Friday, December 9, 2011

Royal Icing

It’s that time of year when many will head into the kitchen to bake a gingerbread house to decorate for the holidays. I am often asked what can be done to prevent the pieces from falling off, and the answer can be found in selecting the right icing for your project. If you’re looking for the perfect icing to use in the construction of your gingerbread house, royal icing will save the day.  Royal icing dries to a hard, smooth finish, and is used for decorating and frosting cakes and cookies. Royal icing is the perfect glue to attach pieces of your gingerbread house because it dries to a rock-hard yet brittle texture.  It has a crunchier texture than buttercream or store bought frostings, but can also be thinned with water to glaze pastries, or Bundt cakes. This glaze can also be spread with the back of a spoon to create the look of snow, or icicles hanging from the roofline of your house.

3 ounces pasteurized egg whites (3 tablespoons meringue powder can be substituted)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
1.       In the large bowl of a stand mixer combine the egg whites and vanilla and beat until frothy.
2.       Add powdered sugar gradually and mix on low speed until sugar is incorporated and mixture is shiny. Turn mixer to high speed and beat until mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks. (This should take approximately 5 to 7 minutes.)
3.       Add food coloring, if desired. Use immediately
4.       Icing can be store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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