We have many traditions that center around the Holidays. One of which, is that every Christmas we decorate cookies. While most of the kids are more interested in sampling the cookie toppings, my son Jacob takes cookie decorating to whole new levels. This is when my simple royal icing recipe comes in handy.
Jacob takes regular graham crackers and turns them into beautiful houses. This icing becomes the glue, and sometimes the snow, in his yearly creations.
Royal icing is a made from a mixture of egg whites and powdered sugar, which hardens as it dries. For this reason, it is the best icing to use if you plan on shipping or transporting your cookies.
Note: You can also use royal icing to decorate apple cinnamon dough ornaments.
Simple Royal Icing
Add the powdered sugar and mix on LOW speed until well combined.
Slowly increase the speed to high and whip until your icing is thick, and glossy in appearance.
If it seems too thin, you can add a little sugar and mix again.
At this point, you can add color if you choose. I use colored paste.
Note 1: if you do not use all the icing immediately. Place a damp cloth on top of the bowl. Royal icing can keep like this for about two hours. If you do not plan on using it within this time frame, place some plastic wrap on top of your container (or a lid) and place in the fridge. Use within 12 hours.
Note 2: you can make royal icing with egg whites although some have expressed concern about food born illnesses with this method. I would make this icing with my hens’ eggs or if I was using the icing solely for decorating purposing. I am not certain I would use store bought eggs.
Useful Tips for Using Royal Icing
Here are some various methods you can use to decorate cookies:
- Outline: Place some icing in a piping bag and outline the cookie
- Flood: this method works well if you’ve first outlined the cookie (as in the picture above). You will need to thin your royal icing by adding a tiny bit of water. You may then spread some thinned icing onto the cookie with a small spoon. Use a toothpick to spread the royal icing to the edge of your cookie.
- Marble: After flooding, you can drop various colored icing onto the cookie and blend with a toothpick.
- 3-D: After flooding the cookie, wait until the frosting is completely dry. Pipe more frosting on top