While there are many types of cookie icing, our thinned royal icing recipe is perfect for covering or decorating cut-out cookies. Also known as flow-in icing or flood icing, this recipe dries icing to a smooth, hard finish that looks like porcelain. Unlike softer cookie icings, thinned royal icing is durable once it sets, so it’s perfect to use on roll-out or sugar cookies as gifts in treat bags or boxes.
Stiff royal icing base- Beat all ingredients together until icing becomes a thick, smooth icing (5-8 minutes at low speed with a heavy-duty mixer, 8-10 minutes at high speed with a handheld mixer).
Medium consistency icing- Use medium consistency icing to make outlines. Add 1/8 tsp water for every ½ cup of stiff icing. Use a flat utensil such as a small silicone spatula, angled spatula or straight spatula to mix. Stir slowly using a figure 8 motion. Avoid beating or mixing vigorously.
Thin consistency icing- Use thin consistency icing for covering a cookie. Add 1/2 tsp water for every ½ cup of stiff icing. Use the same mixing instructions for medium consistency.
10 second test- To check for correct thin consistency, take some icing on a spatula and drop it back down into the bowl. If it sinks after a full count of 10, then the thin consistency icing is set. Let icing sit for 15 minutes to an hour to let air bubbles rise naturally. Alternately, tap the bowl on the table several times to force the air bubbles up. Gently stir the top surface to release the air.
Make sure all tools and surfaces are grease-free or royal icing will not set properly.
Meringue Powder is a must for this recipe. Do not substitute with raw egg whites (they can be a food safety issue) or dried egg whites; neither will produce the same results as Meringue Powder.
Do not overbeat the royal icing base. This will incorporate too much air which will create bubbles. Vigorous stirring will also create air bubbles.
More water may be needed than recommended in the recipe. Start with the recommended amounts and gradually add small drops at a time until you get the proper consistency. A clean medicine dropper can be used to add water slowly and carefully.