Royal Icing FOR SNOWFLAKES

1 pound confectioners' sugar

3 tablespoons of meringue powder

¼ teaspoon vanilla

4 tablespoons warm water

Tinted food gels for coloring

1. To make enough royal icing for the wreath cookies and the cookie sleigh, combine the confectioners' sugar and meringue powder (not powdered eggs) in the bowl of a stand mixer or handheld electric mixer. Add the vanilla or other flavored extract, if desired, and about 4 tablespoons of warm water.

2. Turn on the mixer to its lowest speed; beat for about 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary and adding 1 tablespoon of water or more as needed to maintain a thick, glossy and smooth consistency for stiff piping icing.

3. Cover the bowl with a damp towel until ready to use. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water or drops of colored food gel as needed to thin/color the icing to the consistency needed for filling, or flooding, inside the piped outlines.

— Heather Chittum, Hook Restaurant, Washington, D.C.



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