Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Pineapple Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

I have been wanting to try decorating cookies with royal icing for a while, but I was so intimidated by the whole process! After doing a fair bit of research, I finally built up the courage to use royal icing! I will share more as I discover more, but I definitely recommend reading as much as you can find before using royal icing!! I used the recipe that Lindsey from Follow the Ruels shares HERE.

I started with my favorite sugar cookie recipe, you can find the recipe HERE. The Bean actually did the sugar cookie part while I was doing a little blog work! She did a great job too!! I cut out some pineapples, some figure skates and some high heels thinking I would decorate them all. I soon discovered that I bit off a little more than I could chew. So I started with the pineapples and the figure skates and high heels stayed plain! I might be able to get to the figure skates today!
I only took one picture of the icing - blogger fail! I'll do my best to explain the process and get more pictures up soon! I halved Lindsey's because I wanted to start off small and it was the perfect amount of icing to get me going!

In a small bowl, whisk 1 tablespoon of meringue powder and 2 tablespoons of water until the mixture becomes foamy. Then add in 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 2 cups of powdered sugar. I whisked in the powdered sugar until it was well incorporated to avoid making a mess with the hand mixer. Once the icing sugar was stirred in, I whipped the icing up with a hand mixer until it turned white and was light and fluffy.

At this point the icing with be think - you'll need to add water before you can use it to decorate, but don't do that yet! Cover it with plastic wrap so that it is completely sealed (the plastic wrap should be touching the icing) then cover the plastic wrap with a damp cloth and leave it be! Leave the icing sitting while you make a plan, and prep everything that you'll need. I was making pineapples, so I got out my golden yellow, brown and green gel food coloring bottles. I also got out 5 plastic bags.

When you're ready to start, separate some of the icing into a smaller bowl and dye it with the color you're going to start with. I started with yellow. Once the icing is dyed, start adding water very gradually! I used a spray bottle to make sure I wouldn't ruin my icing. I needed 2 icing consistencies for the yellow part of my pineapples - one for the edge work and one for flooding.

I knew my icing was at a good consistency for outlining shapes when I could drizzle icing off a spoon into the bowl of icing and it disappeared in 10-15 seconds. When my icing was at this consistency, I added about a third of it to a plastic bag, sealed the bag then kept adding water to the icing in the bowl until I reached a good flooding consistency. The icing is at a proper flooding consistency when you drag a knife through it and the line disappears in 10-15 seconds. I poured the icing for flooding into a separate plastic bag, then I cut a very small hole at the corner of both plastic bags.

At this point I had 2 plastic bags - one full of icing to outline the pineapple in yellow, and the other full of icing to flood the centers of the pineapples yellow.

When I was done with the yellow, I repeated the same process with green. I only made one icing color at a time, while I was working with that color, I left the initial plain icing in the bowl, sealed with plastic wrap with a damp cloth over it. Here is how the process happens:
1. Outline desired shape with thicker icing.
2. Drizzle the flood icing around the outlined shape. Start with a small amount, because you can add more if needed!
3. Use a toothpick or a sharp baking utensil to spread the icing and fill the shape completely.
When all of my pineapples had yellow and green icing on them, I made a little light brown icing and used it to make the grids on the pineapples. I left these out on paper towel until they were completely dry then I packaged them in an air tight container.

I might be leaving a million things out! I am still so inexperienced with royal icing! The pineapples that I ended up with kind of felt like a miracle! Please let me know if you have questions! I will post more about royal icing in the soon, soon!!

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