On the 5th Day of Christmas my sweet tooth gave to me Classic Cut-out Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing.

Christmas really cannot be complete without decorating cut-out cookies with icing and sprinkles if you ask me.  I have been marveling and gawking over the cookie artistry by Sweet Sugar Belle for some time now and although I knew my cookies would look nothing like hers, I had to try using royal icing to see if there was something magical about it.  All royal icing is is powdered sugar, meringue powder, water and extract.

Let’s just say my first attempt did not go so well.

I had some frosting left after this batch of cookies and so I thought I would make another batch of cut-outs and modify my frosting a bit.  Well naturally, I ran out of frosting and then made another entire batch of frosting!!  I was exhausted but I decided to stick with it and power through.  The recipe for Royal Icing that I have included here is from Sweet Sugar Belle and it is really simple to follow.  That is not the problem.  The difficult part comes in knowing how much to thin that original batch of icing to make it the correct consistency for either piping around the edges or “flooding” the inside of your piping.  What finally helped me with that is this video from Sweetopia.  In the video, she teaches you about the “10-second rule and the 5-second rule” and basically all that means is that for piping consistency, when you drag a knife through your frosting, you want the groove that the knife made to fill itself in in 10 seconds and 5 seconds for the flood icing.  Just watch the video, it shows and tells you all you need to know.

My review of royal icing:

  • When the icing dries, it dries very hard and becomes crunchy which makes the cookies very easy to store and transport without fear of the icing getting smudged.
  • You need to make a time commitment if you plan to try decorating with royal icing for the first time.  Just making the frosting itself again, is not difficult or too time consuming.  The time consuming part comes in when you divide your icing in two and then thin each of those to piping and flood consistency.  Then from there you have 2 bowls of white icing.  So then you need to assemble piping bags with appropriately sized tips of different colors and each color you make you will likely need 1 bag of the piping and 1 bag of the flood consistency icing.  YOU DO THE MATH of how long this takes.  I would figure about an hour just to get your frosting ready.
  • It is recommended that you bake your cookies a day ahead and then frost so that the oil from the cookies does not leach into the frosting.  You can guess if I listened to that rule or not :).
  • Once you have the icing made, it really is lovely to work with.  What I did was pipe around certain areas that I wanted to outline and then wait maybe 10 minutes for the piping to set up and then come back and flood those areas to fill in between my piping lines.
  • All that I really have to compare royal icing to is my typical powdered sugar icing that I simply make with powdered sugar, some extract and milk.

If you have been curious about royal icing, I definitely think it is worth a try.  Just make sure you have lots of time and patience and just let yourself get lost in it and if you are like me, you will enjoy the creative outlet.

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One Comment ( Reply )

  1. emily (a nutritionist eats)
    Dec 22, 2011 @ 4:16 pm

    Are you serious with those gorgeous cookies?! OMG!


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