I have a few questions about royal icing and I'm hoping to get your opinions/advice. I use the royal icing recipe from the "Cookie Craft" book, which uses a tablespoon of lemon juice for flavor. I recently made some spice sugar cookies and thought the lemon flavor might not work with the cookies. so I used a teaspoon of vanilla instead. The problem is, the flood icing was really thick. In the past, when I've done this, I've tried using water to thin it and ended up with icing that wouldn't set, no matter what I did. So I guess my questions are:
1. what could I do to thin the icing and
2. would lemon flavored icing work well with spice cookies or should I use something else?
Thanks for your time and input!
I put water in mine to thin it if needed and mix with the wisk mixer attachment for a few minutes and it works well. What recipe are you using? Here's mine...
With a wisk attachment on slow speed, mix 4 cups pwd. sugar and 3 TB meringue powder. Slowly stream in 1/2 cup tepid water (or less if it's a humid day, just decide by how thin you need your icing to be). I also add about 2 tsp. of clear vanilla. Then increase the speed (3 on my kitchenaid mixer) and mix for 6-8 minutes. Let the icing sit for a little bit to let the air bubbles rise to the top and mix gently to break bubbles before using on cookies.
As far as the lemon/spice question, I'm not sure. I'm kind of a picky eater, so it probably wouldn't be for me.
While I don't know what type of recipe your using, I'm guessing it's one with real egg whites. If this is true, you can't taste the lemon in that type of a recipe. If you are using a non egg recipe, then you should be able to replace the lemon with any kind of flavouring that you would rather have. With the problem of your icing not drying, maybe you are using to much water, or not enough and it's thick. You can mix RI with water to thin it out, but you have to be careful about the amount. Add little bits at a time, when it looks like it's thinning out, run a butter knife threw the center, count to 10sec, if the line disappears you should be good. Hope that helps.
I agree with the others. It depends on your recipe.
If its not setting properly your recipe may be using the lemon juice as the acid, which helps it set quickly. If you don't want the flavour of the lemon you can replace with a teaspoon of acetic acid from the supermarket or even better I like to use 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar.
Make sure that you are careful with replacing with water. Add just little bits at a time and let it mix in well before adding more to get the right consistency. It seems that many of us on this forum like the ten second rule mentioned above.
I use this recipe and I thin it out with water, watch out with lemon juice in icing it can mess up you red & pink.
Thanks for all the answers! The recipe uses powdered sugar, meringue powder, warm water & lemon juice. I added a tablespoon of corn syrup and a tablespoon of water and it didn't seem to do much to thin it but I really didn't want to push it any further. Flooded the cookies last night and today the icing is dry to the touch but soft/squishy. I'm hoping it'll set a little more throughout the day today (fingers crossed!)
Spicybubbles, did your icing ever harden all the way? I use Royal also (3tbs meringue,6 or so tbs h2o,1 lb ps). I'm curious whether the corn syrup kept it soft. I've never used corn syrup with royal.
It was still soft last night but I left them in a plastic tub with the lid on loosely & the icing seemed hardened all the way through this morning.
I'm contemplating using orange juice to replace the lemon juice instead of vanilla & water so I'm going to make it that way & try it on my guinea pigs (i.e. my co-workers).
Good Luck..keep us posted on the outcome..orange would be good on a sugar cookie. Did you bite into the royal/corn syrup cookie? is it softer than straight royal? I might have to give that a try..
The icing was definitely softer. I'll be sure & let you know how the orange icing comes out! Keep your fingers crossed!
So I used orange juice and the icing was definitely thinner & easier to use when flooding. It also did not really taste orange-y. People liked it; I have a cold so I can't taste it very well.
Thanks for the update, It sounds good..I'll have to give it a try.