Royal Ornamental Frosting for decorating cookies

Posted: Wednesday, November 03, 2010

1 pound (4 1/2 cups) confectioners' sugar, sifted

A Japanese-inspired bento box (upper left), like the ones available in three sizes at the Harry & David store, are handy for packaging and shipping homemade cookies. Wrap different types of cookies separately within a container and don't forget to enclose a personal note.

3 tablespoons meringue powder (sold in some stores as "Just Whites")

6 tablespoons warm water

Gel food coloring to tint frosting, optional

Combine sugar, meringue powder and water in a large mixing bowl of an electric mixer. With speed set to low, mix until blended. Increase speed to medium and beat until frosting holds soft peaks, about 5 to 6 minutes. (For frosting to remain glossy, do not overbeat.) Keep frosting covered if not using immediately or it will harden. Decorating cookies: Pipe royal frosting through a pastry bag fitted with a #2 tip to outline a cookie and make designs. For extra sparkle, sprinkle with granulated sugar, shaking off excess. Let cookies dry, then store in airtight container. If you wish a cookie with more frosting, first spread a thin layer of frosting on the cookie and allow to dry before piping on outlines or designs.

Kitchen Ade Note: If frosting is too runny to pass through a pastry bag, add a little confectioners' sugar to the mixture until desired consistency is reached. Conversely, if the mixture is too thick to spread, add more water, a little at a time.

To tint frosting: Divide frosting into small bowls. With the tip of a toothpick, add just enough gel food coloring to achieve desired color. Stir well until no streaks remain. (Do not use liquid food coloring. It will thin your frosting.) Package cookies with care

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