I have a royal icing recipe that is made with pasteurized egg whites, powdered sugar and lemon juice. I have two questions....
1. Once you make the decorations with this icing, how long do they remain edible if left at room temperature? I keep reading about how this icing needs to be refrigerated and I am a little confused.
2. If you are using this type of icing for sugar cookies, do they have to be refrigerated once they have dried?
Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
Royal icing absolutely should NOT be refrigerated. There's way too much humidity in refrigerators that will soften the icing. In fact, RI will keep nearly forever in a shoe box. Decorated cookies should be kept in an airtight container for the benefit of the cookies.
How long can the icing sit out at room temperature after it is made?
You can use RI flowers for a long time, in fact I know people who have used flowers that were at least a year old and there was nothing wrong with them.
By the way alimonkey were you saying that the RI should not be refrigerated after it has been made into somthing or that it should not be refridgerated at all period? The reason I ask is because my Wilton teacher told me that you should always refridgerate it until it has been used up.
You would only refridgerate until you use it to make flowers or whatever it is you're making.
I was told to leave RI in an air tight container on the counter--not to put it in the refrigerator. (The one time I put mine in the refrigerator, it became way too soft.) RI will keep on the counter in an air tight container for about two weeks. It may keep longer, but I've usually used it up by then.
The flowers do seem to keep forever, like some candies (like Sweet Tarts or Smarties) will keep.
I was referring to dried & hardened RI decorations, but for that matter, I never refrigerate my royal icing before decorating, either. It might be a different story if I was using unpasteurized egg whites rather than meringue powder, but there is so little water and so much sugar that I don't think spoilage is an issue.
To store unused royal, I keep it in a glass mason jar with plastic wrap under the lid. I've pulled it out after a couple of months and although I couldn't probably couldn't make flowers from it, I am able to use it for piped lines, flower centers, glue, etc.
My wilton teacher said RI was the same as the stuff you buy in the grocery sores, you know the pre-made lettering and stuff. Who knows how long that stuff stays around.
But, RI made with meringue powder doesn't keep indefinitely, in the right conditions it will grow mold. Trust me.
So the bottom line is...once it is made into flowers it will keep at room temperature for a long time. Do most of you use the meringue powder or pasteurized egg whites?
meringue powder for me
The only thing with RI is that you wp hiill have to re-whip often, some places say you have to use Meringue powder or egg white powder in order for it to be edible, especially for resale.
Once the RI drys even if its in the mixing bowl, you cannot fix it, so keep it tighly closed and covered with a very damp rag when not closed with a lid. Also remember that the color will lighten with age as oppose to buttercream which darkens.
Meringue powder as well.
The reason I wonder about this is because I am a home baker. I do about 3 cakes a month because I work full time. I have been debating ordering flowers to save time but the shipping gets expensive. I can make them on my own, but a batch of royal icing makes a ton of flowers. If I knew they would keep for at least a year, I could take a like a Sunday and make flowers just to have around . I think the royal icing flowers look nicer than the buttercream ones.
Go head and make them ahead of time my sister sells cakes and like I said uses RI flower that are at least a year old.
There are also all kinds of other decorations you can make ahead of time. Or you can just practice.
I often make scrolls and then when I am in a pinch I use a few.
you could also make Easter or Christmas decorations ahead of time as well as decorate sugar cubes. It's good to practice on big and small things. You just need the time.