Over the holidays, I made some festive-shaped gingerbread cookies. Noah and I decorated them together on Christmas Eve day. This is definitely an activity you should undertake with your child. It is so fun, it’s guaranteed to bring out the kid in you!
Years ago, I made and decorated cookies to give to colleagues at Christmas time. I packaged each large cookie individually in a clear treat bag, and I brought them to the school I worked at to hand them out with my Christmas cards. They didn’t look so pretty by the time I handed them out, since the icing melted onto the bags. This time I was determined to correct this problem.
I looked online to find out how to dry icing. Apparently, the only solution is something called “Royal Icing.” It is the only icing that dries or hardens. It is very simple to make. You can make it with raw egg whites, but this poses a very small risk of Salmonella (food poisoning). I did not wish to give the gift of Salmonella to anyone for Christmas, so I decided to do it the safer way, by substituting meringue powder.
By far, the most difficult part of making Royal Icing using meringue powder is….finding meringue powder. You won’t find it at your local grocery store, since it is an item not commonly needed for baking. I’ve heard of some people ordering it online, but I decided to go to a specialty cake shop in Etobicoke called McCall’s. (Here is their website, but be warned that it is not the easiest place to drive to. http://www.mccalls.ca/). The good news is, you can buy a tub of this stuff, and it will keep for about 2 years.
Royal Icing Recipe
- 2 and 1/4 cups of icing sugar
- 2 tbsp meringue powder
- 1/4 cup water