Delicious Crusting SNOW WHITE Buttercream / Decorators Icing

2 cups shortening (*sub some or all for Salted Butter if you prefer)
1 Tablespoon Butter Vanilla Emulsion (*sub 1/2 T Clear Vanilla and 1/2 T Butter Flavor)
1/4 tsp (clear) Almond Extract
1/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon Water
2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
1 Tablespoon Meringue Powder
2 lbs Powdered Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt (optional, must be dissolved in water)

If using salt, add it to water to dissolve it.
Cream shortening, extracts and about 1/2 of the water until there are no lumps.
Add Cornstarch and Meringue Powder. Mix until combined.
Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, fully incorporating each addition before adding the next.
Add water as necessary. You may need more or less depending on your climate.
Mix everything together until well combined. Do not overmix.

Can be stored, covered, at room temperature for up to 3 days. Refrigerated for 2 weeks. Re-whip before use. Frozen for up to 2 months. Bring to room temp and re-whip before use. This is a crusting recipe, great for Viva. You may replace some or all of the shortening with butter. Also, feel free to use your choice of flavorings or extracts. I use shortening and clear extracts to maintain a pure white color. The salt must be dissolved or it will leave white spots in colored buttercream.