I was wondering if there was any way to make a really thin buttercream or something simliar (besides royal icing) to decorate sugar cookies?? I am planning to make Valentine's Day cookies for my son to take to school but really do not want to make royal icing. The main reason is that I make A LOT of cakes and cupcakes, my utensils and mixing bowls have grease (they are washed very well, but still have grease left over, it happens since I make so many) so I really do not want to attempt to make royal icing and I really don't like the flavor.. But was wondering if anyone else has made any sort of buttercream sugar cookies and if so how did you package them without ruining your design???? Pictures are welcome!
Almost all my cookies are decorated in BC. You can't really get BC to harden like RI, the best you can do is leave the cookies out for several hours to crust really well. Your best bet is to make them very simple. The most success I had with keepting the design intact was to pack them standing on edge rather than vertically stacked but there was still some smooshing. It's the nature of BC icing.
I did experiment with thining BC but it just caused the colors to seperate. I have also tried heating until it was melted (I make mine with all butter) and then dipped/poured like petit four (sp?) icing but it didn't really go very well.
Use fondant instead, and only royal for accents.
I make this meringue powder buttercream. It hardens like royal but tastes like buttercream.
I use MMF and it works great. I only use buttercream on cookies that I don't have to package, because it never crusts well enough that it won't get damaged by the bag...especially when the kids cram the cookie in the bag with all their other Valentine's goodies.
You might want to try Toba Garrett's Glace. It dries hard, but not as hard as royal icing. I use almond flavoring in mine and have gotten rave reviews.
This is a very basic, easy recipe that I have used many times when I make cookies:
You will probably need to double or triple it though because it doesn't make very much. It dries shiny and it's not hard at all to bite into it. To me it tastes waaaayyyy better than RI. You may need to add a bit more PS to it so it's stiff enough.