Can I Freeze Royal Icing
Yes, royal icing can be frozen. Many royal icing recipes, including this one, yield a lot of icing. Any leftover royal icing can be frozen for up to 2 months. Place leftover royal icing into zipped-top freezer bags. If you have more than 1 color, each color should have its own bag. Before sealing, squeeze as much air out of the bag as possible. Freeze on a flat shelf surface in your freezer. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before using again.
Sugar cookies decorated with royal icing freeze well up to 3 months. Wait for the icing to set completely before layering between sheets of parchment paper in a freezer-friendly container. To thaw, thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature.
Icing Without Corn Syrup
This recipe may be adjusted if you are looking for a powdered sugar cookie icing without corn syrup. Simply omit the corn syrup from the recipe and add 1-2 teaspoons additional milk to achieve the right consistency.
Corn syrup is used in sugar cooking icing to achieve that glossy finish. It also prevents the frosting from being runny, which makes for more controlled decorating.
Easy Sugar Cookie Icing
You know those fancy decorated cookies that look almost too pretty to eat? Well, you can make impressive looking cookies like that, too and its easier than you might think! All you need is sugar cookies and this icing were sharing today.
This icing is so easy to make with only a few simple items, and creates a hard shell so you can stack your cookies or bag them.
How To Make Sugar Cookie Icing
Learn how to make sugar cookie icing that hardens into a glossy, shiny glaze. This easy sugar cookie icing recipe only uses four simple ingredients and takes five minutes to make!
Christmas would not be complete without my moms tried-and-true rolled sugar cookies making an appearance. This sugar cookie icing recipe was an integral part of our holidays, and deemed the best over the years.
While Mom rolled, cut, and baked the cookies, we were tasked with covering the kitchen with frosting and sprinkles. Sometimes some of it even landed on the cookies.
Christmas sugar cookies were often gifted to teachers and neighbors, and since this recipe hardens into a beautiful glassy surface its durable enough to be wrapped and transported.
Its like a sugar force field for cookies.
I now enjoy this same tradition with my own kids, but instead use a gluten-free sugar cookie recipe that tastes just like the old-fashioned ones Mom made!
Drying Icing/using A Fan
The meringue powder in the icing will make it dry like a ‘candy’ surface and so you don’t have to worry about it melting. Do dry cookies in front of a fan for a few hours. Then let them continue to dry on the cookie sheet in the cool oven overnight. They are ready to pack after 18-24 hours from that first flood.
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How Long Does It Take For Glaze To Harden
You can enjoy the glazed cookies right away or wait until the icing sets. This glaze sets up pretty quickly, but to fully harden, it can take anywhere from 3 hours up to overnight at room temperature. The time it takes will depend on the thickness and consistency of your icing and the layers on the cookie. Once theyre completely dry, you can stack them or package them up for gifting.
How To Store The Final Cookies
Once youre done decorating the cookies, let them dry completely before storing them in an airtight container. Layer them between sheets of parchment or wax paper. Store them at room temperature on your counter or kitchen table for up to five days.
Have fun, and remember that your imagination is your only limit when it comes to decorating with royal icing!
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Tutorial: Cookie Decorating With Glace Icing
I consider myself to be a pretty good artist. My education and former profession is in the design field and Im pretty good at craft stuff. I also think Im a decent cook, so I figured with those two things going for me, decorating fancy sugar cookies would be right up my alley. Imagine my surprise when I attempted to play around with royal icing for the first time and my little masterpieces looked more like something in a 1st graders art pile. So I gave up on ever decorating fancy-schmancy cookies again.
That was until I met THIS style of icing. Now my confidence is back in tact because even my very first batch turned out beautifully! Its super forgiving, easy to use, and it actually tastes good!
The benefit of using an icing like this is that it dries to a solid sheen, making the cookies stackable and packable- perfect for giving or displaying on a platter. With a soft, fluffy buttercream, theres just no easy way to give them away so you have to eat them all yourself
All you need for this icing is powdered sugar, milk, corn syrup, and extract of your choice And we all know that corn syrup is not the same thing as high-fructose corn syrup, right?? Like, we dont have to have this conversation again? Okie-dokie then.
You can simply spoon this icing onto your cookies and gently spread out with a spoon and be done! One of the easiest ways is also to just quickly spread and let it go completely off the edges like this:
You honestly cant make an ugly cookie here.
Whats The Difference Between Royal Icing And Regular Icing
The biggest difference between royal icing and the type of icing you see drizzled over coffee cakes or spread onto cinnamon rolls is the texture. Royal icing dries into a hard, candy-like coating that crunches when you bite into it. Its designed to harden so you can decorate on top of it with piped royal icing, or even paint it. If youre looking for picture-perfect sugar cookies, royal icing is the way to go.
