Royal icing is a pipeable icing that dries firm and tastes like crunchy sweetness. It's usually used to outline decorated cookies or to pipe decorations that will later be added to a cake. Follow this recipe for stiffer icing, or follow the directions below for softer, colorflow icing which is used to fill in the tops of cookies, like the picture above. For more tips on how to decorate cookies, see How To Decorate Cookies With Royal Icing.
4 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
3 tbsp. meringue powder
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
5 tbsp. water
1/4 tsp. lemon or vanilla extract
Beat all the ingredients on low until thoroughly combined. Switch mixer to medium and beat until peaks form, approximately 5-7 minutes.
Yield: About 3 cups
Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of water at a time to the desired portion of royal icing. Continue until a tablespoon full of icing dropped back into the main mixture takes 10 full seconds to disappear.
Tips for use:
• Do not use bowls or piping bags that have any greasy residue. This will keep the royal icing from mixing or drying properly.
• To store, transfer royal icing to a grease free container and press a slightly dampened paper towel onto the surface of the icing. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate