I am a teacher & I make my own icing. It tastes good but its too messy for the kids to use. So i buy it at the store but that gets pretty expensive! Would royal icing work or would that be too hard? How do you all decorate with royal icing?....paint brushes? or piping bags?? i need some easy icing and easy way for the kids to decorate. I think they would have hard time with piping bags and it might be a mess with paint brush with my icing! Any suggestions?
Check out the recipe forum here and select one that uses: butter or shortening with confectioners' sugar, water/milk and flavoring (i.e. vanilla extract) to use. Some people call it birthday cake frosting or American buttercream. It is very easy to make, under 10 minutes and kids typically love it. Wilton also uses this type of recipe in their classes as well. Keep it simple and cheap on the frosting for kids I say.
I would not use royal icing for kids. First, may recipes call for raw egg whites and if you don't use that you'll have to go out and get powdered egg whites. Unless you have them dipping the cupcakes in royal icing I agree with you that it could get messy. They may not like the flavor either.
Hope this helps!
THANK YOU SO MUCH! I will try it this evening!!!
Awesome. If you can't find one, repost and I will get you one!
I do gingerbread houses and cookies with kids and I use Royal icing made with meringue powder (wilton). I put different colors in clear disposable bags and wrap top with rubbler band then cut the tip of bag and let them go at it.
It works great for me and them. No greasy mess. Royal cleans up very easily. I also have a roll of disposable table cloth, when decorating is done I roll the left over mess in table cloth and throw it out.
For decorating cookies, I wouldn't use buttercream. It doesn't set up firm enough.
I've given piping bags of royal icing to kids and it worked fine. Some of them are better than others at keeping the bag from "backing up" and icing coming out of the top, so if I were going to do it frequently I would definitely use rubber bands or those special bag-closer dealies to help with that.
Use meringue powder rather than raw egg white to make your RI and there's no problem with licking fingers.
Another possibility is to use egg-yolk paints, or piped dough, if you can decorate the cookies before they are baked. Egg paints are just egg yolk mixed with food coloring, and you paint it onto the cookies with a brush. Colored piped dough on a dark gingerbread cookie comes out wonderfully! Use the same sort of soft dough you'd put in a cookie press for piping.
Or forget the concept of decorating the cookies by putting something on top, and just make colored, hand molded cookies. Like those candy cane cookies made by twisting a red and a white "snake" of sugar cookie dough together. Use a sturdy dough, offer several colors, and let the kids sculpt with it. No icing necessary.
No matter what you use, little kids will tend to pile on way too much and make a mess, but they have a lot of fun with it anyway. Older kids (past the preschool stage) can be very artistic with it.
Wow! THANK YOU everyone. I have a busy weekend of testing this all out. I will let you all know how it goes.
What about fondant?
They can roll it out and cut the shape with the cookie cutter. Then take paint brushes and colors and paint on it.