This Royal Icing Recipe Is Perfect for Any Cookie
Even if you haven't heard of royal icing, you've likely seen it and eaten it. Unlike typical icing, it has an exceptional shiny, glossy look and has a smooth yet hard, thick texture. Think of a warrior holding up a vibrant shield; that's the best way to describe how the delicate yet durable icing coats something as fragile as a thin sugar cookie.
While you could go to a bakery and shell out some good money for a dozen of gorgeously glazed cookies, you could save that hard-earned cash and instead whip up a batch of your own. Executive Chef of Brabo Brasserie and Brabo Tasting Room Sebastien Rondier provides insight on how to make the beautiful royal icing right at home.
What is royal icing made of?
"Royal icing is made of egg white, powdered sugar, and water," Rondier says. "You can add different flavors to the recipe, like lemon juice, coffee, and orange blossom water."
The chef says that royal icing, or Gelee Royale in French, was first widely seen in 1840. It was the icing that coated the two-tier wedding cake of Prince Albert and Queen Victoria, which weighed 300 pounds. According to The New Yorker, royal icing is the brainchild of Elizabeth Raffald, an eighteenth-century recipe developer. The icing has continued to dress the wedding cakes of royalty throughout the years, including most recently Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's.
How do you make royal icing?
This recipe truly doesn't require a royal amount of ingredients or cooking appliances.
"With royal icing being one of the easiest recipes, you simply need a mixing bowl, an electric mixer, and a small spatula or piping bag," Rondier says.
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A royal icing recipe
- 1 egg white
- 150 grams of icing (or powdered) sugar
- 5 milliliters of water
How to make royal icing:
- In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg white, icing sugar, and water on low speed with an electric mixer for about two minutes.
- You have the option to add more water or more icing sugar, depending on the desired texture for your cake or pastry. For example, to glaze eclairs, you want to have a softer texture, so you add more water. For cookies and cakes, you want a thicker texture, so you add more icing sugar to help it set.
- You can add coloring to any icing. Having a colorful icing is fun if you're decorating holiday cookies or gingerbread houses with kids.
Pro tip: If there are concerns about using raw egg whites, one alternative is to use pasteurized egg whites, which are sold in supermarkets.
So, do you feel confident enough to whip up your own glossy royal icing now? Your cookies will dazzle like never before with this easy to make cookie recipe.