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What To Do If Your Icing Is Too Thick
If its not the right consistency for your liking, stir in a tiny bit of water, a LITTLE at a time . You can use a quarter teaspoon measuring spoon or I like using a little condiment bottle to drip the water in slowly. You may even want to use a spray bottle to make sure you dont add too much water too quickly.
How To Decorate Cookies Like A Pro
Cookie icing is a baking basic, but one that is oddly enough sometimes difficult to master. Getting creative with icing to decorate a fresh batch of cookies is a surefire way to impress guests and family as they dig in to your newest homemade creations this holiday season.
This handy tips and troubleshooting guide will help you with your next baking excursion to make sure your cookies look as stellar as they taste.
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Cookie Icing Troubleshooting Tips
Is this your first time trying to decorate your newest batch of cookies like a pro? Let the Wilton team lend a hand with a few handy troubleshooting tips to ensure they, and you, come out looking like rock stars. We think its always a good idea to be aware of some stickier situations of cookie icing and flooding as you start decorating. So heres a batch of things you can do to avoid mistakes thatll make you one smart cookie.
How To Make Powdered Sugar Icing For Cookies
Step 1: Add powdered sugar into medium-sized bowl and add milk, vanilla, almond extract, and salt.
Step 2: Use a rubber spatula to mix until smooth. The consistency should be thick enough that it wont run off cookies, but thin enough that the icing melts back in on itself when you drizzle a spoonful over the bowl.
Tip: If your icing looks too dry, add 1 teaspoon of milk until it looks like the consistency in the video above. If it is too thin, add 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar until it looks like the consistency in the video.
Step 3: Once you reach the correct consistency, add food coloring. I recommend squeezing a dot of food coloring on a paper plate, dipping the tip of a toothpick through it, then swiping it through the icing. This will allow you to control the amount of color you add.
Tip: To achieve this peach color, I did 2 swipes of red with 1 swipe of yellow. If making Christmas cookies, check out my formulas for How To Make Dark Green Icing .
Step 4: Once colored, spoon the icing into a tipless piping bag . To ice the cookies, pipe an outline around the edge of the cookie then working your way from the outside in, fill in the center.
Step 5: Immediately after piping on the icing, use a toothpick to spread out the icing and fill in any holes. Top with sprinkles, if desired.
Tip: For more decorating ideas, check out my 7 Easy Sugar Cookie Decorating Techniques guide!
More icing & frosting recipes:
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How To Ice Sugar Cookies
To decorate sugar cookies with icing, you could simply dunk the tops in the mixture. But if you want something a little neater, youve got a couple options:
- 1st Option: Transfer icing to a clear plastic disposable piping bag with a piping tip
- 2nd Option: Place the icing in a Ziploc bag and snip a small piece of the corner off
- 3rd Option: Got a squeeze bottle? These make decorating super easy.
Once youve got your icing ready to pipe, outline the border of each cookie with icing, then flood the inside area of the cookie with more icing. Use a toothpick to nudge the icing around so that the cookies surface is covered. If you spot any small bubbles, just use the toothpick to pop them.
Ideas for Sugar Cookie Decorating Icing:
- Flood the whole area of the cookie with a solid color.
- Flood whole area of the cookies, then add sprinkles, sanding sugar, or small candies on top.
- A solid layer of white icing and then colored icing on top of that in a polka dot or striped pattern.
- Solid white or colored surface, make dots with a contrasting color, then drag a toothpick through the dots to form hearts.
There are so many ways to have fun with this!
How To Make Royal Icing
Making royal icing is actually very simple, especially if you use meringue powder which can be or found at any local craft store like Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, or Joann’s in their baking supplies section. If you cannot find meringue powder or would rather use raw egg whites, you could just replace both the water and meringue powder called for in the recipe with 3 large egg whites.
I like to add the powdered sugar and meringue powder to the large bowl of my stand mixer first and whisk them together first before adding the water and vanilla while the mixer is running. Then it is just a matter of letting the mixer run on medium speed until it forms stiff peaks and the icing loses some of it’s glossiness, about 7-10 minutes.
You want to start off with this stiffer, thick consistency icing because it’s easy from there to thin the icing out to a flood consistency. Like I described above, the thicker icing should be spreadable and it reminds me of the consistency of toothpaste or very soft cream cheese. It should be easy to pipe out of a narrow decorating tip like a Wilton #2 or #3 .
At this point, while the icing is thick, divide it between separate bowls for each color you want. Mix in gel food coloring until you get the shade you want.
For flooding, the icing should be thinned out enough to melt in on itself in about 10-15 seconds when you run a knife through it , but not so thin that it will run off the sides of the cookie.
