the meringue powder but the most successful way I've found is the method from Bridget at Bake at 350. ( It works very well.

Royal Icing

1/2 cup meringue powder
1 scant cup water
2 pounds powdered sugar
2 teaspoons light corn syrup

Flavor with vanilla or other extract if desired. 

In the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the meringue powder and water until foamy and combined.

Sift in the powdered sugar, add the corn syrup, and mix on low spreed until the powdered sugar is incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a silicone spatula, Increase the speed to medium-low and beat for five minutes. 

Increase the speed to medium-high and continue beating, just until the icing is glossy and stiff peaks form. 

Note: Be careful not to over-beat the icing or it might become flaky when applied to the cookie. Keep a close eye on the glossy sheen; over-beating will cause it to go dull. 

Color it with paste food color so not to thin it unintentionally - I like Americolor (find lots of colors online). Thin with a little water to flood. 

There's a LOT of online help if you get into trouble. Cookie decorators are wonderfully generous with their time. Thank you Bridget for your wonderful book titled DECORATING COOKIES and a really good Royal Icing recipe. 

- posted by Momsu 

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