Originally Posted by texastwinkie
I was wondering if those of you whom have tried several of the more "popular" icing recipes that we see mentioned on this forum would mind explaining what the differences are? I'm not really asking if one is better than the other but rather how they differ in appearance, consistency, do they dry with a flat or shiny finish, how easy they are to work with, etc. I'm sure that all the recipes have qualities that make them more appropriate for different effects or results. I have tried only 2 recipes, Wilton's royal icing and Toba's Glace recipe on a cookie. I'm curious about Alice's cookie icing and Antonia's icing, are they both more like a royal icing? I know that Toba's Glace is of course a very thin almost transparent icing that floods the cookie well. I thought it might be helpful to know what kind of icing to use to acheive different results. Thanks
I pretty much use Alice Cookie icing on all my cookies. It does indeed have a slight cream cheesey taste to it. It's really easy to work with too and it's easy to colour. If I had to categorize Alice Cookie icing I would say it's a hybrid of a buttercream and a royal icing. It's not a true royal icing in that it contains butter. Royal icing does not contain any sort of fats. I would not recommend trying to do flood work with this type of icing. It will take forever to dry.
The other recipe that you refer to as Antonia's icing is a royal icing. Royal icing recipes were traditionally made with egg whites and lemon juice sometimes even lime juice. The citric acid in the lemon (or lime) juice reacted with the egg whites and helps to stabilize and give more volume to the icing. Cream of tartar is an acid salt that's produced during wine fermentation. It also has the same effect on egg whites. So you will find royal icing recipes that will use either lemon juice or cream of tartar.
For those of you that can't find cream of tartar you can fresh lemon juice by substituting 3 times the cream of tartar called for.