Hi all!!! I'm new to this website and first, I must say that I am so happy that I found it. I recently became very interested in cake and cookie decorating even though I've been baking since I was a little girl. I want to be able to produce bakery quality cookies.
I have begun decorating sugar cookies and have explored fondant and feel very comfortable using it (even though I'm trying to find the best tasting one and I have only used the Wilton version which I heard was the worst). However, I am now interested in experimenting with different icings. My question is.....what is the difference between royal icing (egg white version vs. meringue), buttercream frosting, color flow icing, and glace icing when decorating a sugar cookies? And which one is the better or best to use? I have tried the royal icing (Wilton recipe) and feel like my cookies looked nothing close to what the cookies look like here on the site. Everyone's cookies look so smooth and perfect!!! Yes, I am in awe and only hope that I can reach that level. So please....any advice and recipes would be very helpful. Thanks for your time and assistance!!
Welcome to CC and cookies!
Here's my take on your question. Royal icing is a bit more of a multi-use icing. You can pipe with shaped tips, which you can't so much with color flow or glace. I don't like the taste as much though.
Buttercream, well, is buttercream. Honestly, I don't recommend it for cookies. It never gets hard enough to really be able to stack the cookies. It can be done, but I think a harder drying icing works better.
I don't know of many people who use color flow.
I use a glace. I think the taste is better, no egg whites or meringue. However, you are really only going to use round tips. That doesn't stop you from making some gorgeous cookies though. Look for a member here called kneadacookie. She uses glace and her work is GORGEOUS. I'm still practicing, but I think things come out ok.
I think a lot of it is just trial and error and practice. Try each thing a couple times, so what you like the taste and look of best.
Welcome to CC and the wonderful world of cookies!
Everyone has their own opinion of preference for royal vs. glace vs. fondant, etc. You might want to search some of the past threads about this topic - it comes up a lot and you can read the specifics of what several people use and why.
Personally, I use a modified version of Antonia74's royal icing recipe (in the recipe section on this site). It dries hard to the touch, so it can be bagged and stacked after about about 12-24 hours, but the underneath layer stays soft, so you don't' crack your teeth biting into it. I add some corn syrup to it, so I guess it's a combination of a glace and royal.
Here are some links to some articles and threads that might help you - but mostly, it takes a lot of practice (which is a lot of fun!)!
Freddyfls how to
outlining tricks & tips
Everyone here is really, really nice and helpful, so if you have any questions be sure to post in the cookie forum!
Have fun! And don't forget to post pictures for us all to see!
bonniebakes did a wonderful job of supplying you with information, as did vstar_pilot, so I'm just going to welcome you to CC! It was an eye opening experience for me when I found this site, and the advice and information you'll find here is phenomenal.
Vstar_pilot, bonniebakes, and geminiRJ,
Thanks so much for your responses and help. I'm going to check out the links and play around with the different frostings. I'm so excited and promise to post my pictures.
Thanks again for your help! And I'm sure that I will be posting more questions as they come up.