Once you’ve mastered royal icing (a sturdy, shelf-stable icing), a whole world of creativity awaits! Today, we’re sharing our three favorite ways to use this versatile recipe. Before you start, find your cookie cut-outs, mix up a batch of royal icing, and dye your frosting with food coloring. When you’re ready, pick your favorite technique from below and get decorating.
Technique #1: Spread on the Icing
Royal icing is easy to spread into a thick base for other addition decorating thanks to its thick consistency. Drop a teaspoonful of royal icing onto your undecorated cookie, adding more if necessary. Spread the icing to the edges using an offset spatula. Be sure the icing is dry before layering on other colors or the dyes could bleed together!
Technique #2: Drizzle It
Drizzled royal icing is usually seen atop scones and muffins—but there’s no reason it can’t be used on cookies! To begin, dip a fork or spoon into your royal icing. Moving quickly, pass the icing-filled fork over cookies, using long, even motions so the icing goes on uniformly. (Don’t worry about the mess!) For thicker lines, dip the fork in icing after each drizzling motion; for thin lines, wait until all the icing has dripped off the utensil before replenishing it. For different effects, try lifting the fork higher as you drizzle or combine different icing colors for contrast.
Technique #3: Pipe Decorations with a DIY Icing Bag
Royal icing is known for its thick consistency and durability when dry—both of which are perfect for piped cookie decorations. Pair your piping with a powdered sugar glaze or a base coat of royal icing for extra pizazz, but make any first layers of icing are dry before adding other colors. To pipe royal icing, mix up a batch using our favorite recipe, then create and fill your own DIY icing bag. Squeezing from the top of the bag down, pipe on shapes and words to your heart’s content!
These three royal icing techniques are only the beginning. Let your imagination take hold and see where your cookie adventures take you. How could you combine or alter these techniques for different effects?