I am new to cake decorating and currently taking the courses. I attempted to make the icing last night but this is what happened. I used 3 different Wilton flavorings, please tell me if this is correct??? I used the crisco shortening. The confectioners sugar was not sifted. I used the quality brand Dixie Crystals. I used 16oz b/c the recipe called for 1lb. It didnt' appear to be half after I used it but I left it alone. After I blended it I noticed the sugar lumps. All I tasted was the flavorings and the lumps of sugar. Almost like I didn't blend it good or maybe my bowl is not deep enough.
First of all, get in the habit of sifting EVERYTHING. Even when it's not called for - - that way, you get rid of most of the lumps in anything before you even start. Second, make sure you beat the crisco and get it very smooth before you add anything else to it. I always start with 1 tablespoon of warm water and add my salt and flavorings to that before putting it in the bowl. Then I add the ps and liquid and start beating. If I need to add any more of either, I do it then. Also make sure you're beating it long enough - - usually at least 10 minutes. HTH
The OP had some great info and I just wanted to add that I usually end up beating all my ingredients together and save the sugar for the very last step. If you put wet ingredients (ie flavoring) on top of dry sugar it could cause it to clump on you.