We are always experimenting with ingredients here in the Sage and Celery kitchen and that's exactly what we did to find the perfect icing recipe for those gingerbread cookies. First we tried making it with Organic Powdered Sugar but noticed that it wasn't a true white icing. And since we made snowman cookies, we made a second batch with regular powdered, which gave us the true white that we were after. You can see the difference in the picture above. However, the taste was the same with both batches.
1 cup sifted 10x Confectioners (Powdered) Sugar
1T Meringue Powder
A pinch of Cream of Tartar
3-4 T of water
1 tsp. Clear Flavored Extract - we used Almond Extract
1) Make sure that all your tools are very clean and grease free before starting.
2) Combine confectioner’s sugar, meringue powder and cream of tartar in a bowl. You can make this icing using either a stand mixer or a hand held one.
3) Slowly add water until a sticky ball has formed, and then add water by the drop until a glue-like consistency is reached.
4) Beat on the lowest speed for 5-7 minutes until there aren't any more clumps.
For thinner icing, add more water a drop at a time until desired consistency is reached. It is easy to thin this icing but difficult to thicken it back up. Divide into bowls and add whichever food coloring you like. Be sure to cover the icing with a damp cloth or plastic wrap or it will crust over and ruin the icing.
If you are new to using royal icing, here is a great article about the different consistency needed to achieve different looks, plus this blog has loads of information on all types of cookie decorating. Be patient with yourself, royal icing can be tricky to work with at first but once you get the hang of it, it is a lot of fun!
We got the piping bag and tips from our local craft store and used mostly tips # 2 & 3 to decorate this batch of cookies.