This weekend I attended Macy’s Holiday Cookie Decorating class hosted by Jen Musty owner of Batter Bakery. The class cost $20.00 which was donated to Project Open Hand. A group of my girlfriends and I learned the tips and tricks of how to make royal icing from scratch. It felt kind of nice messing up someone else’s kitchen while I learned how to create the perfect icing for edging and flooding. It my first time ever decorating with royal icing, and it looked like it. I had icing everywhere, which once again, made me very happy it wasn’t my kitchen! Here are a few tips I took away from the class:
1. The consistency of icing for edging is perfect when you lift up your spoon or whisk from the bowl and it doesn’t fall off.
2. The consistency for flooding icing is perfect when you lift your spoon or whisk and it flows smoothly off into the bowl.
3. When pipping the edging- do not touch the tip of bag to the cookie- hover it slightly above the cookie and put even pressure on the bag as you go. This is something that took a big of practice for me- I kept getting breaks and large blobs randomly But practice makes perfect!
4. The icing starts drying VERY quickly so if you plan on putting on sprinkles or colored sugar, do it quickly after you finish pipping.
5. Use gel coloring when coloring your icing because it won’t mess up the thickness or thinness of your icing. Liquid coloring might cause your icing to become runny.
6. Have fun with it! Decorating does get messy and sometimes they will look a little wonky- but that’s the fun in i t. Just enjoy yourself and think about how amazing the cookies will taste when you’re done!
Here are the recipes for royal icing and sugar cookies that Jen gave to us as a take away:
4 cups powdered sugar- sifted
3 tablespoons of meringue powder
1. Combine powdered sugar with meringue powder in a bowl. Mix.
2. Add a tablespoon of water and whisk. Continue adding water until it turns into a thick, lump-free paste. This takes a lot of arm power as whisking the paste is a little tough- but it’s a great workout!
3. At this point it depends what you are using the icing for
Edging/Detailing: Icing should be very thick workable with a spoon but able to hold its shape when a line is piped on parchment or when you lift your spoon away from the bowl.
Using tips: If you are using piping tips to create a textured pattern, make sure the icing is a SUPER thick paste so the design holds.
Filling/flooding: Icing should be thin enough to drip easily from a spoon held above a bowl, but not transparent.
3. Divide the icing into separate bowls and add gel food coloring. Add extra powdered sugar if the icing gets too runny. Always add icing when it is thick. While it may seem like more effort to incorporate, you will avoid pockets of food coloring that may result in thinner icing.
1.5 cups of butter
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp of vanilla
3.5 cups of flour
1 tsp of salt
1. Pre-heat oven to 375 F.
2. Cream the butter + sugar until its is nice a fluffy in a mixing bowl.
3. Add vanilla to the butter mixture.
4. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and salt.
5. Now add half the flour mixture to the butter mixture and combine. Once this is all combine, add the second half of the flour mixture and mix until combined.
6. Roll the dough out until it is 1/4 inch thick and cut of shapes using a cookie cutter.
7. Bake until the edges are golden brown.
8. Let them cool and start decorating!