Summer All Year Round

Living in South Florida, pretty much everyday is summer! I felt like I needed to keep the summer vibe going in my house. I recently bought the Sweet Sugarbelle Cookie Cutter Set with imprint stamp. I purchased it at Michaels with my 40% coupon. My purse is full of coupons & such, that’s why it’s so big! Always have them in your purse! The cookie cutter imprint set is very easy to use & super helpful for outlining the cookie specifically by color! Most the time I would design free hand, but this time all I had to do was stamp each cookie! *Tip: Putting the stamp in flour before imprinting the cookie works better to remove it from the cookie. I didn’t have flour for the first few cookies & the cookie was stuck to the imprint. I eventually peeled it off, but had to put the cookie dough in my scrap pile. I would personally buy more cookie supplies from this company.

Royal Icing is a type of icing that is used to decorate sugar cookies, gingerbread houses, cakes and other desserts. Royal icing can be made many ways using either raw egg whites or meringue powder. I used meringue powder in my royal icing recipe along with powdered sugar, salt, vanilla extract, lite corn syrup and water.

4 Cups confectioners sugar

5 Tablespoons meringue powder

1/2 Teaspoon of salt

½ Cup room temperature water

2 Teaspoons vanilla extract

2 Tablespoons lite corn syrup

By adding small amounts of water to the icing, you can get many different royal icing consistencies. A spray bottle filled with fresh water comes in handy when you need to add small amounts at a time to get the consistency needed.

Stiff consistency is the consistency that the icing is when you mix the initial batch. This is the thickest consistency of royal icing. It is used to glue gingerbread house pieces together, pipe roses, borders and other things that require the icing to hold a very stiff shape.

Piping consistency is thinner than stiff consistency but is still able to hold its shape when piped. Think of the consistency of Greek yogurt when you stir it. When you pull your spoon out of the icing you should see a soft peak. You’ll be able to use this for piping outlines on larger surfaces that you want to flood, piping letters and borders, and royal icing transfers.

Flood consistency is the thinnest consistency of royal icing. It can be anywhere from 5-20 second consistency royal icing that is used to fill in the larger areas of a cookie.

15 Second consistency is what I use the majority of the time to outline and flood sugar cookies. If you drag a knife through the icing, you should be able to count to 15 before the line disappears and the surface is smooth.

TIP: If you want more working time the with royal icing, you can double the amount of meringue powder to 10 tablespoons in the recipe. This will avoid it from crusting over for a longer period of time so that you can move the icing around before it sets up. Meringue powder can get expensive so once I was comfortable, I backed it down to 5 tablespoons in my recipe.

Your main goal is to make the border on your cookie. The purpose for this is when you fill it in with the flood consistency royal icing won’t pour over your cookie. It will give your cookie a glossy look you’re looking for. I use a Wilton Tip #4. It works quite well for me. I’ve tried to use ziplock bags with a small cut at the very tip. The royal icing cake out like ribbon width. That’s not what you want. You want round & circular like a rope. Once the outlining is finished, you definitely want the icing to dry completely. Ideally you can wait 24 hours for the border to dry or 6 hours. Your decision. I personally waited 24 hours.

Store your royal icing in an airtight container either in the refrigerator or on a counter-top at room temperature for up to three weeks. This is only if you are using meringue powder to make your royal icing, NOT raw egg whites. If you are using REAL egg whites, the frosting with stay good as long as it’s covered correctly. I personally put my icing in pastry bags with specific tips. With project like decorating cookies, planning is very necessary! It helps you brain storm & collect all your ideas. I like to change my mind a lot so if I have a plan, I stick to the plan! Practice makes perfect as well as patience! Have fun & don’t forget..eat dessert first!