I made two batches of royal icing and used it for gingerbread houses and icing cookies. When it dried it is very powdery and not hard at all. I used meringe powder in the recipes. I wonder if I over mixed it but it was thick and stiff peaks according to the recipe I used. Several hours later is was more foamy than stiff.
I just want to figure out how to get the smoother hard icing that I was expecting.
I'm not sure if this is your problem, but what a lot of folks forget is that when making royal icing you have to be absolutely sure ALL grease is removed from your tools before you start. for example, if you use the same mixing bowl or spat for buttercream then for royal icing there could be a residue. just the slightest amount of "grease" will ruin an entire batch of royal, prevent it from working. To prevent this, even if i have washed everything, i quick hand wash my bowl, beaters and spat AGAIN in soapy water (even after a trip thru the dishwasher). It has saved me a lot of heart ache. I hope this helps.
I've read somewhere before that if you have soap residue on whatever your using to make meringue/royal icing that it can make it fail too.
I always run everything I can thorugh the dishwasher and then rinse rinse rinse in a sink full of the hottest water I can get.
I know any oil will make meringue fail (learned that the hard way by adding lorann oil to a batch of mernigue kisses I was making!)
I too rewash everything in hot, soapy water (Dawn) before making royal icing, even if it's already clean. I wash the bowl, beaters, spatula, couplers, tips, everything and so far, I haven't had any problems.
the more i think about it (and yes, i do lay in bed at night thinking about these things ) i believe you do indeed have some grease in your batch somewhere. Try another with everything really squeaky clean and see if you run into the same problem.