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What You Need To Make This Recipe
Powdered sugar This is the only type of sugar you can use to make this kind of icing so dont try and substitute it for anything else.
Corn syrup This is added to give the sugar cookie icing a beautiful shine, it makes them look extra pretty and impressive!
Milk I use whole milk a little at a time until the right consistency is reached it also adds flavor!
Extract I love to use either vanilla or almond extract to give the icing a wonderful flavor without overpowering the taste of your sugar cookies!
Food coloring This is the fun part, you can choose any colors you like and add as much or as little until you reach your desired color. I find the gel food coloring works best so you dont add in too much extra liquid.
Ingredients For Royal Icing
There are a few different recipes you can follow to make Royal Icing. Some contain egg whites, some powdered egg whites, and some meringue powder. My experience is with making royal icing using meringue powder, so I am going to focus on this method.
My royal icing recipe consists of confectioners sugar, meringue powder, and water. For every one cup of confectioners sugar, I use approximately ½+ tablespoon of meringue powder, and water to consistency.
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Adding Candies Pearl Balls And Drages
You can also use the icing as a glue to attach candies, pearl balls, and dragées, which are silver candy balls. Just add a dot of icing to the cookie, and then place the candy. You might want to use tweezers if the dragée or candy is very small or especially delicate. Or just sprinkle them over a flooded area while its still wet.
Here are a few suggestions for other edible items to add to your royal icing decorated cookie:
- Edible flowers, candied or fresh
- Small candies like mini M& Ms, cinnamon red hots, or Nerds
- Silver dragées or colored candied pearls
- Non pareils, sprinkles, or jimmies
- Swedish pearl sugar
If you start looking online and at craft or party supply shops, youll find that sprinkles, jimmies, non-pareils, and colored sugars come in all sizes and shapes. Youll find everything from stars to large balls to snowflake shapes to confetti sprinkles all in a myriad of shapes and colors.
Medium Consistency Royal Icing
Medium consistency royal icing can be used for outlining, text, and some detail. The best way to ensure your flood icing does not run off of the edge of the cookie, is to use the outline method. This simply means, outline around the edge of the cookie . I also use this consistency for text and details such as leaves and small areas that need to be filled with icing.
For the counting method, you will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 15-25+ seconds: closer to 15-20 seconds for small areas that need filling such as leaves closer to 20-25+ seconds for writing text. The best way to determine what works best for you is, of course, practice!
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Prepare Your Royal Icing
First, mix your powdered sugar with some cream of tartar this helps stabilize the finished icing and brighten the white color. Then, youll stir in by hand the egg whites, to avoid a flurry of powdered sugar when you turn on the mixer. Once the sugar is moistened, turn your mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, on low to combine the ingredients. Then, scrape down the sides, and set your mixer on high for 2-3 minutes.
PRO TIP: As soon as you are finished using your royal icing, cover it with plastic wrap touching the surface of the icing. This rule stands from the first step to the last, whether you are working with a large amount, or mixing tiny bits of color. Always cover your royal icing immediately or it will begin to harden and become unusable.
Next, plan or sketch your cookie design, thinking of each color as a separate layer: base , main design , and finishing details Unless you want the colors to blend and bleed into each other, youll need to let the base color dry before adding a second layer, and so on. When youre first starting out, its easiest to limit the number of colors your design utilizes try choosing two or three, maybe adding a fourth for the final layer details.
How To Make This Sugar Cookie Icing
Youll be creating two different thicknesses of icing, the outline icing and the flood icing. Heres how I create both using the same mixture:
To make this icing, youll simply combine the powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons of milk, vanilla extract, and corn syrup in a large mixing bowl and whisk it together until its nice and smooth. The mixture will be very thick at this point.
For the outline icing: Start adding 1/2 teaspoon of milk to the bowl until its not too thick. I usually use an additional 1 teaspoon to 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of milk to get the right consistency. You can tell if the icing is the correct consistency by lifting up your whisk or spoon and drizzling the icing back in the bowl. For the outline icing, you want to see ribbons of icing in the bowl for about 3-4 seconds before they melt back into the bowl of icing.
Once its the correct consistency, you can add food coloring. I highly recommend using gel food coloring because it wont thin the icing out. Once colored, I typically remove about 1/3 of the icing for outlining the cookies and leave the rest for the flood icing.
For the flood icing: The flood icing is what youll use to fill in the outline and fully ice the cookies. To make this, youll use the remaining 2/3 of the icing and simply add 1/2 teaspoon of milk at a time until its thinned out. The consistency of flood icing is much thinner, when you lift your whisk or spoon out of the bowl the icing will quickly dissolve back into the bowl.
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