Saturday, October 19, 2013

Oui,Sugar! Royal Icing Recipe

Today I want to share with you something I am
asked about all the time... My Royal Icing recipe!
If you've ever tried to work with royal icing you may know that it can be a bit
fussy. And, you may also know that following some of the recipes out there
can lead to plenty of frustration and lots and lots of wasted ingredients...
So let's talk about how to achieve royal icing worthy of our cookies!
First of all, do not depend on a box or bag of powdered sugar to actually
be a pound (or two pounds) of sugar. I've found a two pound bag of sugar
can weigh almost a quarter pound more! Also, sifting powdered sugar is
not optional. To achieve smooth royal icing, sifting is absolutely essential!
My recipe does not depend on pound measurements at all... To
create perfect royal icing, I measure my powdered sugar in cups!
In my opinion, whether you use meringue powder or egg whites, royal icing
leaves a lot to be desired in terms of taste. Personally, I believe the culprit
to be the sugar. I used to add extracts to flavor my royal icing; however, I've
found that fresh lemon juice is the only way to achieve a truly delicious icing!
If you have your heart set on a vanilla or almond flavored royal icing you can still
add those extracts (as long as they are clear/colorless) but do yourself a favor and
keep the lemon juice! It adds a little zip and a clean-tasting finish to royal icing!
Make sure you use a press with strainer to ensure
no seeds or bits of pulp escape into your icing!
For my recipe, I use 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and 9 tablespoons
of warm/hot water and I never convert the tablespoons into cups!
I confess to being raw-egg phobic when it comes to using them in recipes that
require no cooking... Therefore, I rely on meringue powder for my royal icing!
Measure out seven tables spoons of meringue powder into
eight cups of sifted powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer...
Whisk the powdered sugar and meringue powder to incorporate and then
add 9 tablespoons of warm/hot water and 3 tablespoons of fresh-squeed
lemon juice. I use warm/hot water because I believe it helps to dissolve the
sugar better, for a creamier/smoother result. I also recommend you mix your
icing on medium speed and only until it comes together and begins to shine...
Those other recipes that instruct to mix on high speed for 10-12 minutes only
produce dry, brittle and broken royal icing. Trust me... 4-5 minutes is all you need!
After it is mixed, I immediately transfer my icing to quart-size
containers. These containers make it easier to keep my icing
air-tight because air is the enemy of royal icing before it's used!
My recipe yields 1.25 quarts of icing, which is plenty to ice two dozen
5-inch cookies. Remember this... It is always better to have too much
icing than too little. I find that when I'm worried about whether or
not I have enough icing, my decorating becomes less creative. When
there's plenty of icing to experiment with more colors/designs... I do!
After loading my icing into containers, I tap the bottom of them on the
counter to remove air pockets and settle the icing. Then, I press plastic
wrap directly onto the surface of the icing and seal it all up with a lid!
How you store your royal icing is just as important as the recipe you
use. I also do my best not to tint more icing than I need because after
it is tinted, royal icing is almost impossible to keep for more than a
few hours. To store not-tinted icing overnight, I first make sure it is
completely covered with plastic wrap, the lid is on tight and then I
turn the container up-side-down and place it into the refrigerator!
Refrigerated royal icing will keep up to two days. I don't find it
necessary to let my icing come to room temperature before using
it but I always give it a few stirs with a spoon to ensure there's no
separation of the sugar and liquid... And, to get it moving again!
Remember too that temperature and humidity play a big
part in how royal icing behaves. I find that as long as I am
comfortable playing in my kitchen my royal icing will be too!
Before I publish my royal icing recipe for
you I want to leave you with this tip...
Seriously though... When I need only a tiny bit of icing to
complete a cookie, I avoid messing up a clean bottle or
using another decorating bag by loading just the tip!
After the tip is filled, I attach it to one of my decorating bottles...
And, go to work to...
Finish my cookie! After I'm finished, all I have to clean is
the tip and bottle coupler. If a little icing gets on the rim of
the bottle, I just wipe it clean with a damp paper towel!
If you would like to give my royal icing a try to achieve
decorating results like the ones I'm about to share with you...
Grab a pen and write this down!
Measure 8 Cups of sifted Powdered Sugar
into the bowl of your stand mixer...
Add to the sugar, 7 Tablespoons Meringue Powder, which
comes as part of my Oui, Sugar! 24-piece decorating kit here
Whisk the sugar and meringue powder gently to incorporate...
Add 9 Tablespoons of warm/hot water to this mixture...
Add 3 Tablespoons of fresh-squeezed Lemon Juice...
And, mix on medium speed, using the paddle attachment for your mixer...
Mix 4-5 minutes or just until your icing comes together and begins to shine!
You're looking for a pearly, glossy shine and...
The consistency of smooth peanut butter or toothpaste!
Transfer your icing to quart-sized containers
If you don't have them, a bowl is fine
Cover by pressing plastic wrap directly onto the surface of your icing...
Seal with a lid...
Or another piece of plastic wrap if covering a bowl
Until ready for use! Tint or use icing straight from the container in its
just-mixed state to outline or write on cookies or tint and thin with warm
water to achieve the consistency of maple syrup to flood cookie surfaces 
Remember, if you have questions, I cover all of this and more in my

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