Friday, December 2, 2011

Wilton Royal Icing

I meant to post this a few weeks ago, when I made Jeff's cookies, but I got distracted making lots of great new things and forgot.  So, while I'm killing time tonight, I thought I'd squeeze it in!

Royal icing is great! It's easy to make, easy to use, and there are tons of great tutorials all over the web, like this one, this one or this one.  I followed the steps there, and the cookies turned out great!  The biggest lesson learned is that I need to practice before actually icing the cookies -- the best ones are the ones I did last.  But, like anything, I learn as I go and improve as I go, so the next batch will be even better, I'm sure.  It's encouraging at least!

My recipe differs a little from some of the others floating around, and for these cookies I made only a half-batch, (since I only made a half-batch of cookies) and it was still way more than I needed.  Regardless, it's better to have too much than too little, and the leftovers were put to good use: I made little designs on wax paper to be used later as sprinkles or cupcake toppers.

I decided upon the Wilton recipe for Royal Icing since I had made Wilton's sugar cookies, and since the cake decorating class I'm following is Wilton.  I've got them on the brain, I guess, but really any recipe should turn out more or less the same, provided you follow the steps in the tutorials.  The only thing I'd change were I to do it again with the stand mixer, is to add another teaspoon of water in to thin the first batch (the writing icing) -- it was a little too thick and burst through the piping bag.  It was also hard on my hands to use.  So, with a little bit more water, I'm sure it'd work better.  I just wouldn't try with too much more water than that because if it's too thin I really can't pipe with it!

Wilton Royal Icing
Makes: about 3 cups of icing*

3 Tbsp Meringue Powder
1 pound (about 4 cups) powdered sugar
6 Tbsp warm water
icing colour

Add all ingredients to your mixing bowl.
Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks (7-10 minutes at LOW speed with a stand mixer, 10-12 minutes at HIGH speed with a hand-held mixer.)
 At this point, I took out half of it because I wanted some to be white, and dyed the rest pink for Jeff's cookies.  You can find a tutorial here.
After that, I packed up the colours in AIR TIGHT containers for the night, and left the icing job for the next day.  I did it only because it was getting to be late at night and the icing can take a long time, but really it's a good idea because the colours tend to intensify the longer the icing sits... I ended up adding a drop of white-white into the pink to tone down the intensity, that's why the border of the pink and the filling of the pink don't match in colour.  Wilton offers white-white colour so that your white icing is white on the cookies, and not transparent.  Whether you use it or not depends on how picky you are with your white!
Notes from Wilton:   
  • Keep all utensils completely grease-free for proper icing consistency.
  • For stiffer icing, use 1 tablespoon less water.
  • When using large counter top mixer or for stiffer icing, use 1 tablespoon less water.
Thinned Royal Icing: To thin for pouring, add 1 teaspoon water per cup of royal icing. Use grease-free spoon or spatula to stir slowly. Add 1/2 teaspoon water at a time until you reach proper consistency.
 * I'm providing the whole recipe, but I halved it and was fine.  Adjust as you see fit.

Source: Recipe & notes, Wilton.

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