Decorate with Royal Icing

One of my favorite activites to do with the kids is decorating sugar cookies. In the past I've used buttercream frosting to decorate, but I recently tried royal icing on the cookies and I was much happier with the results. When I used buttercream the cookies couldn't be stacked which was a problem when I tried to take them to the bake sale. Royal icing, on the other hand, dries hard with a lovely matte finish. They are much easier to store and transport. But make sure you don't stack them right away. Allow iced cookies to harden overnight before stacking.
 
Decorate with Royal Icing
When decorating with a pastry bag and tip make the icing a bit thicker. It should be just stiff like sour cream and shouldn't drop off a spoon held upside down.
  • Outline the cookie first with a darker color. Let dry for about 15 minutes.
     
  • Fill in the outlines. The icing needs to be a bit thinner now so it can spread easily, similar to heavy cream.
    • Use an artists brush, or
    • Spread icing with a small decorating spatula (The Fat Daddio's SPAT-TPROS works well here.) or
    • Dip the cookie straight into the icing. A great technique with smaller kids.
       
  • Now add the sprinkles! Let these cookies dry for 24 hours before stacking or storing.

QUICK TIP: Royal icing will dry out quickly. Cover your bowl with a damp towel or plastic wrap and stir frequently.

For more inspiration, check out our Frosted board on Pinterest.