This year I decided to make cutout cookies and of course I needed to make some icing for them. This is not the type of cookie I make. I thought I would need to store them in a single layer in multiple containers to avoid ruining the icing. My husband told me that when he was a child he remembers his mother stacking her finished cookies. Which is an idea situation since I did not know how I would store all of them! So off to Google to perform a search and in a matter of minutes I learned about Meringue Powder. Bakers use it to create an icing that dries hard but yet is edible. I must admit I really did not know anything about it. That led Greg and me searching in a few local stores trying to find it. Luckily a young lady who works at Wegmans was able to show us exactly where they keep it! We were happy about that because I wanted to make icing that weekend for my cookies! The below recipe worked great for my cutout cookies!
¼ cup Meringue Powder
½ cup Cold Water
4 cups Powdered Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla (I make mine with Rum and a Vanilla bean)
Note: If your meringue powder has vanilla in it then I would taste the icing before adding more.
Beat the meringue powder, cold water, and vanilla until stiff peaks form. The below picture is taken after initially mixing the meringue powder, water, and vanilla. You will notice the mixture is very thin – so keep mixing.
After mixing a bit longer, you can see the mixture is getting thicker but you are not able to form any peaks – so keep mixing.
Once we can create peaks and they stay formed it is time to add the powdered sugar.
Mix in the powdered sugar.
Divide the icing into bowls and add food coloring. I do not mix all the icing with color because if I need more of a particular color I still have some white icing left. To keep the icing moist, place a damp cloth over the top.
The below picture shows how you can decorate my Chewy Chocolate Drop cookies and Thick and Chewy Gingerbread People cookies with the Royal Icing without adding any color to the icing because it covers the cookie nicely. Once you cover the cookie with icing, you can add sprinkles or any other decorations before it starts to set. It does take awhile for the icing to cure and then you can stack the cookies. I keep them in a cold place because they sometimes will stick a bit if they get warm.